The 411

October 12-13, 2023
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$750 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

Maria Sowden-Weingarden

Maria Sowden

Maria Sowden-Weingarden is a CEC Associate and President of TEMAS (Training Executives, Managers and Staff), which was founded in 1985.

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"I really enjoyed your course. Out of the many work-related courses I have taken over the past six years, this has been the best one. The material was very interesting and relevant to participants. I learned a lot about myself and you effectively sustained my attention"

"Most courses that I have taken are somewhat forgotten with the day-to-day activities, but your course has left me inspired to do a great job. Thank you!"



Everyone encounters difficult people. Regardless of your job or the organization to which you belong, sooner or later you will encounter difficult people. They come in every variety and no workplace is without them. In an ideal world, difficult behaviours have no place at work. However, in reality, dealing with difficult individuals is something most of us face as part of our everyday work life. The stress of communicating with and handling these people and the difficult situations that can arise often creates a lack of productivity, poor attitude, low morale and can contribute to absenteeism.

Fortunately, we can learn communications and other basic skills that can make working in these circumstances less stressful. Dealing with difficult people takes patience, good communications, some understanding on our part and a willingness to assume some responsibility. By the end of this program, participants should understand how the can better manage their relationships with challenging people and have a set of techniques they are ready to try.


The workshop will focus on:



8:45 - 9:00
Introductions and Workshop Overview
9:00 - 10:00 Introduction to Conflict
  • Using key words to define what it is
  • Conflict and you in the workplace - A questionnaire
  • Conflict: What does it mean to you? Reflecting on difficult situations
  • Characteristics of conflict
  • Identifying early warning signs
  • Defensive vs solving responses.
Finding solutions instead of blaming.
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 10:30 Group Exercise: Causes of Misunderstanding
Participants will be divided into small groups. Each group will brainstorm possible causes of misunderstanding.
10:30 - 11:20 Conflict Attitude Quotient  
Participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire to help them identify their basic beliefs and attitudes about conflict and differences.
Exercise: Who Really Got to You

Discussion: How can this information help you? What can you do with this knowledge?
Exercise: Negative and Positive

Participants to write out barriers and bridges to conflict. Plenary discussion.
11.20 - 12:00 Four Components Critical to Resolving Conflict
  • Positive Flow of Conflict
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 -  13:30 Behaviour Styles
  • Identify 3 barriers to self-assertiveness
  • Share 3 myths surrounding assertiveness
  • Defining assertive behaviour
Exercises: Self-Assessment Questionnaire and Assertiveness Inventory
13:30 - 14:15 Give and Take of Assertiveness
  • The Give: Thoughts/feelings/opinions
  • The Take: Listening non-defensively
  • Description of Passive and Aggressive Behaviour
Components that affect our behaviour and how it affects others
14:15 - 14:30 Break
14:30 - 15:00 Exercise: Practice Give and Take:
15:00 - 15:30 Giving Feedback
  • Tips and Techniques on how to give feedback
Exercise: Scripting Assertive Responses for 10 situations
15:30 - 16:15 Case Studies: Small-group exercise plus plenary debriefing Action Plan: Participants will complete personal action plan
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation
Participants will complete a short evaluation