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Managing Difficult Colleagues training

Managing Difficult Colleagues - and Yourself!™

'Managing Difficult Colleagues - and Yourself!' is a 3-day course from the Association for Psychological Therapies (APT), a leading provider of accredited courses for professionals working in mental health and related areas.

It is the only training on this topic that is APT-accredited and also gives you access to APT’s relevant downloadable resources for use post-course. The course is available for teams/organizations and can be attended face-to-face or online.

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Executive Summary:

This is a unique course in that it recognizes that managers, while they may be highly skilled and resourceful, are not actually superhuman. It combines powerful skills for managing others with the equally important skill of managing oneself.

There is usually an implication that people at work fall neatly into two groups: the managers and the managed. This is curious because most managers start off as being managed, but as soon as they cross the boundary to become managers they are supposed to need only the skills for managing others - as if by magic they acquired the skills for managing themselves. This is curious because managers recount that the skills of managing others are only half the battle: the other half is dealing with a host of 'self-management' issues. Issues such as the frustration and irritability of seemingly intractable people, of managing competing 'top priorities', of just feeling 'tired by it all', of feeling unsupported and isolated, and just feeling they're not doing a good enough job.

This course takes the view that the skills of managing others and the skills of managing oneself are so closely intertwined that the most effective course of action is to address them in parallel. Hence, the mornings are spent in addressing powerful skills for managing others, and the afternoons are spent covering equally essential sills for managing yourself. By the end of the three days you have a package of mutually empowering skills to stand you in very good stead henceforth.

Who should attend?

This course is specifically for professionals who manage others, at whatever level. It is a course we bring to your organization so is automatically 'tailored' to your situation, so is for a team – or group – of managers all working within the same organization.

The course aims:

In 3-days you cover a great deal:

The programme for the mornings is as follows:

The programme for the afternoons is as follows:

Factor One: “If you don't like things the way they are, then do something different.” The 'something' might be at home or it might be at work, it might be doing more or it might be doing less, either way it is doing something different. It might be something 'routine' like learning how to prioritise better, or it might be like Chris who would wake up early each morning and worry about the day ahead. He had “too much work to do” he said. So by the time his wife woke and they both got up to have breakfast together he had already been lying awake for one and a half hours worrying about the day. This led to a pretty morose breakfast and a pretty sluggish start to the day. He decided to get up when he woke up and start on the work that he had to do that day. In his own words this “transformed” the situation; by the time breakfast came round he had already got off to a “flying start” and done one and a half hours of “good productive work”. He is more cheerful at breakfast and more upbeat right at the beginning of the working day. He didn't have to carry it on forever, but it enabled him to get through a difficult period in a way that made him feel good about himself rather than “stressed”.

The second factor is “biology” – the one that everybody knows all about. There are five sub headings to it:

The Biology section exemplifies the thrust of the whole course, namely that you can't separate out 'work' and 'home' life. If you get little exercise, don't eat properly, maybe drink a bit too much in the evening, go to bed a bit late and so on, it's not surprising that you feel 'stressed out', and that feeling isn't confined to work.

Factor Three: The Environment. At one time, consideration of the environment was the province of specifically far eastern disciplines such as Feng Shui but many of the environmental factors are much more basic and far reaching than often supposed. The great thing about improving environmental factors is that they automatically influence those in the environment - they carry energising and stress-reducing messages subtly and in a way that people welcome. What is more they are not normally expensive to do and many individuals can influence their own personal environment and that of those around them.

Factor Four: Social Factors. The case of Ed who worked in a group of six people and was the most disagreeable, sullen and unwilling individual you could ever wish to find. He acquired a reputation for being like that and any person who wanted to ask him about work he should have done had to key themselves up – to grit their teeth – before doing so, such was his response. Others would give work to any of the other five if they could. Strange then, that he managed to find a job in a different setting and even stranger that he enjoyed a personality transformation when he moved. Indeed, when one of his new colleagues bumped into one of his old colleagues socially and started talking about Ed, they couldn't believe they were discussing the same man. And yet it wasn't that Ed had suddenly started doing things differently, or started sleeping better, or was drinking less, the explanation was that there had been a personality clash between Ed and one of the others, and this had contaminated him in every other interaction. The stress for all concerned was abominable, and he did well to leave and transform himself. We look at these and other such issues, and specifically, how to resolve them.

Factor Five: Thinking Style. Have you ever met anybody at work who, whilst not really having a particularly stressful job, sees it that way and, no matter what you do for them it simply isn't enough? Sometimes even, the more you do the worse things seem to get! This is the person who just seems unable to tolerate any form of “stress” and even if you did find them a zero-stress job – if one were ever to exist – you know full well that that person would then complain of being 'bored'. The problem lies not in the situation around the person, but within the person themselves. That is what this section is all about, giving us all a better way of looking at things regardless of whether things are going well or badly just now. We highlight the mistakes and pitfalls that people make (inside their heads normally) and show how to avoid those pitfalls. It is a very interesting session, probably the most 'psychological' of the five, and an important one too. But in truth no more or no less important than any other pieces of the jigsaw. All of the pieces fit together to make a powerful 'whole' to benefit the person at work – and at home too.

What this course will do for you:

What you receive as a result of attending the training:

You will be registered as having attended the course, thereby gaining APT's Level 1 accreditation, and receive a certificate to this effect. The accreditation gives you access to online resources associated with the course and access to the online exam if you wish to uprate your APT accreditation to Level 2.

Your registration lasts indefinitely, and your accreditation lasts for 3 years and is renewable by sitting an online refresher which also upgrades your accreditation to APT Level 2 if you are successful in the associated online exam.

Your accreditation is given value by the fact of over 150,000 people having attended APT training. See APT accreditation for full details.

Booking this training is easy...

Booking Options...

 for teams and organizations

 for individuals or small groups

For teams and organizations:

Option 1: Face-to-Face Onsite course:

We bring the course and tutor to you, for an all-inclusive fee.

Price: $12,400 (plus tutor travel and accommodation expenses) for a group of up to 15 people. Extra delegates: $810 per person. 

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Option 2: Online Live and Exclusive course:

Live and interactive online course, delivered via Zoom or Teams* exclusively for your team or organization.

Price: $7,760* for a group of up to 15 people (price includes a workbook for every delegate, posted to one address, or a PDF version can be provided). Extra delegates $510 per person. 

*We standardly deliver courses via Zoom (which is recommended). If you would prefer to use Microsoft Teams, there is an additional charge of $160 CAD per day.

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Option 3: 'Train the Trainer':

If you or a colleague are a senior professional (e.g. consultant psychologist) and have a talent for communication and teaching, then you are welcome to apply to become an APT-accredited tutor. You could then tutor the course - or your chosen modules from it - in your own organization, under license.

This is not only a highly appropriate use of senior professionals, but it also saves your organization the tutor-component of the fee each time you run it or your chosen modules (50% of the 'Online Live and Exclusive' fee, regardless of whether the course is held face-to-face or online).

To see the full benefits of this and to see whether you are eligible, click the button:

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For individuals or small groups:

This course is currently only available for teams/organizations. Please register your interest below if you want to attend this course as an individual and we will notify you when it becomes available.

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APT Accreditation

As a bona fide APT event, this course automatically has accreditation from The Association for Psychological Therapies. This means (i) that it contains the right amount of relevant information for its duration, and (ii) the information is presented in an engaging way, and in a way that will make it likely to be used after the course. APT verifies the accreditation by publishing the delegates' average ratings of relevance and presentation-quality for all its accredited courses. The accreditation is given value by over 150,000 professionals having attended APT courses.

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Feedback Ratings

Feedback Ratings.

We continuously monitor the quality of our training by obtaining feedback on the two key scales of relevance and presentation from every course delegate. Below are the average ratings for the last ten runnings of this course, which are updated periodically.


Presentation: 96%

Relevance: 93%

Written Feedback


APT prides itself on the feedback we receive about our courses. Below are just some of the great comments the Managing Difficult Colleagues - and Yourself!™ course has received.

"This has been one of the best managerial courses that I have attended, the course will benefit me on a daily basis, professionally and personally."

"Brilliant course, would sincerely recommend to anyone in a managerial capacity. Really made me think and truly believe I will be able to use many of the theories and techniques I have learnt on the course to benefit me in my on personal and professional life."

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