Managing Difficult Colleagues



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Pick the right communication strategy for the right person at the right time.

Difficult colleagues come in many forms:

  • A colleague who hijacks a meeting by dominating the conversation
  • A leader who is overly critical of others’ ideas
  • A project team member who leaves the work for you or takes credit for your work

Confronting these difficult colleagues can feel overwhelming. How will they react? Will they hold a grudge? How do you manage authority?

Join us online and learn how to communicate with and influence your difficult colleagues. You’ll learn how to target specific strategies to seven unique personality types, and you’ll leave with advice on how to respond in the moment and afterwards.

Who Should Attend

This webcast is ideal for those in administrative positions outside of academic departments who need strategies for communicating with difficult colleagues.

If you’re interested in examples around how to manage difficult faculty, check out our Managing Difficult Faculty webcast.


1) 7 Types of Difficult Colleagues
You’ll gain a better understanding of the motivations for the following difficult personalities:

  • Nostalgiast - References how things were done in the past
  • Dominator – Cuts people off and doesn’t listen
  • Terminator – Harshly criticizes others’ ideas
  • Credit Hog – Takes credit for the work you did
  • Flake – Doesn't honor commitments
  • Fomenter - Purposely creates worry and distress
  • Backstabber - Supports you privately, but throws you under the bus publicly

2) Strategies to Influence Difficult Colleagues
You’ll learn strategies for how to communicate and influence each personality type, including:

  • What to do when people are interrupting you
  • What to do if you’re a bystander or you don’t want to confront the colleague in the moment


Allison M. Vaillancourt, PhD

CEO, Vaillancourt Strategy Group

Allison M. Vaillancourt Ph.D. is an organizational strategy consultant, national speaker, and executive coach with more than 30 years of higher education experience. Most recently, she was Vice President of Business Affairs & Human Resources at the University of Arizona where she also held faculty appointments in the UA School of Government and Public Policy and the Honors College. Under her guidance, the University of Arizona was nationally recognized for building a community of leaders, reducing administrative complexity, and creating an inclusive organizational culture. Read Allison's full bio here.


Questions About the Event? Email this event's Program Manager, Lisa Lafflam.



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