You scored the highest rating of any speaker at our conference. We definitely want you back!
— CIO Executive Programs, Cynthis Mollus


How to Bring Out the Best in Difficult People at Their Worst

From the Author and Speaker that literally wrote the book on it which has been translated into 25 languages and used in college MBA courses.

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Conscious Communication® is based on the belief that good communication skills are the foundation of relationships and the lifeblood of effective leadership, teamwork, and organizational performance. Successful leadership and organizational productivity are a direct result of the ability to communicate effectively whether in a supervisory, team member or service personnel role.

Just as some people bring out your best and other people bring out your worst, you can bring out the best in other people at their worst. It’s simply a matter of understanding where they are coming from and what is likely to work best with them. In a dynamic and entertaining manner, Dr. Rick’s message hits home with situations that people find themselves in every day, and empowers them with practical solutions.

What you say to people can produce defensiveness or trust, increase resistance or cooperation, promote conflict or understanding. Communication is like a phone number, we need all the digits to get through and we need them in the right order. When we don't pay attention to our communication and its effects on people, we often create difficult situations. By becoming a Conscious Communicator - having the skills and knowing the specific strategies to handle various problem behaviors - we empower ourselves to be successful in bringing out the best in people.

Dealing With People You Can’t Stand delivers:

  • Four choices you always have with people.
  • The Lens of Understanding, learn why do people act the way they do?
  • The top 10 stress behaviors, how they are created and what to do about them including: Whining, Negativity, Sniping, Tank attacks, Grenade Tantrums, Know-it-Alls, Think-They-Know-it-Alls, and passive Yes, Maybe and Nothing people.
  • How to avoid email misunderstandings and know when to bail on email in lieu of a more effective form of communication based on what needs to be communicated. 
  • How to give feedback in a way people can receive to make changes in their behavior.
  • Mastering your attitude, how to change your reactions to anybody and anything.

This is Dr. Rick’s most popular program.



It pairs perfectly as a general session keynote with a follow-up breakout session to expand on the keynote. It also pairs well with a breakout specifically on dealing with meetings. How to avoid all the problems at meetings to make them focused, balance participation, avoid tangents and prevent all the difficult behaviors. 

It is based on his best selling book, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at their Worst (Brinkman & Kirschner, McGraw-Hill, 1994, 2003) and his new book Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand, Meet Less and Do More (Brinkman, McGraw-Hill, 2017). 

Dr. Rick is happy to stay the whole day. Many of our clients offer Dr. Rick a table where he can sign books and interact with attendees to answer their questions. A book signing/Meet the Author offers a special event that compliments the program.

This program is available in keynote, breakout, half-day and full day sessions.

"On the way home from the seminar my wife called very agitated, distressed and began to tell me everything wrong in her life at that moment, part of which seemed to be me. I was able to employ the 'Grenade" techniques rather than becoming defensive as I normally would. Rather than coming home to WWIII, I boarded the Love Boat!“
Seminar Participant

“I attended Dr Rick's Dealing with Difficult People (Conscious Communication) seminar when I led a team of 7 IT managers, and it was so jam-packed with useful and do-able communication and problem-solving techniques that I immediately signed up my entire leadership team for Rick's very next session.

 During Rick's seminar, it seemed to me that nearly every word he spoke was a smack-my-forehead gem of wisdom.  When I returned to the office, I tried one of Rick's techniques on a particularly difficult leader of mine - and it worked!  My relationship with that formerly 'difficult person' changed for the better.

As time passed, I realized that I've taken over 25 courses involving communication and conflict resolution, but the skills from Rick's seminar were the ones that stuck with me.  Contrary to those other courses, where their books and notes just took up space on my bookshelf, I've used Rick's techniques almost every day since then - both at work AND at home.  And the bonus is that Rick's delivery of the material is so entertaining that it's genuinely riveting - and it sticks!”