How To Deal With Difficult People | Scripts for Crucial Conversations

How To Deal With Difficult People | Scripts for Crucial Conversations: Effective Communication Skills Videos

You have to deliver difficult messages from time to time and need the words?  Communication skills coach Dan O'Connor will give you tips for excellent communication under difficult conversation circumstances.

Perhaps you are a manager, and need to issue directives in person.  Perhaps you are in administration and need to advise someone who just won't follow policies.  Perhaps it is as simple as employees who are coming in late, and you have a few difficult messages to deliver.  You want to be effective.  You want to communicate the message without having anyone shoot the messenger or ignore the message--or be offended by your delivery of it.  You want to be clearly understood.  This script will help you and you can use it time and time again.  You need a lead-in line, which Dan will give you, and likewise a closing line, which Dan will give you, for use on either side of the A E I O U script--the five parts necessary to the message you are about to deliver.

Keep your message short, sweet an specific.


E-Effect of Actions

I--What I want

O-Or else--

U--You'll get (benefit statement)

So--here are the words:

Jane, I'm frustrated (lead-in line). Last Tuesday you came in at 9:15--15 minutes late (Jane's action), which meant your colleagues had to do your job until you arrived (effect of Jane's actions).  I need for you to be at your desk by 9:00 (what I want from Jane), or things such as this can be a stain on your reputation when you come up for evaluation (or else--Jane's consequences).  You'll receive much more appreciation from your co-workers when you arrive at 9:00 (benefit--to Jane--statement ).  Can I count on you to do that going forward?? (closing line)

Of course you fill in the AEIOU as appropriate.  You fill it in with the words with which you are comfortable speaking to the personality in question.  The words will vary, but the AEIOU elements should always remain in place.

Whatever the situation, communication skills coach Dan O'Connor can help you find the words--not useless theory--to make you an effective, polished communicator.  Dan's professional communication training online is legendary, and this video is one small sample.  For more such training, go to Dan's website--links below.


Contact Dan through to bring him into your organization to deliver a keynote or training.  And if you want to look over his free resources and premium content, go to and press the "store" button.

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