The workplace is full of challenging bosses, colleagues, and customers. There are traps for the unwary at every turn. Sensitive subjects and prickly personalities can challenge anyone. It really is a jungle out there! And it is critical to your career to learn how to deal with these difficult people and challenging situations.

“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin was able to successfully handle a wide range of creatures in the wild. What was the secret of his success? He did not expect them to change their nature. Instead, he approached each one on its own terms, seeking to understand and willing to be flexible. The same principles apply to the denizens of the Human Zoo!

When confronted with a challenging personality or situation, most people will either avoid, confront, or concede rather than engage constructively. This workshop will prepare you to respond intelligently rather than react emotionally. It will help you change your attitude and behavior, transform your relationships, and not waste time trying to change others.

In this intensive, one day workshop participants will gain the knowledge, skills, techniques, and attitude to successfully manage challenging people and relationships in the workplace and in their personal lives.

Course Objectives
  • Understand the basic principles of conflict resolution
  • Choose the right words and tone
  • Understand what is not being said
  • Create a work environment that minimizes the potential for conflict
  • Change your attitude and change the relationship
  • Identify four types of personality and how to communicate with each
  • Recognize three types of challenging people and how to deal with each type
  • How to work with a challenging boss
  • Identify and work with multipliers and diminishers
  • Learn strategies for dealing with other types of difficult and annoying people
  • Give praise and compliments easily
Course Outline


  • Rules of the Zoo: Principles of conflict resolution

If I Could Talk to the Animals

  • Choosing the right words: Lightning and lightning bugs
  • Tone it down
  • Toss backs
  • No buts
  • Ask don’t tell
  • The Pointed Why?
  • The Pygmalion Effect
  • Communicating without words
  • The essence of rapport

A Field Guide to the Birds: Dealing with Difficult Personalities and Styles

  • Identifying the Birds
  • Care and Feeding of the Birds
  • An Exercise in Acceptance

Dealing with Challenging People

  • Situational
  • Strategic
  • Intrinsic
  • Annoying

Care and Feeding of a Challenging Boss

  • The micromanager
  • The invisible man
  • The egomaniac
  • Multipliers vs. Diminishers

The Art of the Compliment

Who Should Attend

This workshop is suitable for anyone, but is especially useful for managers, supervisors, sales professionals, business development executives, lawyers, accounting and financial professionals, engineers and IT professionals, entrepreneurs, front line and customer service staff, and administrative staff.

Training Methodology

This highly engaging and practical workshop will utilise a series of presentation and discussion, case studies, as well as a variety of mixed-medias to ensure deep and impactful learning.


Trainer was interesting and knowledgeable. Engaging and thought provoking. I learnt something different and useful not covered in other similar courses, e.g., give everyone an “A”, “I am sorry, did I do something to upset you.” — Ooi Kooi Cheng, Librarian, Singapore Polytechnic

David breathes life into a topic which can be too theoretical. Makes it interesting by being interactive. Have acquired knowledge in some key learning points which help greatly in resolving conflicts at workplace. — Sandra Goh, Senior HR Manager, Crestar Education Group Pte Ltd

David is an awesome trainer! Engaging and clear on his delivery. — Sherry Oon, Fei Yue Community Services

Very good trainer who engaged the class and encouraged participation. Content of the course is very well communicated. – Jasmine Chow, Marketing Manager, Eurokars

David is affable, able to engage and approachable. Very knowledgeable and provides good role play and experiential activities. — Jeannie Tan, PA, Ministry of Manpower

Trainer is very knowledgeable and engaging, enthusiastic in what he does and he puts the message across well. — Lee Qian Yi, Horticulturist, Changi Airport Group Mr Goldwich is an excellent trainer. He makes the class very interesting and his case studies are very useful. — Evelyn Wong, Assistant Manager, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Trainer is knowledgeable and able to bring across theoretical concepts into practical usage. — Teng Kah Wee, Assistant Manager, Nanyang Polytechnic Very knowledgeable, fun and inspiring. Surely I would like to recommend the trainer. — Lin Wuzhong, Associate Program Director, Singapore University of Technology and Design


David Goldwich is a “reformed” lawyer who is committed to helping people get what they want by teaching them how to play the negotiation game and be assertive, compelling, persuasive communicators. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, USA, David has been living in Singapore and working throughout Asia since 1999.

David has MBA and JD degrees from accredited and respected bricks-and-mortar universities. He practiced law in the United States for more than ten years, arguing before judges and political, government, and community bodies. He knows how to persuade the toughest audiences. David is trained as a mediator and has managed small businesses as well.

Recognizing that lawyers perpetuate rather than solve problems, David began lecturing and training in 1995. He has taught at the tertiary level in the USA and in Singapore. As a trainer, David applies the “80/20 Rule” by identifying the few critical tools necessary for the greatest improvement and presenting them in a form that is easy to learn and simple to use. An engaging and award-winning speaker, David uses humor and stories culled from his own experience as a lawyer, businessman, and father to help people reach breakthrough changes in their personal and professional lives. David is the author of four books and numerous articles in his field of expertise.

Some of David’s recent projects in the region include Allianz Insurance Management Asia Pacific, American Express, Citibank, Caterpillar, Siemens, Singapore Technologies, Panalpina World Transport, BP, Shell, Petronas, Singapore Refining Company, Deutsche Bank, Amtek Engineering, BHP Billiton, Carl Zeiss, Cold Storage, Mitsui Chemicals, Chevron Phillips Chemicals, General Mills, Boston Scientific, Republic of Singapore Navy, Land Transport Authority, IRAS and Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Holiday Inn Atrium/ Holiday Inn Orchard/ Furama City Centre
06 Aug 2024


  9:00 am - 5:00 pm


1 Day


  S$500 (Nett)

Holiday Inn Atrium/ Holiday Inn Orchard/ Furama City Centre

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