High conflict people at work

“How do I work with someone who is a bully? Or, who is high conflict?”

To help with this question, one of the resources I recommend to both clients and friends is the approach to high conflict people by Bill Eddy in his book “BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People”.

Brief. Informative. Friendly. Firm.

  • Brief: Keep it short.
  • Informative: Provide only the relevant data / information. Keep it factual (no opinions).
  • Friendly:  Maintain decorum.
  • Firm:  Be clear and direct.

This approach is effective. Yet, it can take some practice because it requires a person to: 

  1. Recognize that at least one of their hot buttons has been pushed (and set it aside). 
  2. Focus on the core content of what the other person is trying to convey while ignoring the peripheral messages, which often includes tone and direct / implied personal attacks.


P.S. Look for examples of this approach in additional posts this week.

For a full explanation of using these principles, please check out Bill Eddy’s book:  https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/bookstores/biff