enquiries@rodlaird.co.uk »
Freephone 0800 612 0910
Freefax 0800 612 0920
Now taking bookings
Bookmark and Share

How to use body language to defuse difficult situations in residents meetings (12 Jun 18)

It’s a nightmare – and it’s your nightmare

Your community meeting goes off the rails and people become very difficult. How can you stop it ever happening? And what do you do if it does?

Here’s the scene.

You’re running a meeting ….and before you know it you have something that’s rapidly going out of your control:

• A crowded room, aggressive behaviour, bad language and unreasonable responses
• So many opposing views that you can’t get decisions made
• People not contributing when you are trying to get their views
• People not shutting up, heckling and constantly going off at a tangent
• People rambling and bringing up personal views 
• People under the influence of drink or drugs being disruptive
• The agenda is overrun or just plain ignored

It may never happen, but what if it does? How could you have forestalled it? What should you do now?

And you know that this is what really can happen, though we all hope it doesn’t happen to us. When it does you feel isolated and don’t know where to turn. You probably want the floor to open up so you can simply vanish.

You can reduce the likelihood of these situations occurring though, and there are ways to handle them when they occur, which is why we are offering a new, very worthwhile in house workshop How to handle tricky residents meetings.

As you will see, there are many practical things you can do, before and during the meeting:

For instance you can minimise the possibility of catastrophe by knowing how to  use body language to defuse difficult situations.

 Keep movements gentle and free flowing
 Use open hand communication
 One hand communication best
 Do not smile
 Do not point
 Keep appropriate distance
 Use occasional head nods
 Establish eye contact without staring
 Breathe deeply and gently
 Offer alternatives not ultimatums

Well, How to handle tricky residents meetings is the ideal course to tell you how to avoid your meetings going off the rails – and help you do better.

Email me at rod@rodlaird.co.uk if you are interested in running this course in house. The price is fixed no matter how many people attend



Follow us on Twitter



Why not join the discussion!

Or even better still offer your own advice and tell us about things that others can learn from.

We moderate comments lightly so bear with us and we'll get your thoughts listed as soon as we can.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Not registered yet? Simply fill in the box below.

Forgotten your password?

Like to have access to this and hundreds of other articles like it? Register now!

Just pop your details in the form below, and you'll have full access to our library as well as receiving the free articles you have requested.

Research and evaluation
Resident involvement
Community involvement
Patient involvement
Communications & marketing
Equality and diversity
Community safety
All of these
Your work email

Already subscribed? Want to manage your account? »

Log in


Register now to benefit from hundreds of free hints, tips, articles and interviews

Your email address:

Contact us»

Latest Twitter updates

Want a course on this subject?