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Dealing with high-conflict individuals is part and parcel of the legal world. Having the skills to deal with them effectively without escalating the conflict can be invaluable.

Practice is the best way to get experience managing conversations with high-conflict people. But how do you get that practice when your brain’s response moves into fight or flight? Getting the proper training is where it all begins.

In this episode of Great Practice, Great Life®, Megan Hunter, co-founder of the High Conflict Institute, returns to her conversation with Steve on dealing with high-conflict people in your life. As a conflict expert, she coaches and speaks about de-escalating conflict.

You’ll hear Megan’s three strategies to handle conflict, her personal experience with a high-conflict attorney, and some acronyms to remember to help you stay on track in an emotional moment. She also explains why setting limits with high-conflict individuals is crucial to managing disagreements.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Why dealing with high-conflict people requires having a lot of structure, policies, and clear expectations
  • Megan Hunter’s personal experience with a high-conflict person and how she dealt with it
  • How to use an EAR statement (Empathy, Attention, and Respect) in a moment of conflict
  • Why the interaction with a high-conflict person has to be about them at that moment
  • What to understand about high-conflict individuals to have more empathy for them
  • What a BIFF (brief, informative, friendly, and firm) statement is and how to use it when dealing with high-conflict people in writing
  • The importance of setting limits with high-conflict individuals

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Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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