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Training Front Office Staff: Handling Difficult & Disruptive Behaviors


On-Demand Training

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Registration Fee: $425.00

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Training Front Office Staff: Handling Difficult & Disruptive Behaviors


A student shows up at your front desk yelling, crying, upset, frustrated, tearful, angry, overwhelmed, pushy, aggravated, annoyed, demanding, obnoxious, smelly, drunk, disoriented. What do you do?

Front office staff, like soldiers on the front lines of battle, is often placed in situations where they are nose-to-nose with students, faculty, and staff who are not at their best. They are asked to create a warm, caring, customer-service focused place for students, faculty, and staff to have their questions answered.

Problems occur from the Registrar to the Admissions office, from Residential Life to Advising, from Counseling to Testing. Students demand services from Parking and Transportation and often become frustrated with front-line service staff such as cashiers in dining services and financial aid tellers. People become upset with Student Affairs office staff and Academic Affairs.

This program will offer some practical advice on how to work with emotional and at-risk faculty, staff, and students who approach front office staff in person, on the phone, or through email in a disrespectful manner. The presenters will also discuss ways to create an office waiting room environment that will help reduce conflict and prevent problems before they start.


  • Learn how to address phone and Internet communications
  • Discuss how to create a safe, warm, and comfortable waiting room
  • Address how front office staff can receive support from listserv and professional groups
  • Discover how to use food and beverages to deescalate and calm
  • Be able to address problems specific to different areas, including:
  • Counseling and Testing, Residential life, Health Services, Admissions Office, Student Affairs Reception, Financial Aid, Registrar, Police Dispatch, Bookstore, Food Service, Library, Computer IT services, Athletics, Fitness Center, President's Office, Academic Affairs
  • Brainstorm ways to reduce conflict with someone who is potentially going to be a problem
  • Learn how to say no or redirect in a manner that doesn't escalate
  • Leave with strategies to create an office environment that supports students, faculty, and staff in crisis
  • Generate innovative, fun ideas to calm people who are stressed (popsicles, music, TV) and learn how to implement these approaches on their campus

Who Should Attend?

  • 2-year institutions & 4-year institutions
  • Academic Affairs/Instruction
  • Student Services/Affairs
  • Faculty (full & part-time)
  • All Student Services Staff
  • Anyone who works directly with students & parents