The BIFF Response® Method for High Conflict Communication

May 19, 2021

Just one of the many MCLEs available to family law attorneys who work with me.

As a divorce attorney, you’ve doubtlessly encountered many clients who are embroiled in unnecessary drama with their spouses. Most were probably the victim of the spouse’s theatrics, but every once in a while, the problem may have stemmed from your client’s toxic behaviors. Or maybe even their attorney’s.

If you’ve had to work directly with a high-conflict personality, you know it’s no fun. But did you also know there’s a proven method of defusing problem personalities before they explode into toxic emotional warfare?

Developed by Bill Eddy, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the High Conflict Institute, the method is called the BIFF Response® Method. This method will help you communicate with high-conflict people in all areas of your life in a way that allows you to deliver a clear message while reducing the likelihood of histrionic responses or threats.

And if your client is having trouble with a high-conflict spouse, you can teach your client this method and know that it will help them long after the divorce is final.

So, what is the BIFF Response Method?

Put simply, BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm.

  1. Keep communications BRIEF. Don’t write a 10-page letter saying how much you used to love the person or tell them how sorry you are that things didn’t work out. Stick to the facts of the case, and keep moving forward.
  2. Focus on the straight delivery of information. Don’t argue, opine, emote, or defend yourself. Just keep things INFORMATIVE.
  3. Be FRIENDLY. Use friendly greetings and closings in all of your written communications.
  4. Be FIRM and respectful in your response and, if possible, let your response end the conversation. Don’t be wishy-washy or let the high-conflict person control the conversation.

If you’re an attorney who attended the BIFF Response CLE with us, you know that in addition to learning the BIFF Responses and studying a series of sample scenarios, we also learned how to identify high-conflict people early on, how to understand the fears that drive their behaviors, and how to frame communications to those people using “EAR” responses that alleviate the triggering fears and help to create an environment of effective communication.

If you’d like to see the replay of The BIFF Response Method for High-Conflict Communication or join us for FREE during the next monthly MCLE, please send me a message. I’ll respond with your complimentary discount code and invitation, and you can start learning right away!


Shannon Rose
DRE# 01422955
Los Gatos, CA


DRE #01422955

DRE #01526679

16780 LARK AVE.

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