Difficult Conversations

“A difficult conversation is still a conversation. Don’t lose sight of the person behind the problem. Treat this as a dialogue with the aim of finding a mutually agreeable resolution.”

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Difficult, challenging and unexpected conversations are a part of everyday working, whether it’s with managers, customers, colleagues, or team members. Be it managing an employee with absence concerns, discussing issues relating to organisational change, managing performance, communication or handling ill-health, these situations must be given due care and consideration.

This workshop provides added theory and practical solutions to help you to develop coping and management strategies to control yourself and the situation, and better manage a difficult conversation for greater benefit to you and all parties concerned.

Key outcomes

  • Identify what makes a conversation challenging/difficult and consider tools to overcome these difficulties
  • Reflect on the impact of not properly addressing an issue
  • Practice assessing situations and choosing the appropriate approach
  •  An increased awareness of your own strengths and areas for development
  • Create your own personal Action Plan to apply your learning in the workplace.

How will this Workshop be Presented?

This workshop combines theory and practice. We use company examples to illustrate how the techniques presented have been applied in real case studies. The purpose is to use a mix of proven learning techniques to ensure maximum understanding, comprehension and retention of the information presented.

The Course Content

  • The reasons behind difficult conversations
  • What are the “ingredients” of a difficult conversation?
  • Types of difficult conversations
  • What are the barriers to effective conversation?
  • The models that influence and help
  • Change curve
  • Stress curve
  • Leadership/management continuum
  • Understanding and developing Emotional Intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Assertiveness
  • Resilience
  • Difficult conversations: the approaches
  • Attitudes/go & no-go areas
  • The place of silence
  • The use of body language
  • Coaching conversations: selling not telling; talking up not down
  • The place of objective setting: outcomes to be realised – win/win

Aimed as a “refresher” for those who have been on the course when it was previously delivered as a half-day session, this summarises the key points from the schedule above and develops these through an inter-active and reflective workshop.

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