Managing Difficult Conversations

Practical Strategies to Master Sensitive or Emotionally-Charged Dialogue

Whether you’re delivering bad news, giving a negative performance evaluation, challenging a colleague or client, objecting to additional workload, presenting options in the midst of a crisis, or simply letting people know that the direction on a certain project is changing —- communicating difficult subject matter can be an emotionally charged event. Understandably, many people would do anything to avoid that situation.

Yet avoiding difficult conversations or mishandling them can result in many negative consequences. This one-day workshop is designed to help you approach difficult conversations with confidence, and manage them skillfully so that feelings are spared and the organization’s best interests are kept front and centre.

This workshop is offered within organizations for groups of 5 people or more.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this seminar, you will be able to:

• Move from an adversarial to a collaborative approach in conflict resolution
• Initiate and conduct skilled conversations leading to behavioural change
• Understand and manage their reactive emotions during on-job encounters
• Identify and alter unproductive conversational habits from reaction to response
• Use calming communication skills to bring upset people to the point of reason
• Use persuasion and negotiating skills effectively
• Develop positive language patterns
• Conduct and survive difficult problem-solving discussions
• Manage the dynamics of effective problem-solving, one-on-one interviews

Workshop Topics

The Right Mindset
• Deciding to act
• Comfort zones
• Head tapes
• The right sub-personality

Preparing for a Difficult Conversation
• Clear objectives
• Emotional bank accounts
• Style and tone
• Transactional Analysis

Creating the Right Atmosphere
• The first few minutes
• Our default style
• Conflict management styles
• Opening lines
• Practical issues

Increasing Your Impact
• Body language
• Getting it on the table
• Agreeing on the issue / problem
• Key interpersonal skills

Coping with Criticism
• Fight or flee response
• Controlling your response
• Controlling your emotional brain

Giving Unwelcome Messages
• Four stages of the conversation
• Managing expectations
• Asking someone to change behaviour
• Avoiding the blame game

Expressing Strong Feelings
• Preparation and objectives
• Different viewpoints
• Clarifying your feelings
• Minding your own business

Who Should Attend This Course?

Anyone who wants to develop skills to approach difficult conversations with confidence.

For more information on this workshop, please contact:
Sophie Gouédard
Tel: 613-234-2020, ext. 21

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