Difficult Conversations

Online workshop aims

There are many reasons why, as managers, we need to have difficult conversations with our people, for example:

checking in with a team member who seems disconnected from the team

  • leading a discussion about necessary workplace or role changes affecting your team when you don’t yet have all the answers

  • telling a hard-working colleague they are at risk of redundancy.

When someone says ‘I need to have a difficult conversation with X, we first need to explore what they mean by difficult. As human beings we all find different things uncomfortable, challenging, even scary; yet fudging or avoiding essential conversations now is likely to lead to misunderstanding and potentially anger, upset or even a tribunal later on. In addition managers may now be required to have these conversations by telephone or video call, rather than face to face, making the process more stressful.

This workshop is designed to help managers to prepare, plan and execute any sort of conversation with a colleague, team member, customer or partner and work towards the best possible outcome for all concerned.

This workshop can be classroom-based or delivered virtually as a series of 4 instructor-led webinars. It includes pre- and post-workshop support designed to bridge the gap between learning and applying skills in the workplace.

Webinar 1: Let’s explore ‘difficult’

  • Setting context and agreeing key objectives

  • What makes something difficult?
    −     What are our fears?
    −     What could happen?
    −     Past experiences?

  • Start at the beginning: Purpose of the conversation

  • Practical exercise – 5WH

Webinar 2: Planning the conversation

  • Understanding our Identity of Self and its impact

  • Desired outcome of the conversation

  • How to prepare for the meeting

  • Setting measures/expectations for the meeting

  • 7-Step Process – preparation

  • Communication Channel

Webinar 3: Best/worst case scenario planning

  • Johari Window – understanding myself and my impact on others

  • How to be persuasive – The 5-Step Wedge

  • Communication Channel – the how and what of the message

  • Dynamic listening – practical exercise

Webinar 4: Q&A and next steps

  • What fears do you still have?

  • 5 key communication strategies

  • Post-conversation review

  • Coaching circles: getting help with your difficult conversations

  • Action plans and next steps