Managing Difficult Conversations

There are often occasions when the message we need to deliver may not be a pleasant one, whether it’s telling someone that they are going to be made redundant, they’re not performing well, or they may have a sensitive personnel issue.  However, the most considerate thing to do is to make time to have the conversation sooner rather than later.  The longer it rattles around in your head, the harder it actually becomes.   The issue grows, the anticipation of the reaction becomes bleaker and in the end we have a conversation that goes one of two ways – it’s either confrontational or skirts over the actual issue.  In both scenarios the outcome is negative.  From the confrontational aspect you gain anger and disillusionment and from the ‘skirting’ you don’t get any change as the person is still unaware of the issue!

This workshop helps you to identify what makes a conversation difficult.  We establish what happens to you at the thought of having to have the conversation and the process that you need to go through to manage yourself first.  Although you will never welcome having to have these conversations, you will not steer away from them in the future!

Outline of the workshop

  • What constitutes a ‘difficult’ conversation
  • Why do you worry about having the conversation?
  • Managing your own anxiety
  • Techniques to help you stay in control
  • Communication tools that help you manage every aspect of the issue – topic, audience, timing
  • Forward thinking and next steps


  • To recognise what stops you having the conversation sooner rather than later
  • Understand the emotions that you may be experiencing
  • Maintaining positive regard for the other person at all times
  • To learn and practice the tools and techniques in a safe environment
  • To develop our thinking around stereo typical situations

Who should attend?

  • If the thought of having to have a conversation with someone about something that isn’t deemed as positive sends you into ‘procrastination’ mode, this is a workshop for you.