Managing difficult conversations

There is an aphorism that says: “one difficult conversation is far better than many that avoid the truth”. Renowned leader Sheryl Sandberg takes this one stage further, adding: “The amount of progress that we make is directly proportional to the number of hard conversations that we’re willing to have.”

We know we need to embrace tough interactions at work, and yet every single day we avoid them to some extent. This workshop will open you to the opportunities they represent.



90 minutes





“The training was so great, and I think exceptionally well-timed and well-topic’ed (that’s not a word, but oh well!) for this moment that we are in as a team. Everyone has been raving about the conversation, reflecting on moments that resonated with them particularly. I’m really eager to see where this leads the team in the coming months.”
Anna Helms
Director of Project Operations

This is session is especially pertinent for those who find themselves representing the practice in conversations with other project stakeholders, be they a challenging client; an unreliable collaborator; a litigious contractor; or an angry member of the public.

It will also help with in-house communications, smoothing relationships between colleagues wherever they sit in the practice hierarchy.

The general consensus is that the more our careers evolve, the more our an ability to manage ‘challenging’ situations becomes important (if not essential). 

And yet, many of us prioritise a huge list of other tasks before giving any time over to thinking or planning how we are going to approach those ‘difficult conversations’. In this workshop we will explore:

  • What do we actual do when the meeting/conversation/negotiation really hits the pinch? 
  • What do we say and how do we say it? 
  • What are the red flags to look out for? 
  • How do we respond to those red flags? 
  • How do we calibrate responses to all of these questions, given the diverse range of stakeholders we are dealing with every single day? 

These are important questions for any business, but are particularly important in our sector, where profit margins for many of our collaborators are tight, where aspirations can often be conflicting, where communication is often muddled and where emotions can run high. 

This 90-minute course will leave you better-positioned to answer these questions helping you come out of difficult conversations with solutions that benefit all stakeholders. 

And whilst the immediate target of this session is on managing difficult conversations at work, it will inevitably help when it comes to doing the same in your personal life, to boot!

This session has been designed as an interactive online workshop.

We like using Zoom but we are happy to use other platforms if preferred by our clients.

We recommend that the number of attendees is limited to between 8 and 12. This is so that we can engage with everyone and pick up questions, building on individual and team ideas as each session progresses.

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