For 6 to 20 participants at your place of business

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Today’s workplace is characterized by high levels of expectation from both internal and external customers; competition for resources is fierce; time frames to meet business goals are shrinking; and often a preoccupation with “my needs” prevails.

And leaders, team leaders, service providers, project team members, and others are finding their ability to get the job done hampered by counterproductive behaviors and sometimes dysfunctional conflict.

This workshop provides an opportunity for individuals and teams to learn and practice powerful new strategies for dealing with tough topics, sharing difficult information, managing interpersonal conflict, and influencing situations toward mutually beneficial outcomes. In addition, participants will receive specific feedback from their peers and the facilitator throughout the workshop.


  • Leaders, managers, project managers, buyers, sales personnel, team members, service providers
  • Anyone who interacts with others inside or outside their organization


  • Change difficult conversations from verbal battles or silent resentment to “learning conversations”
  • Follow a specific “roadmap” to prepare for a difficult conversation
  • Use conflict resolution strategies based on a joint problem-solving approach
  • Use “generous listening” to seek understanding
  • Find constructive ways to surface and deal respectfully with feelings
  • Recognize and adapt their approach to different communication styles
  • Use “straight talk” to communicate difficult messages without creating an adversary
  • Deal effectively with the stress and pressure of difficult conversations


Understanding difficult conversations

  • Recognizing the 3 key elements of a difficult conversation


  • Following a “roadmap” to prepare for a difficult conversation
  • Seeing from their perspective — using a “role reversal” technique

Critical Communication Skills for Having a Difficult Conversation

  • Making communication a 2-stage process
  • Applying “generous listening” skills
  • Learning key questioning techniques
  • Using “straight talk” to communicate difficult messages without being adversarial
  • Recognizing and responding to feelings as well as facts
  • Recognizing and addressing cross gender/cross cultural communication issues

Conflict Resolution Strategies and Tactics

  • Recognizing, understanding, and articulating needs
  • Dealing with the stress and pressure of a difficult conversation
  • Recognizing and neutralizing counter-productive behaviors
  • Turning adversarial conversations into learning conversations

Communication Styles

  • Recognizing and responding to 4 different communication approaches
  • Understanding the implications for your own personal style
  • Recognizing and leveraging your communication strengths
  • Adapting your style to different situations

Exercising Influence

  • Influencing others to listen to and understand your needs
  • Using alternative influence strategies and appreciating their implications
  • Recognizing and drawing on all your sources of power and influence
  • Creating an action plan for personal effectiveness


Participants are encouraged to test and try new approaches, gain specific personal feedback and evaluate personal strengths. Case studies along with participants’ own specific challenges will be used to stimulate a real world practice environment.

Pre-Work: Participants will be required to bring a “personal difficult conversation challenge” to the workshop in addition to completing a pre-reading assignment and Communication Effectiveness and Learning Style questionnaires.

Note: There is an additional charge per participant for assessment tools.


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Course Code: CSG901