One day workshop of how to manage challenging conversations.


This course gives people a practical approach to carrying out challenging or “difficult” conversations in an assertive and effective way.

The terms “challenging conversations” and “difficult conversations” refer to workplace conversations which are potentially highly emotionally charged where people have to manage both emotions and information in a sensitive way. These conversations might be with team members, other managers, customers or stakeholders. Leaders have to be able to deal with these situations in a professional way and not delay or avoid having conversations because of emotional difficulty. This course focuses on the practical steps leaders should take to obtain the best outcomes from these difficult conversations.


Manage challenging conversations
  • Situations where challenging conversations might arise with team members, other managers, customers and stakeholders
  • Overcome reluctance to engage in challenging conversations
  • Why you should take action as soon as possible
  • The stages involved in managing a challenging conversation
Research the issue and plan the conversation
  • Never engage without having your facts checked
  • What you need to research
  • Accuracy and validity
  • Understand different viewpoints
  • Be clear on the standards required in your organisation
  • Be clear on relevant policies and procedures in your organisation
  • Set objectives and plans for the conversation
Apply emotional intelligence
  • Value the importance of emotional intelligence in a challenging conversation
  • Understand and manage your own emotions
  • Understand and deal with, as far as appropriate, the emotions of the other party
Manage the conversation
  • Maintain control of the meeting
  • Focus on solutions rather than personalities
  • Ensure clear communication from both parties
  • Use focused listening and questioning skills
  • Guide the conversation towards positive outcomes and agreed actions
Follow up the conversation
  • Document discussions, agreements and outcomes
  • Take appropriate follow up action


  • Reduce the chance of a situation becoming out of control and escalating due to delay
  • Provide managers with a toolkit to help maintain the standard of required performance
  • Provide managers with a framework for manage challenging conversations confidently and professionally


  • 1 day In house course (short course or module in a training program) or
  • 3 session coaching program

Who is this course designed for?

This course is designed for managers and supervisors who may have to hold challenging conversations.

“Your success is based on how many uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have”

Tim Ferris