Handling Difficult Conversations

1 Day

This is a one-day workshop designed to give participants the skills to handle difficult conversations in the workplace. This interactive session will give you the confidence to deal with workplace employment matters promptly and effectively, with less stress and anxiety.

In order to make the workshop as useful and realistic as possible, we ask that participants take a few minutes to complete a short pre-course preparation sheet, setting themselves some learning outcomes and outlining a couple of scenarios that they will work through with colleagues on the course.

The workshop is a mix of facilitator-led sessions, individual and group working and skills practice.


Workshop Objectives:

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the business case for handling performance issues promptly
  • List the skills you will need to handle the conversations effectively
  • Describe the preparation that will help ensure success
  • Identify a range of question types that will draw out information
  • Demonstrate effective questioning and listening skills
  • Describe strategies to avoid confrontation and encourage collaboration
  • Explain the importance of focusing on behaviours that can be changed to improve performance
  • Describe a range of techniques to keep the conversation solution-focused
  • Demonstrate how to lead a successful difficult conversation.

Workshop Content:

  • What makes a conversation “difficult”?
  • The business case for handling performance issues at an early stage
  • Which skills do I have - and which do I need?
  • Preparing for the conversation
  • Using questions to get to the root of the problem
  • Active listening to encourage openness
  • Maintaining a collaborative, problem-solving approach and avoiding confrontation
  • Separating personal issues from the workplace problem
  • Working together to identify and explore solutions
  • Skills practice to consolidate learning
  • Providing ongoing support to maintain performance and motivation.

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