Hard-to-have Conversations

Recommend course:


Courageous, difficult and hard-to-have conversations are where there are differing opinions, perceptions, and needs/wants; feelings and emotions run strong, and the consequences or stakes are significant. Whatever you call them we often will avoid or delay having them. And for some of us, we can't avoid them as we get to have them every day.

This course is for people who need to talk to individuals where sensitivity, tact, clarity and empathy are required.

Who should attend:

You should attend this course if you are a manager, leader, customer or client service professional or just need to develop the capability to have these types of conversations.

Learning objectives:

  • have a clear plan to approach difficult conversations
  • ask the right questions to get the information you need
  • clearly and concisely communicate important information
  • be assertive without tipping into aggression or passivity
  • say 'no' and still keep them listening
  • deal with difficult questions or comments effectively
  • manage challenging responses with dignity and respect
  • have greater self-awareness into your own communication style
  • adjust your communication style to suit the situation

Course outline:

  • Setting "Well-Formed" outcomes for each difficult conversation, and knowing when you've achieved those outcomes
  • The Q&A model - for gathering all the information you need and helping others feel heard
  • The Framework - planning and sharing the important information
  • Perceptual Positions - previewing all perspectives before beginning in order to understand each position more clearly
  • Building rapport - creating a climate of trust and facilitating more honest conversation
  • Personal resilience - tips and tricks to staying resourceful before, during and after tricky conversations
  • Attitude and Mindset - of respect, recognition, reassurance and responsibility.
  • Being assertive - the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive
  • The agreement frames - a strategy to redirect a person's argumentative energy rather than attempting to overcome it
  • Difficult questions or challenges - tips on handling these more easily; in a way that preserves your dignity and theirs

Course format:

This is a one-day interactive course. There will be lots opportunities to practice using the skills you are learning. There will be a minimum of six and maximum of 16 participants.


Trish Stonestreet or Carolin Phillips or Helen Wise 

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email: profdev@vuw.ac.nz

Customised workshops: 
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

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