Managing Difficult Conversations

Course Overview:

The ability to handle difficult conversations is an essential part of effective leadership and management.

It is widely recognised that the most influential form of communication is on a one-to-one basis.

 Successfully managing conversations has many and varied benefits and can solve many problems.

However, research shows that many managers across many sectors find this aspect of their role very difficult and very challenging.

Imagine a scenario

A seasoned manager, let’s call her Emily, finds herself at a crossroads with a team member over a recurring project delay. The conversation they need to have is challenging, the stakes are high, and the emotions are running higher. This is not a one-off scenario but a reflection of the myriad situations leaders and managers often encounter. The essence of effective leadership transcends beyond the conventional to embracing and navigating through these challenging dialogues.

The ripple effect of avoiding critical conversations can be detrimental, leading to unresolved issues, strained relationships, and a stifled organisational culture.

Through a blend of theoretical knowledge, practical strategies, and reflective exercises, participants will traverse the journey from apprehension to competence in holding critical conversations.

This programme will enable participants to improve self-confidence and develop the appropriate skills to competently engage in “fierce conversations.” 1

1.      Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations 2002

Aims and Objectives

1.      To improve self-confidence and competency in dealing with critical one-to-one conversations.

2.      To learn and develop a range of skills and techniques to effectively handle difficult conversations.


On completion of this module it is expected that you will be able to manage your individual conversations effectively and feel more calm, confident and more prepared in doing so.

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