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Short courses

Managing Difficult Conversations

Subject Area
Business & Professional Short Courses
Study Mode
Full cost
Next Start Date
7th February 2025

This course is suitable for managers or supervisors who would like to improve their skills and take the fear out of difficult conversations.

In the workplace you will sometimes have to have conversations about difficult topics. We might avoid having these conversations because of previous experiences where the person became upset and emotional, cried or got angry.

Learning how to talk about difficult subjects effectively, learning how to manage yourself and the situation professionally and compassionately, gives you the skills to address issues and maintain your working relationships.

The training is delivered face to face with a mix of taught input, theories and models using discussions, exercises and self-directed learning to guide you through the content.

This course is delivered over 1 day from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Topics covered will include:


  • Examples of difficult conversations.
  • What makes them hard?
  • What impact does that have?

Preparing for a Conversation

  • Reframing the context – link between negative beliefs and negative state
  • Check your own emotional state – resourceful and unresourceful states
  • Plan what you are going to say – ditch scripts
  • Know your facts, know your options, have information ready and to hand
  • Allow adequate time and space – location and time pressure have impact

During the Conversation

  • Clear is Kind – prevarication and avoidance help no one
  • Acknowledge their perspective – perception is reality, understanding others maps of the world
  • Practice Compassion and Empathy – it will not change the facts but it will strengthen the relationship
  • Listen – the conversation isn’t about you
  • Win/Win – strategies for identifying alternate wins
  • Stay in control – breathe and remember that while the upset might be directed at you, it’s not about you.
  • End well – finish and plan for follow up

After the Conversation

  • Take a break – get 10 minutes fresh air, break state
  • Do what you say you will – schedule in follow up activities.
  • Reflect – reflect on what worked and what didn’t.
  • Honesty and transparency – if you need to go back and apologise, do it.


  • Opportunity to run through scenarios and practice concepts and techniques.

Next Course Dates

Next Course Start Dates -


Further Information and Booking

If you're interested in this course, please contact us:

Business Partnerships, York College, Sim Balk Lane, York, YO23 2BB
Tel: 01904 770368 option 1

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