Having Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations come with the territory of leading and working with others, but most of us dread having them. Whether we need to deliver tough performance feedback to a direct report or address a sensitive topic with a co-worker, we look for reasons to avoid them. Or we see these conversations as confrontations and arm ourselves for battle. In short, they make us uncomfortable. And while they may never be our favorite part of the job, with a few key insights about yourself and some powerful tools and techniques, you CAN get a better outcome!

Learn what makes conversation crucial and the role of emotional intelligence. Find out how to rethink your thinking and get strategies for how to best have these important heart-to-hearts. Follow-up these strategies with role-playing and other activities in this highly interactive workshop intended to work with participants’ own examples of difficult conversations.

This course can be applied to the following certificates:
Business and Interpersonal Communication Certificate
Emerging Leaders Certificate


Lauren Pagenkopf

Lauren Pagenkopf

Great leaders never stop learning and growing. Driven by a desire to help leaders and organizations realize their potential, Lauren brings 25 years of broad business experience to her executive coaching and consulting practice, along with firsthand knowledge of today’s ... read more

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Discover your style under stress.
  • Reframe your mindset for a productive discussion.
  • Prepare for a real conversation you need to have.
  • Develop some basic tools to manage the conversation in the moment.

Course Outline/Topics

  • Identify situations and conversations that are difficult for you.
  • Learn to recognize the elements of a crucial conversation.
  • Identify your own style under stress.
  • Consider the impact of your own tendencies in a difficult conversation.
  • Explore the link to emotional intelligence.
  • Consider the benefits of different perspectives.

Start with recognizing your mindset and how to shift your thinking

  • Recognize your own story.
  • Work with the power of “AND.”
  • Articulate your desired outcome.
  • Look for shared purpose and mutual goals.

Plan for a real difficult conversation

  • What’s your concern?
  • State the facts.
  • Remove the assumptions.
  • Describe the impact.
  • What’s your expectation or request?
  • Create your scripts and practice.

Learn strategies and techniques to stay in the conversation

  • Make it safe.
  • Ask questions.
  • Build on areas of agreement.
  • Actively listen.
  • Define your terms.
  • Read the signs.

Practice and debrief on your approach to a difficult conversation

  • Identify opportunities to improve your outcomes after a difficult conversation.

Date: Tue-Wed, Oct 29-30, 2024

Delivery Method: Live Online

Time: 8:30am-Noon CT

Platform: Zoom

Instructor: Lauren Pagenkopf


$345 by Oct 14, 2024
$395 after Oct 14, 2024

CEUs: 0.7

Enrollment Limit: 22

Program Number: 5050-16173

Registration Deadline: Oct 27, 2024

Register Now


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