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ďI wanted to increase my skill levels in dealing with difficult discussions both at work and personally and this was a very good, very informative workshop with some very good and useful tips. Bill presented the topic very well and kept everyone engaged and focused." Helen McKenzie, Mackay Hospital & Health Service

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ďThe seminar worked for me and was really good for awareness-raising. And interesting to think about what you are like in a Difficult Discussion and analyse this. Now I understand my own reaction to verbal attacks a lot better. Great work Bill - and your experience made it even better!Ē  Bergita Shannon QUT


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Dealing with Difficult Discussions

Building Conversational Confidence

Background Reading

Issues #2, #11


Tackling Tough Talks


Tackling Tough Talks -- What this Program is About...

Difficult discussions are part and parcel of organisation life Ė whether itís resolving differences with customers and clients, handling conflict constructively in a team or navigating successfully through touchy situations, all leaders need to learn how to deal with them better.

Contentious conversations create chaos, conflict and distract from work-focus. Poorly handled or avoided, they erode work relationships. Trust deteriorates, misunderstandings multiply, productivity plummets and before you know it, your teamís turned toxic. Work out whatís really going on when talks get tense and feelings get fractious.

This one-day fast-track version of our long-running 2-day Dealing with Difficult Discussions clinic, takes people through a practical, step-by-step process to prepare for, practise and improve the conversations they find most troublesome and challenging. It gives an overview of our unique 7-stage model and shows you a selection of practical tools and approaches to improve those conversations you find most contentious or confronting so you can resolve conflict more constructively.

You'll take-away our full 100-page self-coaching guide loaded with easy-to-use tools and tips to tackle troublesome topics more confidently. And learn how to:


Start a difficult discussion and raise hard topics more easily


Use a 7-stage model to plan and structure difficult discussions


Identify & correct handling mistakes we make in them


Dissect differences, comparing stories & defuse difficulties


Handle hostility and deal with disruptive emotions


Adopt a less confrontational way to resolve difficult issues


Reduce tension & take the heat out of difficult moments


Practise selected tools to handle difficult discussions better


What are you like in tough talk situations?

Try our short Difficult Discussions Quiz to see whether this clinic (or our full 2-day program) might be beneficial for you..


Is this right for you?

This fast-track version of our full 2-day Dealing with Difficult Discussions clinic will benefit leaders or team members who donít have time or canít get away to a 2-day program but still want to get a good grounding in the basics of handling difficult situations. It will also benefit those who want a refresher on the general principles of dealing with difficult discussions Ė managers, team leaders, committee members, project leaders, customer relations officers, community groups, teachers, facilitators, trainers...      


8 Review or download course outline  PDF  

8 See our current Schedule of Public Programs for dates and locations of upcoming clinics near you.  Scheduled Dates

8 Register On-Line   or Enquire about an In-House clinic for your team 

8 Full 2-Day program  Dealling with Difficult Discussions  recommended where time and budget allows

8 For a specific focus on difficult performance review situations, see our Difficult Discussions master class - Positive Performance Conversations

8 Read more in our conversation FactFiles, Articles and Newsletter back-issues

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