Handling Difficult Conversations Training
Handling Difficult Conversations Training gives you the strategies and ideas you need to develop confidence

Handling Difficult Conversations Training from ITD is practical and everything good training should be. It helps managers, team leaders and project managers better prepare, deliver and follow up on challenging situations. Our handling difficult conversations training covers all the key aspects from early identification of a situation before it gets more challenging, how to approach the conversation, what to say and how to follow up.

Handing difficult conversations training

The ITD approach to handling difficult conversations training is a blend of training and coaching to help the participants develop their style and confidence. We work on their challenging situations and those they might expect, plus we cover a few others which they may well come across. This approach helps them to try new ways and new skills in a comfortable learning environment, where they are never told what to do, just given suggestions and ideas.

Typical participant challenges

  • “I have a piece of work ideally suited to one of my guys, but I don’t want the others to feel angry that they have not been given this piece.”
  • “One person I work with who is at the same level as me keeps undermining me in meetings, and I need to put a stop to it, because it’s driving me nuts.”
  • “My boss sometimes comes out with something which I know is wrong, but how to I correct him, as he’s much more senior to me?”
  • “I need to give feedback to one of my team who thinks they are really good, but in fact their work is not up to scratch.”

Pre-workshop activity

  • Participants are sent the training agenda, plus a short one pager asking them to describe their difficult situations.

Training agenda

  • What are difficult conversations
  • What makes them difficult?
  • Difficult for who?
  • What might happen?
  • What might happen if we don’t say anything?
  • Assertiveness in the context of these situations
  • the role of personality in our approach to handling difficult situations.
  • Giving feedback positively.
  • Feedback on sensitive issues such as, personal hygiene, style and clothing, and communication.

Post workshop activity

  • Participants are sent their actions from the workshop plus blog posts to reinforce their learning.

Training outcomes

  • The role of their personality in handling difficult conversations
  • How to approach any difficult conversation
  • How to give feedback

Handling Difficult Conversations Training Case study

This medium sized law firm has associates and senior lawyers who have direct and dotted line reports requiring managing.

These are good lawyers who know their stuff but who are new to managing people. They may or may not be the supervising lawyer, but wither way they need to be able to give feedback and handle difficult conversations.

Their need was for a practical workshop which would help them with the every day difficult conversations they face. This might be in giving feedback, discussing performance or in mismatched expectations on a wide variety of subjects. It also needed to cover how to approach such conversations with more senior lawyers.

  • Introductions and objectives
  • Challenging conversations
  • What makes them challenging
  • The role of personality
  • How to approach and challenging conversation – your plan
  • Practice – role play
  • Assessing their likely reaction
  • Follow up
  • Giving feedback in the context of overall performance
  • “I thought this was a very useful session. It was tailored to us, we could discuss our issues and it really helped me to assess what I do now and what I need to do differently.”
  • “I need to say something sooner and not let situations fester. It’s sometimes difficult saying something to colleagues who are much older and who have been in the firm for many years. But now I know what to do.”

“Great feedback from the fee earners.”

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