Talking Points©

Tools, Tips, and Techniques for "Tough" Conversations

Class Summary

(based on last 3 sessions)

Today, more than ever before, it’s critical that you be able to engage in “tough” conversations—conversations that, for one reason or another, you or the other person consider a challenge. In this one-day program you’ll learn proven tools, tips, and techniques for effective communication in even the most “loaded” situation.

COM455 0.5 0.47
One 7-hour session
Laura Royal

Professionals at all levels will benefit from this program. (Note, if you are not already schooled in assertive communication, this is not the program for you. "Talking Points" covers advanced concepts and techniques.)

  • Increased confidence in your ability to handle even the toughest conversation.
  • Improved interpersonal relationships.
  • A more open, honest, and productive work environment.

By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Identify what makes a conversation “tough.”
  • Break down a tough conversation into manageable parts.
  • Move from a blame mindset to one of a problem-solving orientation.
  • Know when “letting go” is the best option.
  • Use phrases that make tough conversations easier.
  • Use a planning tool to help guide your conversations.
  • Conversations
    • What is a tough conversation?
    • How do you currently handle a tough conversation?
    • What needs to change to boost your skill level?
    • Moving from conversation to engagement
  • Getting ready
    • Your position and point of view
    • Identifying emotions and potential emotions
    • Identifying what’s at stake
  • Intentions
    • What do you want to accomplish?
    • The value of the problem-solving mindset
    • When and if to “talk”
  • Holding the conversation
    • Begin from the “outside”
    • Listening with curiosity
    • Powerful questions
    • Staying “centered” and avoiding pitfalls
  • Moving forward
    • Mission accomplished?
    • What to do if further action is needed
  • Tips for handling specific conversations
    • Giving bad news
    • “Do-overs”
    • Breaking the silence
  • Support tools for tough conversations
    • Assessing the safety of a situation
    • Keeping strong opinions from overwhelming a conversation
    • Managing your emotions through a tough conversation
  • Practice with case studies