Practice Area

Management and Leadership

Mastering Critical Conversations

  • Traditional Classroom: ½-day
  • Virtual Instructor-led: One 4-hour session; Two 2-hour sessions; One 3-hour session

As we become more comfortable working in virtual environments, we now need to make sure we are adapting our interactions for the challenges that virtual platforms and distance work can bring. This course tackles a challenge both in virtual and face-to-face interactions: difficult conversations. We’ll look at ways to build confidence and capabilities with regard to having successful “challenging” conversations at work. The skills learned and practiced in this course can be applied in person as well as virtually to successfully navigate sensitive situations and critical communications in the workplace.

Target Audience

This course is designed for anyone at any level who wants to enhance their communication skills around challenging conversations.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice active listening techniques in a real-life scenario.
  • Distinguish between functional and dysfunctional conflict.
  • Articulate the importance of choice and control in mitigating a conflict response.
  • Leverage various techniques to re-establish emotional equilibrium.
  • Utilize a five-step model for navigating successful conversations.

Course Outline

  • What Is a Challenging Conversation?
  • Five-Step Model for Challenging Conversations
    • Outcome
    • Intention
    • Facts
    • Perspective
    • Solution
Communicating Effectively
  • Communication Goals
  • Requirements of Effective Communication
  • Group Discussion: Communication Filters
Productive Conversation Mindset
  • Productive Mindset = Outcome Thinking
  • Individual Activity: Identify a Challenging Conversation
Listening to Understand
  • Class Activity: Listening Skills Spectrograms
  • Three Levels of Listening
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Components of Effective Listening
  • Paired Activity: Listening Actively
Asking Questions
  • Powerful Question Types
  • Closed Versus Open Questions
  • Use “I” Statements
Conflict Basics
  • Group Activity: How Do You React to Conflict
  • Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict
  • Responses to Conflict: Silence to “Violence” Spectrum
  • Class Activity: Emotional Response Spectrogram
  • Class Activity: Getting to Neutral
The Anatomy of Conflict
  • Emotions: An Evolutionary Perspective
  • Strategies for Emotional Hijacking
Challenging Conversation Role-Play
  • Review the Five-Step Model
  • Revisit Your Individual Challenging Conversation
  • Paired Activity: Challenging Conversation Role-Play
Wrap-Up and Action Planning

MDV4008b Course Code

For more information on this topic, as well as how Corporate Education Group can help power your organization’s performance, contact us via email or call 1.800.288.7246 (US only) or +1.978.649.8200. You can also use our Information Request Form!

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