Transform Your MOST Difficult Workplace Conversations

Address Conflict
Eliminate Stress
Be a Kind and Confident Leader

Who is this Program for?

This Program is for any workplace leader who want to be better at addressing difficult conversations collaboratively. The format is collegial, self-reflective and participatory, so the greater the mix of leaders, the richer the discussion.

If you work with people, chances are you are faced with tough conversations regularly. These days, with COVID, the necessity for intentional conversations has never been higher! Leaders tell us there is a great need to figure out how to speak with those who differ on the vaccine, masks and other imposed regulations.

No matter the content of the conversation, the challenges look the same. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • You bring up the topic and it doesn’t go well so you retreat, insist or avoid
  • You don’t know how to bring the topic up because you’re worried you will hurt feelings or sound heartless
  • When it’s time to say what you want, you seem to get tongue-tied and vague about what you are asking
  • You’re afraid the other person might blame you, cry or bad-mouth you if it doesn’t go well
  • You know there are going to be some intense feelings and you just don’t have the energy to deal with them again
  • You might say the wrong thing, in the wrong way and make things worse

These are all the real fears we've heard from people just like you in various positions of leadership. Whether working in the court system, education, health care, government, the corporate or tech world or in non-profits, these are the common concerns that stop people from having the conversations that matter.

Are you interested in the Program?

 Use the button below to contact us about upcoming opportunities!

Here’s what past participants love about the Program:

  • “I loved how the breakout sessions added something fun to the remote learning format – you never knew who was going to be in your breakout room!”
  • “This training filled gaps that have been missing for a long time and is having a direct effect on issues I have faced for a long time.”
  • “Thank you for teaching these sessions. It’s an important part of our job as managers, supervisors, and colleagues to have difficult conversations, therefore it is integral to have tools like these in our belts. These tools help organizations foster open, positive, respectful cultures.”
  • “The training was worthwhile and I feel more confident and skilled with engaging in difficult conversations.”
  • “The course is very relevant and an important topic for those in leadership positions. The skills taught support positive communication and problem solving.”
  • “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to take the course. I now have a clear sense and greater confidence of how to have a difficult conversation.”
  • “The role playing was really useful. The training was excellent!”

Gain confidence in your ability to make difficult conversations go better

By the end of this course, you will learn how to:

  • Plan for any difficult conversation systematically and effectively
  • Improve on your tendency to be reactive
  • Generate the courage to get the conversation started
  • Uncover your power to keep going in the conversation
  • Get your individual voice, thoughts and ideas heard
  • Keep the dialogue organized and on track
  • Deepen the understanding necessary for more innovation
  • Create collaborative resolutions where all parties can leave satisfied
  • Sustain the new arrangements and benefits of the conversation
Your Program enrollment includes:
  • 9 weeks of live instruction via Zoom with Julia and Gordon
  • 9 weeks of live discussion on the course platform with other leaders
  • 12 months access to the How to Have Difficult Conversations online self-directed course
  • Recordings of each of the 9 live sessions sent to your inbox
  • Weekly 1:1 office hours with Julia and Gordon for 9 weeks (on a first come first served basis)
  • An assigned partner for more support and accountability between classes
  • Certificate of completion
 

Program Content

Each session includes time for Gordon and Julia to do a short presentation on the step of the week followed by time for practice and questions. There will be an extra 15 minutes added to each session for people to have enough time to dive into their most pressing questions.

Week 1 – In the introductory week, you will create your own vision of yourself as a collaborative leader and receive an orientation of the 8 Step Model as a whole.

Week 2 – We will dive into the first step of the Difficult Conversations Model. Come with your challenges and find the motivation to face them. You will leave with a risk benefit tool you can use time and again.

Week 3 – This session focuses on the second step in the Difficult Conversations Model, where you will gain greater clarity around building your power.

Week 4 – During this session, you will be given time to plan for how to manage the intense emotions that may come up as well as give more thought on how best to approach the other person.

Week 5 – This week you will be given the opportunity to practice how to open a difficult conversation more effectively. Knowing how to set the right tone at the start of any conversation creates an exponentially greater chance of success by the end.

Week 6 – This week focuses on practicing separating out evaluative comments from behaviours or “fact-based” observations. This distinction, although subtle in definition, is one of the most powerful practices you can take away and start using immediately.

Week 7 – This session is the heart of the Program and lays out what most of us skip doing: truly understanding each other. You will practice expressing yourself and listening in a way that creates deeper and mutual understanding.

Week 8 – This session looks at the details required to complete a conversation well. The challenge is most of us want to end the conversation before we truly understand the problem!

Week 9 – We will finish the course by spending time on how to follow-up and reflect on all you’ve learned about yourself, your image of who you want to become and where to from here.

Here’s what past participants told us is most valuable about the live training:

  • “I found the 8 Step Model most helpful. This is an actual plan we put into practice. One key learning is the fact that preparing for these conversations takes time in order for it to be successful.”
  • “I appreciate the clarity of the 8 Step Model. I enjoyed the repeated reference to the Model as a touch stone throughout the sessions”
  • “I enjoyed our sharing times and the fact that the instructors took the time to review the model thoroughly.”
  • “The steps are clearly laid out and easy to follow”
  • “I found it helpful to choose one issue and keep coming back to it to discuss with my partner. Preparation for a difficult conversation is key.”
  • “I enjoyed having a partner to help me through the steps”
    “The handbook is a good resource with valuable content to study and apply”
  • “I appreciate the pragmatic, applicable approach.”
  • “I found the clear steps very helpful. The preparation steps are very key and when put into practice, make a significant difference in the outcome of a difficult conversation.”

Are you interested in the Program?

Use the button below to contact us about upcoming opportunities!

Features of the Program

Leaders tell us they want more support and accountability when learning to engage in conflict collaboratively. This live Zoom experience gives you the opportunity to meet other like-minded workplace leaders in a collegial atmosphere to tackle, surmount and transform some of your most difficult conversations.

As part of this Program, you will receive:

  • 9 weeks of live instruction from Julia and Gordon
  • 9 weeks of live discussion on the course platform to learn from and speak with other leaders
  • 12 months access to the How to Have Difficult Conversations online self-directed course (NOTE: if you’ve already purchased the course, you get that amount OFF this live Program. Email us for your discount!)
  • Recordings of each of the 9 live sessions sent to your inbox after each class
  • Weekly 1:1 office hours with Julia and Gordon for 9 weeks (on a first come first served basis)
  • An assigned partner for more support and accountability between classes
  • Certificate of completion
  • Opportunity for personalized questions
  • Specific homework after each class to make implementation easier
  • Time to apply concepts to your own situation
  • Time for practice and role play
  • The opportunity for networking with other leaders
  • Extra bonus reading and articles week to week

We’ve created this Program after helping hundreds of people in organizations transform conflict.

Here’s what past participants told us were the highlights of what they learned:

  • “The most important thing I learned was the importance of gathering information and taking the time to work through the 8 Step Model.”
  • “Receiving tools to better understand what goes into having difficult conversations and how to position these cases.”
  • “The steps in the 8 Step Model, the value of preparing for a difficult conversation (benefits vs. risks) and building my power. The materials are an important reference to go back to.”
  • “Looking within myself to help find deeper meaning to the issues at stake”
  • “Taking more time to listen during difficult conversations and potentially learn something unexpected”
  • “Preparation, speaking with intention, and being confident that all conversations can be had in a respectful, productive way.”
  • “The discussion around ‘pinching’ was a good opportunity to reflect on how to mitigate challenging circumstances in difficult conversations.”

Question & Answer

Over the last year, we have taught the How to Have Difficult Conversations course many times to teams and to general audiences. We also have the benefit of other leaders teaching our materials to their teams and organizations. What is emerging is the critical importance of support and accountability. That is precisely what we’ve built into this new Program:

  • Not only do you receive the online, self-directed version of How to Have Difficult Conversations course that we crafted based on our decades of experiences with conflict in the workplace, but we’ve added on several powerful extra features.
  • The online, self-directed version of the course is broken down in our live weekly training into 8 discrete components so that you have a chance to dive into each step in a methodical way. We’ve never segmented the course so simply before and are so excited to help you apply these powerful concepts into your life.
  • You will receive crafted structured homework from week to week, so that the experiences can live in you during the week and it will make it easier to practice and implement.
  • You will have the benefit of a study and practice partner for the material to strengthen your feelings of support and accountability going through the Program.
  • You will have access to us directly, with office hours for the personalized issues you may be struggling with.
  • We are also mindful of leaders being busy people, so we’ve designed the learning with you in mind! The first session will orient you to the whole Program!

Not to worry! We got your back. We will send out each session to you after each class.

It would be fair to estimate one hour a week for watching videos and doing homework. Each week, you will need to watch one module from the on-line, self-directed How to Have Difficult Conversations course. This should be approximately 30 minutes per week. You will also gain more from the course if you also allow time for homework, which could also add up to about 30 minutes a week.

Yes, anytime! We will send recordings out to participants following each session.

If for any reason you are unsatisfied after the first session, we will give you a full refund (up to 7 days after the program begins).

Thank you for teaching these sessions. It’s an important part of our job as managers, supervisors, and colleagues to have difficult conversations, therefore it is integral to have tools like these in our belts. These tools help organizations foster open, positive, respectful cultures.
Past Participant

Are you interested in the Program?

Use the button below to contact us about upcoming opportunities!

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