Having a good “difficult” conversation

Management conversations at work should improve performance and increase the productivity of individuals and the team. 

And this sometimes involves delivering difficult messages, and tackling inappropriate behaviour or poor performance.  Raising tricky issues, speaking up for ourselves and confronting others is part of being a manager – but takes courage and skill to do well.

We believe these conversations are essential – rather than difficult – so we have developed a unique, effective and challenging one-day course.

A very informative and useful course that should be part of core management training.

Mediation Skills for Managers Training Delegate, ManagerBournemouth Borough Council

This course gave me really good skills that will enable me to perform my day to day role with a new attitude to dealing with conflict.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerHM Prison Service

Our front-line housing staff regularly face challenging and potentially threatening situations. We engaged CMP to equip our staff with appropriate skills to meet these challenges and defuse threatening situations. Their professional approach and participative style have always been well-received and have contributed to the first-class customer service we aim to deliver.

Conflict Management Skills Training Commissioner, Head of Learning and DevelopmentLondon and Quadrant Housing

The facilitation for HR training was excellent both in terms of the content and the trainer who was professional and very knowledgeable. Some aspects of the training were specifically tailored to meet our particular needs and the learner feedback was extremely positive.

Facilitation Skills for HR Training Delegate, Training ManagerEast & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Staff thought the study days were excellent. They were all very enthusiastic. When cases of bullying have come up they’ve been prompt to act. Managers are acting more speedily than they otherwise would have. They are acting quickly and appropriately, so we have rarely had to use the formal procedure, they have been resolved at low level.

Conflict Management and Dignity at Work Training Commissioner and Delegate, Head of HRBarts NHS Trust

The conflict management training made me think more ‘outside the box’ re: supervision or dealing with issues, being more honest and direct.

Conflict Management Training Delegate, Senior Admin AssistantStaffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management training to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. CMP listened to our needs and worked with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional OfficerHampshire Fire and Rescue

CMP delivered intensive bespoke conflict management courses of varying levels to 200 managers, to achieve a significant boost to managers’ confidence and skills in managing transition during a time of change, and contributing significantly to achieving the organisational goal of preventing and managing bullying and harassment. From our initial discussions, it was evident that CMP were keen to listen to our needs and work with us to develop a course that satisfied our requirements. The successful partnership combined with local provision and high-quality trainers has developed into a key part of our overall strategy for management development of our staff.

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer and Delegate, Senior Divisional Officer Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

The practitioner clearly had both a great depth of knowledge and augmented this with a wealth of experience. This resulted in a very rich syllabus and maximised my learning. I found their delivery style confident and respectful of the students.  The draft report the practitioner provided is a usable template that I think will enable me to conduct an investigation and most importantly produce a legally robust document. This is why I would put this course in my top three for quality of education.

Investigation Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerEast Kent Hospitals Trust

The conflict management course was thought provoking and applicable to very many situations with very useful theory and practice. The trainer was very engaging, an excellent facilitator, related well to the group, had an excellent personality and made the training interesting and a positive learning experience.

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior ManagerMersey Care NHS Trust

What the course covers

  • How to have conversations which are unambiguous, non-blaming, and complete
  • How to use a framework to disagree, confront and challenge without damaging relationships
  • Taking control of your own behaviour
  • How to challenge inappropriate behaviour in others
  • Working collaboratively to resolve matters which are causing friction
  • The interpersonal skills to prevent the escalation of day-to-day workplace conflicts, misunderstandings and tensions effectively

This course is also available as eLearning

Our stand-alone 3-module eLearning course changes managers’ behaviours and builds their skills – without them leaving their desk.

Elearning can build soft-skills - learn how to have good difficult conversations

As subject experts and a company that has built its reputation on building soft skills, we worked hard to make an eLearning programme that actually helped managers to change their behaviours.

This case study shows how our eLearning had a positive effect on one large urban university’s managers.

E learning enabled managers to have good difficult conversations

Practical advice on how to have a constructive difficult conversation

We all know that disagreement can be healthy. Better decisions are made when proposals are challenged, and creativity stems from taking a different perspective. What is unhealthy for business is a negative response to disagreement.

This is when personality clashes, enmities and turf wars break out, consuming the energies of the individuals involved, sucking those around them into the dispute and disrupting the effective functioning of the work unit.

This paper outlines how managers can develop those skills which will enable them to have a really constructive, ‘difficult conversation’.

how managers can have good difficult conversations