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.

I have no hesitation in recommending CMP, they offer excellent value for money and provide a service that is second to none! CMP provides a complete and professional service. From initial enquiry through administration and delivery, CMP covers all the bases. They are knowledgeable, professional and approachable and found flexible solutions to our training requirements. The feedback for the training has been outstanding. In addition to a collection of superlatives such as “fantastic” “inspiring” and “excellent” staff have stated that they came away with practical advice they can apply in real situations and, more to the point, have said it works!

Bespoke Conflict Management Training Buyer, Staff Development AdvisorUniversity of Gloucestershire

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

Mediation Skills for Managers Training Delegate, ManagerBournemouth Borough Council

Opened up a new way of viewing conflict at work and in everyday life.

ILM Professional Workplace Mediator DelegateBritish Land Forces Germany

The training in difficult conversations was excellent, thought provoking, and challenged me to re-examine how I have difficult conversations! The trainer had excellent knowledge! Really enjoyed the training!

Difficult Conversation Training Delegate, Senior Probation OfficerStaffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company

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

Informative, thought provoking and inclusive…Good delivery honest, grown up attitude. I liked the trainer’s style!

Conflict Management Skills Training Delegate, Senior Managera Fire and Rescue service

Conflict management training was a totally new concept to me! The trainer was excellent, and very witty. He delivered the course at a good pace with superb knowledge.

Conflict Management Training Delegate, Deputy ManagerStaffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company

The trainer was really dynamic and engaging, the conflict management training was relevant, interesting with practical examples.

Conflict Management Training Delegate, Senior Probation OfficerStaffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company

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 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

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