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.

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

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

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

Mediation Skills for Managers Training Delegate, ManagerBournemouth Borough Council

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

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

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

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

CMP created a bespoke a 3 hour workshop on Managing Conversations for us. The session was to get staff to think about conflicts and why they arise and then to provide them with some skills on communicating effectively and build confidence in being assertive in challenging difficult behaviour. Staff were thrilled about the workshop and the skills that they were able to develop in this time.

Difficult Conversation Workshop Commissioner, HR ManagerThe Abbeyfield Society

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

It’s always an unknown quantity when employing an external training provider, however, CMP was really what it said on the tin, the experts in conflict management, the trainers were really excellent and experts in their field!

Conflict Management Skills and Mediation Service Set-up Commissioner, ILM Professional Workplace Mediator and Conflict Management Skills Delegate, Head of HR & DiversityNorth Glamorgan NHS Trust (Now Cwm Taf UHB)

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