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How to Have Productive Difficult Conversations for Leaders



A difficult employee can really test your limits. However, in order for you (and the organization) to be successful, managers need to learn how to more effectively communicate with those “problem” people. This workshop will explore the tools and techniques managers can use to have those difficult discussions effectively and to enhance his/her relationships with even the most problematic employees.



As a result of this program, you should be able to:


  • Identify a difficult conversation that you need to have and throughout this training, utilize the techniques learned to assist you in preparing for your conversation.
  • Determine when it’s appropriate for you as a supervisor to be involved in a difficult conversation or when a mediation between two employees is necessary.
  • Ensure you have the right conversation to get you to the results you desire from the employee.
  • Avoid addressing an employee issue in a team meeting (when it’s just one person’s issue) or via text/email.
  • Determine the role trust plays in difficult conversations – and how to build that, so the difficult employee conversation is just another conversation.
  • Separate facts from stories (both in your mind and what you’re being told).
  • Know how to pull a conversation back if it crossed the line into destructive conflict.
  • Focus the conversations on meeting expectations and developing solutions.
  • Have follow-up meetings to ensure things are on track (or redirect if they are not on track).