Managing Difficult Conversations Training

All managers, team leaders, business owners and employees need to conduct difficult conversations at some time or another. Although difficult conversations cannot be avoided, they can be successfully managed to achieve the most positive outcomes.

Understanding, empathy and professional skill development are necessary qualities that help to keep you in control of difficult conversations before, during and after them; so that you can achieve the desired outcomes.  Having a good understanding of your own personality type, as well as knowing how to best interact with other personality types, is a specific skill taught in the course.

This highly valuable and engaging course empowers professionals to handle difficult conversations with ease to achieve professional success and improve interactions amongst staff.

The Managing Difficult Conversations course by PD Training is now available throughout Australia including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth and also via instructor-led online training.

Managing Difficult Conversations Training
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4.758 out of 5 from 534 responses

Your Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will have learned to: 
  • Predict the results of a conversation
  • Establish the intent of a conversation
  • Identify the desired outcome
  • Manage their body language
  • Speak persuasively
  • Listen actively
  • Use probing techniques
  • Ask the right questions at the right time
  • Establish the purpose of a difficult conversation
  • Create a conversation template
  • Create a personalised action plan
  • Use communication skills to influence and control
  • Maintain safety in a conversation
  • Choose an appropriate place for a conversation
  • Understand and analyse the other person
  • Stay in control of the conversation throughout
Duration: 1.0 day course Live Online Experts


Managing Difficult Conversations Training Reviews:

"Leigh was a great trainer!very engaging and the injection of humour throughout the course made it more enjoyable."

The Playford


"The most useful part of the course was learning about the different variations of listeners."



"The trainer developed rapport with all the individuals and was excellent in his delivery of the training. Excellent session and very relevant to businesses. I put 100% as knowledgeable as we covered listening, funnels etc which is day to day items and very useful to know. "

"I really enjoyed the course, it is very relevant to my day to day job. Joe was a great trainer, and his style is very engaging. I will definitely be recommending that other people within the organisation complete the training. I also enjoyed the group activities."

"The skills I learnt to manage difficult conversation is valuable. Being in a group with fellow peers provided me with additional skills too."

"Jill is a great trainer and made the environment comfortable."



"Really enjoyed the role plays and the trainer was really good at keeping my attention & Interest."

-Sika Australia


"I found Deidre very personable and it's probably the first course I've done where I didn't find my mind drifting."

"This was delivered very well, with great examples and applications for my work. Very active and engaging presenter."

"Had a great day of training :)"


-Redland City Council


"Interaction directly with facilitator and other trainees was very helpful and created a pleasant instruction environment."

"I found it to be like a refresher course as I have had similar courses before in the Insurance Industry, The course is well worth doing."

"The facilitator did an excellent job and would thoroughly recommend him and other courses he would conduct."

-Biomedical Technology Services


"The course was fantastic and extremely helpful in my line of work."

-VITS Language Link


"Most useful part of the course was the ability to have the discussions and see other responses to potential difficult conversation. I do not have any feedback for least useful."

"Jen was a very effective facilitator! I appreciated her delivery, time management and how she was able to elicit responses from the more quiet participants. I was very happy with the content, delivery and discussions. I would recommend this course be run for all Leidos managers and Service Line Leads."

-Leidos Australia


"Difficult conversations are the worst, but having a strategy and structure around them makes them no less worse but able to be had with some confidence has made me more prepared to carry this important leadership aspect . Pretty good job PD thanks"


"Definitely one of the better courses I have attended, very good trainer."



"The trainer knew his topic and was great at building rapport. He had a very varied group - some with a lot of experience and very specific needs and others who obviously have not had any training in this area before. He handled this varied group very well and respectfully. Once we got to the nitty gritty of difficult conversation in the afternoon the pace picked up and I felt we were getting some really useful, and new information."

-SA Health


"Great course, great trainer, would definitely recommend this."

"This is no doubt the best training session I have ever attended in my professional career. Derrick is a very knowledgeable training and the course is very well designed."

-Bupa Australia


"Best training I've been to in a long time. Jen was brilliant."

-Australian Federal Police


"Fantastic presenter well delivered."

"The trainer was very helpful, and enthusiastic."

"Great course, Trainer was engaging, approachable and professional."

"I liked the fact there was no PowerPoint presentation and it was more of a workshop setting."

"Enjoyed the course. Very informative and helpful."

-Department Of Communities


"It helped me a lot in quite a few areas of my job role. I found it a very interesting course."

Canterbury League Club


"This course was very timely and has given me some very good skills to take with me to a performance discussion the next day."

"I absolutely loved the addition of the graphic facilitator. It is much more to my learning style, it was fun, and it helped to capture the main points of the day and was really memorable."

Prime Minister & Cabinet


"Class was not too formal and rigid which made it more interactive and engaging."

"Understanding different personalities. Great exercise to appreciate all approaches and communication/management styles."

"Great course, great trainer."

Canterbury League Club


"Very good, very worthwhile."

"Loved the personality profiling and learning about different traits and how to react to them."

Atlas Professionals (Formerly Programmed Marine)


Retirement Communities Australia logo
I was in a group of 6 and all people have commented after the session not only how informative it was but the experience was so enjoyable. The content was well tailored to our companies situation, and any other than that was also directly managed informatively, sensitively and with a view that all needs and concerns were to be addressed. I would gladly recommend Michael as a trainer, her soft, patient and inspiring manner made learning a delight. Thankyou sincerely.

-Retirement Communities Australia

Retirement Communities Australia logo
Simply Brilliant delivery! Engaging facilitator, course was thoroughly enjoyed and comprehended. Now to practice.

-Retirement Communities Australia

Playford logo
Leigh was a great trainer!very engaging and the injection of humour throughout the course made it more enjoyable.

-The Playford

More happy clients

Download Course Outline (PDF)

Managing Difficult Conversations requires specialised knowledge and skill development, because these types of conversations can be quite challenging to manage without them. During this training course, participants develop an understanding of where, when, why and how to conduct difficult conversations.


The goal of this course is to empower professionals to be in control of a difficult conversation at all stages of the interaction, so that they can achieve the desired outcome. It is a necessary skill in the management of human resources, handling of difficult customers and team management.


Course Outline for Managing Difficult Conversations Training

See the Live Online tab for the course outline for the live online course

Topic 1
  • Icebreaker
  • Housekeeping Items
  • The Parking Lot
  • Workshop Objectives
Topic 2
Choosing to Have the Conversation
  • Considering the Consequences
  • Establishing Your Frame of Reference
  • Establishing Positive Intent
  • Identifying the Desired Outcome
Topic 3
Toolkit for Successful Conversations
  • Managing Your Body Language
  • Speaking Persuasively
  • Active Listening
  • Asking Questions
  • Probing Techniques
Topic 4
Choosing the Time and Place
  • Weighing urgency
  • Privacy
  • Consideration
  • Transparency and presence of 3rd parties
Topic 5
Framework for Difficult Conversations
  • What’s Your Purpose?
  • Steps for a Difficult Conversation
  • Creating a Conversation Template
Topic 6
Staying Safe
  • Anticipating conflict
  • Mutual respect
  • Common ground
  • Staying in control
  • When to walk away
  • When things don't work
Topic 7
Testing the waters
  • Practice and review in class
Topic 8
Wrap up
  • Course review
  • Action plan

In-House Training - We’ll focus on what matters most to you and tailor to your context

Face-to-Face, Live Online, or Hybrid Class Tailored to Your Needs

When you want a tailored learning experience targeting exactly what you want without bringing everyone physically together, the best choice is a Live Online Class run by PDT.

We tailor the content and activities to be specific to your current needs and the needs of the people and run the course in our usual activity-based workshop style training, however, the participants can all be offsite, or some can be in the room with others offsite.

Unless you have a preferred tools we use 'Zoom for Education' that includes enhanced collaboration features such as One-click content sharing, real-time co-annotation (people can work together in activity files), and digital whiteboarding, we also include things like live polls and group chats so you virtually have the same collaborative learning experience of attending a course in a room with other people.

live online & hybrid

We have delivered these 100's (if not 1000's) of times, and get great outcomes. We achieve great outcomes because we keep our learner centric approach - just because it’s delivered through a screen to some or all participants doesn’t mean it needs to be less tailored or less personalised.

You still have an expert trainer who talks to you prior to the session and tailors the delivery to use your terminology, ensure activities are relevant and directly applicable and ensures an engaging learning experience that provide people with skills and techniques they can apply the very next day.

A hybrid class is with some people connecting online, and some people physically together in the same room.

Live Online Participant Feedback:

90% Overall Trainer Rating

88% Delivery was Adapted to me Personally

75% I Would Recommend this Course to Someone Else

Face to Face Options With Everyone in the same room

1-hour Motivator
one hour motivator
3-hour Power Sessions
3 hour power session
Full-day training
full day training
At your workplace At your workplace
In our Training Rooms In our Training Rooms
 In our Online Training  Room - the HIVE In our Online Training Room

We’ll make things easier so you can focus on adding more value

PDT Training Management Centre Logo

We provide the Training Management Centre which is an information hub before, during and after training.
(Let us know if there’s parts you don’t want to use)

Invites people to training

(So you don’t have to)

Invite People icon

Generates Sign in Sheet

(So you don’t have to)

Generate Sign In Sheet Icon

Generates Branded Flyer

If you want to ‘promote’ internally

Generate Branded Flyer Example

PDF’s of Certificates

(can be co-branded with your logo)

Completion Certificate Included

Collects and Reports feedback

(So you don’t have to)

Feedback Report Example

Complete Results Dashboard

(including trainer insights)

Results Dashboard Example

What are people going to do differently?

At the completion of training participants are encouraged to create an action plan, and invite an accountability buddy via their Orgmenta App.

In your Training Management Centre you have transparency to the action plans so you can see what people are going to do differently.

My Action Plan
Participants encouraged to create

Want to get clear on impacts and measure success? Our system and expert consultants support you.

Our systems and people make it easy to identify how you’ll be able to measure impacts,
and then report on the success in the weeks or months after training.

Measure metrics your way

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Training APIs

It’s surprisingly easy to make it so that your system can automatically be up to date with all the training record details you need.

More than just a training provider - we are your Learning and Development Partner, we look forward to working with you, talk to one of our friendly expert consultants today.

Outstanding learning that people can do in the flow of work

  • Fresh targeted video-based microlearning content with interactive lessons and quizzes included.
  • Rigourous review process
  • Only $11.00 per course per person per year.
  • Or get the $110.00 bundle and save.
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