Managing Difficult Conversations

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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, Parramatta and Perth and also via instructor-led online training.

Please click on the Public Class tab below to view our Managing Difficult Conversations course schedule by city, or click the In-House Training tab to receive a free quote for courses delivered at your preferred location.

Managing Difficult Conversations
Learning Outcomes
Course Outline
  • Learning Outcomes - Managing Difficult Conversations

    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 day course


    Managing Difficult Conversations 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

  • Course Outline - Managing Difficult Conversations

    Download Managing Difficult Conversations Outline


    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.


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

  • In-House Training

    Clients and testimonials

    In-House training benefits:

    • Flexible length - sessions as short as 1-hour
    • Cost effective - great group pricing
    • Greatest impact in the shortest time
    • Excellent Team Building Opportunity
    • Certificate of Completion (always available in the App)
    • Comprehensive courseware as books (& available in the App)

    Delivery Options for In-house training
    1-hour Motivator
    one hour motivator
    3-hour Power Sessions
    3 hour power session
    Full-day training
    full day training

    Choose the Training Location

    You can expect:

    Activities and discussion

    To Be Engaged All Day

    Activities and discussion for engaged learning all day.

    Real world trainer

    An outstanding trainer

    On average PDT trainers have 15 years industry experience 7 years training experience.

    Tailored training

    Focussed on you

    We always tailor activities and scenarios to be relevant to you.

    Refresher course

    Refresher Course $0

    In-House and Public Class participants are welcome to join a public class in the same topic for 12 months.

    Price coaching

    1/2 Price Coaching

    We all know the importance of reinforcement, so we'll come back within 90 days of the original course 1/2 price.

    Confidence of booking

    Acclaimed Provider

    The confidence of booking with an acclaimed multi national training company.

    eLearning and video

    Multi-modal Reinforcement

    Support, reinforcement & extension eLearning and videos in the App.

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Managing Difficult Conversations Training
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