Challenging Conversations

How can communication be truly effective and beneficial

Of all the management skills, communication is recognized as being of primary importance. The relationships between employees and company leaders have a more direct impact on profitability, productivity, retention and workplace satisfaction than any other single dynamic. Therefore, how well you communicate is the greatest factor for ensuring successful results when working with people, even more than your technical knowledge and skills. Communication and people management are recurring weaknesses among organizational leaders.

Why the emphasis on communication?

For communication to be truly effective and beneficial, it is crucial to be able to clearly communicate expectations, recognize and reward achievement, identify and articulate a long-term vision, and hold people accountable. The challenging conversations program, it's associated online simulation and e-learning course, which is followed by coaching, shifts communication into being a consistent strength. This program assists you not only in effective communication; it shifts you into understanding who you need to be and how.

What will I learn during this program?

Leading people through challenging conversations and understanding the different ways people respond and communicating what they are required to accept, is the main focus of this program. This learning initiative has been created specifically for leaders and high-level executives. The program creates a set of simple and powerful models that will vastly improve the willingness and ability to engage in business-critical direct communications. This programme challenges participants in a positive manner, eliciting a genuine desire to learn and implement the processes and models that will change a challenging pivotal moment into a purposeful message with the desired outcome, an agreement to go forward.

The program is designed to de-mystify the nature of challenging conversations, to provide specific tools and create a sound ethical platform from which to commence.

This program helps you identify a process that works – employing the latest online advancements in e-learning and simulation to introduce, integrate and anchor the conversation models and processes in combination with proven group experiential learning and supportive one-to-one coaching, the program succeeds in delivering a deep enhancement in critical conversational skill and a willingness to conduct them.

The program's objective is to create the foundation to present a personal and critical direct message and then effortlessly manage the challenging conversation. You will:

  • Learn and practice the skills required for challenging conversations.
  • Implement a communication model for challenging conversations.
  • Understand the mindset needed for creating a positive environment.
  • Employ the use of empathy and optimism to empower.
  • Enhance their self-confidence when delivering direct messages.
  • Deal with challenging people in challenging situations.

After successfully completing this training you will be able to:

  • More consciously step into a partnering mindset in order to eliminate conflict during challenging conversations, resulting in working together towards mutually beneficial results.
  • Better understand power dynamics and increase self-confidence.
  • Take personal responsibility for increasing trust across the organizations.
  • More effectively manage challenging individuals and negotiations.
  • Leave with concrete actions and next steps to fully integrate new skills and sustain them in daily work and life.

How does thIS program work?

Challenging Conversations is a new communication and conflict management course that teaches a specific combination of key communication models and tools as an advanced communication and leadership skill, pertinent specifically to high quality interaction during challenging conversations and addressing all forms of performance and peer-to-peer conversations for agreement and expectation alignment.

The course is based on 'The Art & Science of Positive Influence', conflict resolution and problem solving, negotiations and coaching skills. The course focuses on blending theory with real cases that are specific and relevant to the company.

The course consists of a seamless blending of theory, the introduction of concepts, model overview, specific techniques, small and large group exercises, review, practice and debriefing. This creates insights based on accelerated learning, enhanced by sharp, incisive and concrete feedback from the facilitators. The methodology raises awareness, expands perception and allows for practicing new skills, increasing the self-confidence of participants.

As an outcome of this course, participants will better understand power dynamics leading to an increase in self-confidence, motivation, engagement and breakthrough during challenging conversations.

The measurable results are increased ability for conducting challenging conversations with confidence, empowerment and constructive outcomes.

In preparation participants will be invited to join an innovative online simulation and e-learning platform known as 'Serious Games'. This module comprises online scenarios forming virtual role-plays where the participants act as the main character in an evolving workplace environment. The participant's actions provide an analysis and follow-up throughout the scenario. The analysis is shown in the form of a decision tree that reflects the various options and consequences. Participants will be able to return to this module time and again, to refresh learning and measure progress. The simulation takes some 20 minutes.

Following the online module is the 1-day 'Challenging Conversations' Face-to-Face workshop. Leaders will be asked to bring a specific challenging conversation they need to conduct and use it throughout the course to apply new skills and tools to a relevant and meaningful situation from real life. The group program consists of 5 modules:

  • The What, Why and When of Having Challenging Conversations
  • Preparation
  • Models
  • Communications Lab
  • Overcoming Blocks to Implementation

The program is completed with a further one-to-one Follow-Up coaching session. The aim of this session is to reconnect and consolidate the learning from Challenging Conversations by reflecting on the conversations that have taken place following the workshop.

Who is this course for?

This program is of great benefit to those leaders currently lacking confidence in effectively managing a 'Challenging Conversation', and who perceive these types of conversations as too difficult to conduct.

So what if I attend this program?

By attending this program you will have a better understanding of your own communication style including strengths and weaknesses, new skills in relating to others, and a greater comprehension of what is involved in performance management, giving direct feedback and influencing others.