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A Courageous Conversation

Courageous Conversations

Communication and having conversations are critical to all healthy relationship in our lives.  In the workplace it is important that these conversations are successful for both parties.  In a learning culture they are vital to get to know your colleagues, be fully informed of what’s expected of us and able to work to the best of our ability.  However, not all conversations are ‘easy’ or welcomed.  This is never truer when it comes to the difficult or courageous conversations.

These difficult conversations can be about broaching complex and sensitive subjects.  They can range from performance related issues, unacceptable behaviour or even giving information you know some won’t like.


Often people are concerned they will say the wrong thing, let their personal biases and perception get in the way, use clumsy language, or simply mess it up and make the situation worse. 

Often we have been asked

I have good intentions coming into this meeting, but will my points and opinions be valued or perceived in the intended way?

Will I say the right thing or offend?

Will I look engaged and interested?

So, preparation, planning and developing a structure to the conversation is vital.  Using a variety of interactive drama-based methods, we enable participants to practise the skills involved in holding a difficult conversation.  This coupled with actively listening, framing questions, demonstrating empathy, and utilising communication techniques, helps build confidence and competence. This enables participants to navigate the best approach to difficult conversations by trialling their learning in a safe and supportive environment.

The training will explore

The variable ways of having these conversations and proven methods.

Utilising the SAID model for providing feedback.     

Exploring the benefits of sticking to the facts. Often leaders/managers can come unstuck when they cannot define acceptable levels of performance that were not previously agreed.

The importance of psychological safety to speak freely and openly in these conversations.

Considerations surrounding the meeting such as when’s the right time, right place and right tone is for this discussion.

Using effective communication techniques, eg questions skills, building rapport and feedback

Building confidence to approach conversations, and the preparation required.

“You will not be unsurprised to hear that one of the proudest I’ve taken from my 34 years of service is the work you and your incredible team have done to change behaviour and culture in the army. It is a remarkable achievement, and you should be seriously proud of what you’ve done”.

Col Lindsay MacDuff

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