Customer Service

Managing Challenging Conversations

Course Code: 01-03-EC54

Difficult or challenging conversations at work can take any form. Most of these conversations often happen with coworkers or customers.

Challenging conversations are often about something that is important or critical. They're usually emotional for both people involved and often have different or conflicting points of view. Some examples of challenging conversations include:

  • Different communication styles or personalities
  • Speaking with frustrated or angry customers
  • Dealing with a performance issue
  • Resolving conflict amongst two or more employees

It is rare for anyone to avoid having at least one of these challenging conversations during their work lives. The tools and strategies for handling challenging conversations can

Performance objectives: Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand and recognize common defensive reactions.
  • Explore the signs of defensiveness in yourself and in others.
  • Learn strategies for communicating non-defensively and diffusing another person's frustrations or anger.
  • Learn how to manage your own emotional reactions when faced with a challenging conversation.
  • Learn the common mistakes to avoid when dealing with another person’s outburst and how to come to a 'win-win' scenario.
  • Gain tools and confidence to manage challenging conversations.
  • Learn how to prepare for, initiate, and conduct a challenging workplace conversation.

Competencies covered: interpersonal communication, recognizing and dealing with defensiveness, managing differences, and diffusing conflict