Courageous Conversations Workshops

Equipping People to Effectively Navigate Courageous Conversations

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With over 30 years in people development, I have consistently seen team leaders in multiple industries and professions struggle with the same issue: conducting courageous conversations. In this keynote based on my book “Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)”, I demystify the subject and give managers and supervisors clear and simple tools to equip their confidence and ability to handle challenging conversations.

As with all of my workshops, I interview senior leadership in order to customize the following content to the context of the organsiation:

These workshops are 1 to 3 days in length, and many businesses view them as mini leadership workshops. “Navigating Courageous Conversations!” is also available as a conference keynote- contact me to talk about your “Courageous Conversations” needs today!

Entertaining, engaging and inspiring

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This workshop is based on my book “Navigating Courageous Conversations!- A Roadmap for Effectively Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)” and it was only in writing the foreword for that book that it occurred to me where my expertise in the area of courageous conversations began. The year was 1989, and I was a newly married 24-year-old. My wife and I were either very brave, very foolish, or both to take on a parenting role on weekends and evenings at a Girl’s Home for at-risk young women, whilst at the same time tutoring at-risk youth during the day. This meant that the opportunity for courageous conversations became a 24hr, seven day a week opportunity, and as the foreword of the book says “I did a lot of my learning on the subject of difficult conversations during the challenges of those four years as a home parent, and 10yrs as a tutor of troubled youth”.

Fast forward to the present, where I’ve been involved in people development for over 30 years, and in the last 13 years specializing in workplace leadership development. As a result it’s become very clear to me that being able to conduct courageous conversations in a confident and competent manner is THE number one pain-point for workplace team leaders. That’s the bad news. The good news on the other hand, is that I absolutely love equipping people to discover the courage that they have within them to tackle difficult subjects and even more difficult people. Let me give you an example:

Whenever I run these kinds of workshops I ask the participants “Who at present needs to have a courageous conversation with a team member?”, and invariably several hands go up. I had one young manager in a workshop who had a particularly challenging team member who was completely averse to change- any changes, actual or proposed were met with very real resistance by this team member, and this young manager’s manager had also failed to adequately address this person. We role-played the situation: I played both the manager and the team member and then as a course we debriefed the role-plays, empowering him with a sense that whatever this team member threw at him, he could cope. And the manager knew that we would be holding him accountable in a month’s time when the course reconvened, to check that the conversation had actually taken place.

It was only a week later when the manager called me in such an excited manner, unable to wait a month when we were back together as a course. He had embarked on the conversation with the belligerent team member feeling much more confident and able than he ever had before, and to no one’s surprise, the team member had stormed out of the manager’s office. However, an hour later, he came back in, apologized, and said that his wife and his family were tired of his anger, and he also was aware that he needed to change. No wonder the manager was too excited to wait four weeks to tell me the result!

This practical workshop dives into the actual challenges that workplace leaders are facing in their current roles, addressing topics such as:

These workshops are 1 to 3 days in length, and many businesses view them as mini leadership workshops- contact me to talk about your “Courageous Conversations” needs today!

Read The Video Transcript

Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)

This free chapter from the book “Navigating Courageous Conversations” begins with the running conversation between a workplace team leader (Sandra) and her coach over a particularly difficult team member (Daniel). This introduces chapter 9 which explains the BISCuit© model- a four stage process for dealing with courageous conversations, concluding with another conversation between the team leader and her coach.

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Download a free PDF chapter from Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)

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