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How to Manage Difficult Conversations

Learn to manage emotions in the workplace with this Express Skills course. Discover strategies to handle difficult conversations as a manager, leader, or individual, and improve your ability to handle these conversations effectively. Don't let difficult conversations hold you back from success in the workplace.

  • All levels
  • 21 and older
  • $279
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  • Live, interactive online classroom
  • 2 hours & 30 minutes

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  • $279
  • 2 hours & 30 minutes
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Class Description


What you'll learn in this communications course:

Even in the best corporate cultures, some conversations are tricky. Explore why these conversations are so difficult, how to manage emotions that result from this, and what strategies to apply as managers, leaders, or individual contributors, to navigate these challenging conversations. 

This Express Skills course would augment Mastering the Art of Critical Conversations.

Course Objective

  • Why are some conversations difficult? Fight or flight: the science behind our emotional response. 
  • Recognize signs of “fight or flight” in yourself and others.
  • Respond to triggers in yourself and others. 
  • How does remote/flexible work and climate heighten “fight or flight” in workplace conversations?
  • Analyze your experience

How You Will Benefit

  • Reduce fear and anxiety around engaging in challenging conversations
  • Improve your confidence and ability to handle difficult conversations well
  • Be the example of how to approach difficult conversations

What you will cover:

  • Become familiar with the science behind emotional responses to challenging conversations
  • Recognize signs of fight or flight and respond to triggers in themselves and others 
  • Shift from an adversarial stance to a collaborative approach to conversations  
  • Define the objective of a challenging conversation and keep the conversation on track
  • Use communication techniques to manage a challenging conversation and produce better outcomes

Who Should Attend

  • Individual contributors, leaders, managers, team leaders

Outline Classroom

The emotional response to difficult conversations

  • Why are some conversations difficult? 
  • Fight or flight: the science behind our emotional response
  • Recognize signs of “fight or flight” in yourself and others
  • Respond to triggers in yourself and others
  • How does remote/flexible work and climate heighten “fight or flight” in workplace conversations?
  • Analyze your experience

The personal and business imperative for managing emotions when engaging in difficult conversations

  • Reflect on the personal and organizational benefits of short-circuiting the fight or flight response

Reframe the conversation 

  • Explore the crippling assumptions we make around truth, motives, and blame 
  • Understand the need for a mindset of curiosity and openness and how to make the shift

Moving toward a better conversation: communication techniques to navigate challenging conversations

  • Understand the need for identifying a conversation objective and how to respond when things get off track 
  • Develop cooperative language to minimize emotional reactions and achieve a desirable outcome
    • “I” messages
    • Sticking to the facts and impact
    • Asking questions and reflective listening
    • Assertive communication  
  • Analyze your experience and identify which techniques you need to work on—based on whether you tend to fight or flee 

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Refund Policy

For Classroom, Live Online, Express Skills Courses and Webinar programs, you may transfer to a future session, send someone to take your place, or cancel for a 5% fee up to 23 days prior to your program.

If you provide AMA with less than 23 days’ notice, or fail to attend, you will be liable for the entire program fee.

Programs included in AMA On Demand offerings are not eligible for substitution, transfer, cancellation, return, or refund. We appreciate that this is an important investment for you and your company and would like to accommodate your needs the best we can.

Please email us at [email protected]

In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

Reviews of Classes at American Management Association (5)

(5.0-star rating across 5 reviews)
  • How to Manage Difficult Conversations

    Reviewed by Derrick H. on 11/4/2022
    Loved everything about the class
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Review Summary by CourseHorse

Students who took the class on How to Manage Difficult Conversations had positive reviews, stating that they loved every aspect of the class. The class provided valuable knowledge and skills that students were able to apply in their lives. They walked away with the ability to effectively manage and navigate challenging conversations. Quote: 1. "I learned how to approach difficult conversations with confidence and the necessary skills to communicate effectively."

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  • This class will earn you 2790 points. Earn 10% back in reward points!

Questions & Answers (1)

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Question from Francesca C.
Do you provide a certificate?

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