Dealing with Difficult Conversations - For Managers

Course duration: 7 hours
Facilitator/Instructor: Julia Menard
Audience: Supervisors, Managers
Program: Supervising For Success Certificate (S4S), Managing For Results (M4R) Certificate
Course description

 A pre-requisite for this course would be training in some form of Communication Skills.

We can’t escape tough conversations at work – whether it’s speaking with an employee about their performance, a co-worker about how their actions impact you, or a boss because we can’t juggle that “one more thing” anymore.  This course is for you if:

  • you have difficulty delivering difficult messages at work;
  • you avoid conflict like the plague;
  • you are unsure of how to address tensions.

Research shows managers can spend 20 percent of their day trying to resolve conflict.  It’s a regular (but often unstated) part of the job.  Learning to manage conflict with confidence and grace are integral to leadership competence. Conflicts handled badly or avoided altogether can sap creativity, tie up energy, destroy teamwork, and lower productivity and morale.


  • A framework to prepare for any difficult conversation
  • How to diagnose what is going wrong in a difficult conversation
  • How to foster collaboration and avoid the tendency to blame
  • How to apply behavioural language to frame your issues
  • Steps to effective problem-solving

Facilitator:Facilitator: Julia Menard is a trained mediator and Professional Certified Coach.  She’s also on the teaching team at the Justice Institute’s Centre for Conflict Resolution - where she’s helped hundreds of executives prepare for difficult conversations since 1998.  Julia has a background in managing volunteers as well as mediating community, civil and criminal mediations.  She now specializes in mediating and coaching for leaders in large organizations.  Julia has run many courses on preparing for difficult conversations and publishes her own newsletter on collaborative topics in health, the environment and negotiation.

Competencies: Core - Personal Effectiveness, Communication Leadership - Personal Insight and Impact, Achieving Results, Building Our Culture