Sensitive Conversations

Managers are frequently under-confident about tackling staff on issues that may be judged ‘sensitive’. Handled badly some conversations can make a difficult situation even worse.

The right structure means tricky topics can be tackled with clarity and confidence. It makes all the difference.

  • Greater confidence with difficult conversations
  • Know how to approach sensitive issues
  • Reduce the risk of misunderstandings
  • Deal positively with emotive issues
  • Encourage open conversation even when it’s hard.

Difficult conversations are an inevitable part of a manager’s job. Raising issues regarding an employee’s performance or timekeeping, or even more intimate matters such as personal hygiene, can cause tension or conflict. If not addressed with clarity and confidence, problems can deteriorate. This session discusses how to strike the right note of respectful concern, while retaining the necessary clarity and directness, with a view to creating more collaborative working relationships.

This WebTalk will show managers how to feel and act with greater confidence, set goals for their conversations and respectfully follow-through with staff. Such productive conversations reduce the risk the employee will feel unheard, misunderstood or under-valued.

The aim is to produce more collaborative relationships between managers and employees generally, and in particular where the subject under discussion might otherwise result in confrontation or a negative reaction.


  • The top five most sensitive issues at work
  • Typical scenarios and how to approach them
  • The real costs of doing nothing
  • How ‘tough’ conversations improve relationships
  • A framework for effective conversations
  • How to set the scene and prepare yourself
  • What to do when someone avoids
  • Why consistency is impoortant
  • Tips for acting with confidence
  • Setting and maintaining boundaries
  • Decide on outcomes and goals
  • Listening skills and summarising
  • Common pitfalls and traps to avoid.

Would you like to know more?

Call Barry Winbolt on +44 (0)1323 895 220 or email

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