Handling awkward conversations

We all find ourselves handling awkward conversations from time to time. The natural response is to avoid such discussions. But avoidance is often the worst option. This course will show you the right options.

Some of us handle awkward conversations by adopting the silent treatment as a way of coping with the issues. Other people simply avoid awkward conversations altogether so that they never end up in such situation. The problem, however, is not always other people or the nature of the conversation but the way we handle it. This practical and effective one-day course is designed to help attendees develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to handle awkward conversations, even when things turn highly emotional. Delegates will also develop the skills required to provide concrete feedback when someone has done something wrong, to deliver bad news to those who do not want to hear it and to disagree with others, whilst still maintaining and strengthening their relationships whether at work or in their personal or social life. 


  • Explore the range of strategies used to manage awkward conversations.
  • Understanding the needs of difficult or challenging people and know how this can help to improve an awkward conversation.
  • The important role of assertiveness [and not confusing this with aggressiveness] when handling awkward conversations.
  • Recognising when an awkward conversation is likely to escalate into a conflict.
  • Choosing your words carefully and using other communication techniques, including active listening and body language, to effectively handle awkward conversations.
  • Understanding how best to communicate information – some of us are visual people, whilst others retain information from actions, but, most of us have a weakness when it comes to auditory skills.
  • Best practice guidelines on improving awkward conversations.
  • Learning how to become emotionally intelligent, not to take things personally and not to over apologise when handling an awkward conversation.
  • Preparing to deliver potentially bad news and anticipating the range of reactions can you expect to receive when delivering bad news.
  • Handling people’s reactions to what you say when they become highly emotional or upset.
  • Not taking responsibility for other peoples’ reactions.
  • Not buying into others’ irrational rhetoric.
  • How to mean what you say and say what you mean.