Difficult conversations in the workplace proves to be a hot topic with L&D professionals

Difficult Conversations is designed to equip managers with the tools and confidence to hold effective, honest conversations with their staff.

Its objective is to coach staff in a set of essential steps and the right approach to make such conversations easier. Specific learning objectives include:

  • seeing the importance of planning and gathering critical information
  • showing how to set the right tone
  • encouraging listening and empathy
  • keeping in mind the desired outcome
  • remembering to set follow up dates

Speaking to coincide with National Conversation Week this week, Northgate director, Mike Lynch, explains why this new product was developed: “Northgate’s Difficult Conversations pack was put together after the topic came up again and again when talking to managers about their key concerns,” he said.

“We already have a pack on giving and receiving Feedback which has been very popular. Then we read about a survey conducted by Harris Poll revealing that a majority of leaders (69%) confessed to being uncomfortable communicating with their staff – even about day-to-day issues.

“More than a third (37%) admitted being uncomfortable if they believed the person would respond in a negative way. According to the Chartered Management Institute, the Top 5 areas managers shy away from include:

  • Pay
  • Colleagues’ inappropriate behaviour
  • Feedback on poor performance
  • Promotions
  • Letting someone go from a job”

He added: “It is clear managers need help with honest conversations and also that a few key guidelines and structure take the sweat out of the situation.

“The finished pack allows managers to take control, to be fully prepared, to avoid emotion and to hold the conversation in a professional manner.”

Since its official launch on February 1, 2018, Northgate’s Difficult Conversations pack has been met with unprecedented demand. Customers who have purchased the Difficult Conversations activity have included Transport for Greater Manchester, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Dreams, St Leger Homes, Royal College of GPs, Ecolab, Weston Homes Plc, Network Rail, Isle of Man Government Office, Scottish Enterprise and Hampshire County Council.

Julia Latimer, Leadership & Management Development Consultant at Network Rail comments: “It came at just the right time for us as we were designing a People Management course which included having difficult conversations. It generated valuable discussions and the delegates commented that the ‘Planning A Conversation’ guide was a handy tool they would use again in the future.”

Difficult Conversations is available via the link below for £350.00 excluding delivery & VAT.