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How To Hold A Challenging Conversation

In this workshop participants identify when they have to have challenging conversations, what a challenging conversation might look like and why it is important to have such conversations. The workshop focuses on the 4-Step Challenging Conversation Model – creating the right environment, giving information, gathering information, and action planning. Using a short profile, participants identify their preferred style when holding a challenging conversation – aggressive, assertive or passive. We also explore the key skills of showing empathy, asking great questions and creating the context for being a good listener. The workshop concludes with a practical challenging conversation work-related role-play. 

Aimed at

Doctoral Researchers, Doctoral Research staff


Please think of a challenging conversation you have had, having at present or anticipate on having in the future. You'll be asked to discuss this with one other person (only) during the session.  

Key learning outcomes

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • identify what we mean by a “challenging conversation” 
  • become familiar with the 4-Step Challenging Conversation Model 
  • identify your typical behaviour when faced with a challenging situation
  • learn techniques to show empathy and seeking first to understand.

Presented by

JJ Lynch, Managing Director, Leading Edge Leadership Ltd

Health and Safety and general notice

Participants will be viewing presentations projected onto a SMART Board screen and working in small groups.

Select a date

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Brunel 3D Development Tool

Develops the following:

Skills needed to disseminate your research

Skills needed to develop your research and career

Researcher Development Framework (RDF) Competencies

Develops skills relevant to the following domains of the RDF:

This workshop is provided by

Brunel Graduate School Logo

Email address Telephone number 01895 265935