Having Difficult Conversations

An immersive, interactive online course on how to handle difficult conversations around sensitive subjects at work

Key Learning Points:

  • Learn to employ a range of communication skills to manage difficult conversations more effectively
  • Recognise when a difficult conversation may be necessary
  • Discover how to prepare effectively for difficult conversations
  • Learn to employ a range of verbal communication skills
  • Discover how to employ a range of non-verbal communication skills

Course Overview

In our working lives, we will all need to have difficult conversations sometimes. These require a range of communication skills: verbal (e.g. using different types of questions), non-verbal (e.g. body language) and conversation management (e.g. preparing for the conversation and remaining objective).

This course focuses on verbal and non-verbal communication skills, the associated planning, and the preparation a manager should do before a challenging conversation with an employee. It follows the scenario of a manager meeting with an employee to discuss a performance issue. Learners must choose the best responses to the employee to progress.

Course Details

  • Part of our Performance suite
  • Skills-based performance management eLearning
  • Certificate on completion
  • Course can be tailored to meet your specific requirements

Course Contents

This course is published by Cylix

Tailored versions of the courses are available for the following sectors

Compatible for

Any Workplace

Public Sector




Fire & Rescue

The Assessment

This course will provide continuous formative assessment via decision points in the roleplay to fill knowledge gaps. It is not a pass/fail course but is instead focused on skills building.

2 Ways of Purchasing

You can purchase our courses individually or for even better value you can purchase the complete range of Compliance, Health and Safety or Performance Management courses in one neat bundle.

1. Individual Licenses

If you buy courses on an individual bases you pay a price per learner, per course per year. You can run these courses on your own LMS if Xapi/SCORM compliant or you can take them online.


2. Complete Bundle

Buy all of the Compliance, Health and Safety or Performance Training courses in one great value package and receive unlimited benefits including our AI driven Learning Experience Platform, Astute.

1. Individual Pricing

Number of Learners Cost (per year)
1 - 10
£34.50 / per learner
11 - 20
£29 / per learner
21 - 50
£23 / per learner
51 - 100
£17.50 / per learner
101 - 150
£11.50 / per learner
Exchange rates are updated regularly but are only intended as a guide.

2. Complete Bundle Pricing

If you buy all the Compliance, Health & Safety or Performance Training in a complete bundle, all features come as standard, no matter the size of your organisation!
Number of Learners Cost (per year)
50 - 100
£34.50 / per learner
101 - 200
£29 / per learner
201 - 300
£24.50 / per learner
301 - 400
£21 / per learner
401 - 500
£17.50 / per learner
501 - 750
£14.50 / per learner
751 - 1000
£11.50 / per learner
1001 - 2500
£9.50 / per learner
2501 - 5000
£7 / per learner
5000 - 10,000
£6 / per learner
10,000 +

Included Features

  • All courses in our catalogue
  • Our Learning Experience Platform ‘Astute’
  • New courses added regularly
  • Branded, downloadable posters
  • Customise Course Content for Your Team
  • Regular course updates
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited help desk support
Exchange rates are updated regularly but are only intended as a guide. Prices are based on a 2 year contract.

The Importance of Challenging Conversations Training

Conversations that managers and employees find difficult can be about many different subjects. They may involve a difference of opinion, a performance issue or include bad news.

Management training in handling difficult conversations is a key way of making sure these conversations go smoothly and generate a successful outcome for all involved. It is important for managers to remain calm and composed and prepare well for the conversation. Training can help them to do this efficiently. Courses that help with this are an investment in employee/manager relations.


If you have any questions that are not covered here, please get in touch.

A difficult conversation is any discussion where there might be conflict, a difference of opinion, or challenging information being delivered. Managers will face many of these over the course of their careers. Examples include performance issues, addressing interpersonal conflict in a team and delivering disappointing news such as redundancy.

It’s important for managers to prepare for difficult conversations to ensure the message is delivered correctly. This makes the likelihood of a good outcome for both parties in the conversation more likely. Managers should take time to review all the relevant information, work out the key points they want to address and prepare for anything that is likely to crop up during the conversation.

Difficult conversations are challenging because they often involve delivering bad news, such as negative performance issues. Emotions can run high on both sides and in some cases, long held back tensions can come to the surface. In many difficult conversations, managers have to prepare well and keep their own emotions in check so they can run the meeting efficiently.

If you have any feedback about our products please contact us at [email protected]

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