Courageous Conversations Workshop

Confronting conflict constructively and maintaining open dialogue when emotions run high can be challenging and uncomfortable for many people; as a result, these important conversations are often mishandled or avoided altogether, which benefits no one. The Courageous Conversations workshop focuses on building the skills necessary for engaging in difficult conversations with others while maintaining the integrity of the relationship and achieving win-win outcomes for everyone.

About Courageous Conversations

Leaders and individual contributors alike undoubtedly find themselves in situations where they need the ability to be candid and carry out constructive conversations with others. These situations generally involve people with differing goals, perspectives, and interests and occur in all kinds of work relationships. Developing the ability to effectively communicate in these challenging situations leads to greater satisfaction in relationships, team culture, performance, and results. The Courageous Conversations workshop helps participants learn the skills they need to communicate with candor, particularly when engaging in conversations about difficult issues like the following:

  • When ideas are met with continuous resistance.
  • When there is a lack of follow-through on commitments
  • When uncomfortable situations aren’t being addressed.
  • When problems remain unresolved.

By learning to actively bring issues to the surface and testing the thinking and logic inherent in differing points of view, participants can tackle problems and discuss issues that may otherwise go unaddressed and unresolved. This workshop is a rigorous, skill-based approach to developing interpersonal-communication competencies. The concepts presented are based on a tested methodology and are backed by ongoing

Objectives & Outcomes

Participants develop and learn how to apply a number of critical competencies during the Courageous Conversations workshop that are practical and immediately applicable on the job:

  • Identify interpersonal situations that they find problematic and recognize why their best efforts to deal with these situations are often ineffective.
  • Establish conditions that will enable people to act with high levels of candor, respect, and responsibility when they encounter difficult, complex issues.
  • Be direct but not overbearing.
  • Minimize destructive placement of blame when dealing with tough problems and issues, and keep people focused on the relevant issues.
  • Develop precise questions to conduct a skillful conversation.
  • Engage in robust conversations with people in higher positions of authority so that critical, bottom-up communication remains open and productive.

Our Approach

The course design is built on fundamental adult-learning principles: Participants not only learn the concepts, skills, and tools for engaging in courageous conversations, they also get extensive practice applying the methods to their own most-pressing organizational problems. Our book, Candor: How to Have Courageous Conversations When It Really Matters, provides the foundation for the program. The workshop also gives participants opportunities to explore, diagnose, and develop solutions to the issues and dilemmas they bring to the learning experience. Using this approach, the course becomes more than just an academic program—it becomes a learning laboratory where skills are developed and real-life issues are addressed.

“Some people have a real inner fear of examining their operating principles and what they are

really trying to accomplish.”

~ Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are different in the way we perceive the

world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with other.”

~ Anthony Robbins

“Courageous conversations give us an opportunity to provide awareness to employees of the

impact their behavior is having on success.”

~ Tony I. Herrera, Ed.D.

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