What are Challenging Conversations?

A discussion between people when:

· The stakes are high.

· Opinions vary.

· Critical thinking is imperative.

· Emotions run strong.

· Improved performance is necessary.

Avoiding, blowing up, pretending, too conciliatory, too harsh. These are the reactions and strategies of people who are less skilled at having challenging conversations.

We believe that with the right skill level any conversation can be had and not result in conflict.

When important workplace issues arise, you need to get the right people together and act swiftly but skillfully. Avoiding critical workplace conversations is unproductive.

Plan of action

At some stage we all have to engage in a conversation that can be both challenging and confrontational. 'HOW TO HAVE CHALLENGING CONVERSATIONS' is a program designed to equip you to resolve critical issues and accelerate performance

Learn the tools to build your confidence & capability to hold these conversations We have discovered that performance increases by 30%.

"Craig Farmer was introduced to the NSW SES via our Employee Assistance Program provider and has assisted many members and their families on a wide range of issues impacting on their work and home lives. In addition to this core service role, Craig has a superior level of skill and expertise in relationship awareness theory, building efficient and effective teams, leadership development and change management. To this end, I have engaged Craig's services to work with the Human Services team that I am responsible for and through simulation learning techniques, Craig has facilitated higher levels of trust and collaboration which has resulted in a more motivated and effective team.

Craig recently presented to the NSW SES leadership team on change management at the request of the Commissioner with feedback on that workshop resoundingly indicating that the information provided was highly valued and already requests for follow-up sessions have been received. Craig has worked with many other areas of the organisation including the Senior Executive Group, Finance and Logistics and Information Communication and Technology directorates and various Regions with a focus on developing resilient workplace relationships and effective leadership development. The individual counselling and team based workshops that Craig has provided are characterised by effective facilitation an environment that optimises learning and that is fun and safe and in part these activities are under pinning a changing culture in the NSW SES.

I highly recommend the services of Craig Farmer to you and I would be happy for you to contact me for any further information."

​David Rae, Director of Human Services, State Emergency Service, NSW.

How comfortable am I to have the conversations I know I have to have? Ask yourself the following:

· Why do I avoid challenging conversations?

· Am I concerned with hurting the other person's feeling?

· Is my understanding of my style under pressure clear enough to have these discussions?

· How do I start initiating these challenging conversations?

· Will I be too blunt?

· How do I stop the conversation getting out of hand?

· How do I manage those emotional situations?

· Will I know it is critical to have the conversation?

· How do I give feedback that motivates people?

If you would like answers to these questions then we recommend you attend this interactive and practical workshop.

Key learning outcomes

At the conclusion of this program participants will possess the skills to:

  • Understand what the best organisations are doing.
  • Understand how to identify critical conversations.
  • Identify my style under stressful situations.
  • Understand how to use critical conversations tools to improve feedback, emotions, performance, relationships, and motivation.
  • How to feel more confident in initiating these conversations program.
  • Feel comfortable having uncomfortable things to get through.
  • Use interruption techniques to control venting.
  • Get to the point.
  • Be comfortable with pause and silence.
  • Refrain from the smile and dagger approach.
  • End with an action orientation.
  • Get past symptomatic responses and keep the conversation focussed.

Would you benefit from attending this program?


· For maximum effectiveness, this program is best conducted as an in-house program.

· Ideal group size: 4 - 12 participants.

· Venue: For your convenience, you can choose to conduct this program at your business premises. Alternatively, we can provide a training         venue at a small additional cost.

· Duration: This program can be adapted to meet your requirements.

· Cost: Price on request.

· Target Audience: Supervisors, Team Leaders, Middle, Senior Management & CEO's.

To find out more or make a booking please contact Craig Farmer -