We all find ourselves handling awkward conversations from time to time. The natural response is to avoid such discussions. But avoidance is often the worst option. This course will show you the right options.

Some of us handle awkward conversations by adopting the silent treatment as a way of coping with the issues. Other people simply avoid awkward conversations altogether so that they never end up in such situation. The problem, however, is not always other people or the nature of the conversation but the way we handle it. This practical and effective one-day course is designed to help attendees develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to handle awkward conversations, even when things turn highly emotional. Delegates will also develop the skills required to provide concrete feedback when someone has done something wrong, to deliver bad news to those who do not want to hear it and to disagree with others, whilst still maintaining and strengthening their relationships whether at work or in their personal or social life. 

Read our newly-launched difficult people blog for insight and offers on workplace conflict including articles about handling awkward conversations.


  • Explore the range of strategies used to manage awkward conversations.
  • Understanding the needs of difficult or challenging people and know how this can help to improve an awkward conversation.
  • The important role of assertiveness [and not confusing this with aggressiveness] when handling awkward conversations.
  • Recognising when an awkward conversation is likely to escalate into a conflict.
  • Choosing your words carefully and using other communication techniques, including active listening and body language, to effectively handle awkward conversations.
  • Understanding how best to communicate information – some of us are visual people, whilst others retain information from actions, but, most of us have a weakness when it comes to auditory skills.
  • Best practice guidelines on improving awkward conversations.
  • Learning how to become emotionally intelligent, not to take things personally and not to over apologise when handling an awkward conversation.
  • Preparing to deliver potentially bad news and anticipating the range of reactions can you expect to receive when delivering bad news.
  • Handling people’s reactions to what you say when they become highly emotional or upset.
  • Not taking responsibility for other peoples’ reactions.
  • Not buying into others’ irrational rhetoric.
  • How to mean what you say and say what you mean.


Sandy Keating leads this workshop. An energetic and knowledgeable trainer, no conversation with her is ever awkward. Or so she says! And who are we to disagree?


To find out what other people think about this workshop click here to read their comments.


This workshop is available for in-house delivery which is cost effective if you've got more than a few people who need training with the added advantage that course content can be tailored to your specific organisational needs. Contact the trainer to discuss your requirements.


Mediation skills

Dealing with difficult people

Assertiveness techniques

Join our waiting list

We're sorry, the course youíve chosen isnít running as an open workshop at the moment but you can either register your interest and weíll let you know when itís back on, or ask to have it delivered in-house (see below).

Ask about in-house options

If you have more than a few staff to train, want to tailor the content to your exact organisational needs, prefer the privacy of one-to-one training, or simply want the flexibility of choosing a date and, for our face-to-face workshops, venue that suits you, then this is a great and, in most cases, cost-effective alternative to our public sessions.

Price From £999 per day (or per hour)*

* Please note the rate depends on workshop type and duration. You may pay even less than the price shown for shorter sessions.

Book an in-house workshop

If you're ready to order an in-house workshop and you want to use our secure, online booking system then click on the order in-house button below. You'll get a chance to let us know your preferred date at the next step.

Price From £999 per day (or per hour)*

What our clients say:

"An excellent course that was very well presented by a trainer who was clearly experienced in his field and put his message across in a relaxed and good humoured manner. Thank you."

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