University of Southern Indiana

USI @ WestGate: Having Difficult Conversations

Oftentimes we are faced with the need to have critical conversations with others that could also be referred to as "difficult discussions”, "important interactions", or even "crucial conversations".  Knowing how to prepare for and conduct these interactions can be critical for a successful outcome.  This program is based off key elements from the best-selling book, “Crucial Conversations:  Tools for Talking When Stakes are High”Critical conversations happen all of the time with everyone. Conversations are considered critical when opinions vary, the stakes are high and emotions run strong.

 In this session, participants will learn how to handle critical conversations in an effective manner rather than avoiding the problem by choosing to go silent.  At the close of this interactive session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the conversations that are keeping them from their desired results
  • Speak persuasively not abrasively, no matter the topic
  • Make it safe for others to share their honest opinions
  • Deal with people who either clam up or blow up
  • Gain control of their own emotional responses
  • Disagree without being disagreeable
  • Influence without exerting force

Contact Paula Nurrenbern, manager, customized solutions at 812-461-5425 or, for a needs assessment to see how our programs can meet the training needs of your company or organization.  

Contact Bill Groves


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