How to Have Difficult Conversations

How to use nonverbal communication skills to deliver bad news

The Course

One of the most common situations we all find ourselves in is having to deliver news that is other than positive. At best, it is precarious to be the bearer of such tidings.

The danger involved is legendary. In his play Oedipus Rex, Sophocles says, “Nobody likes the man who brings bad news.”

It is purported that the Romans, upon hearing the bad news, took their frustrations out on the messenger by killing the person. Hence the phrase, “Don’t kill the messenger.”

As messengers, how do we convey factual information that is often interpreted as negative by others without our becoming associated, in their minds, with their reactions to the message? You’ll want to attend this workshop to learn the best methods to achieve this.

Eight components make up this exciting seminar. They will be taught separately and then interwoven to collectively create the fabric of How to Have Difficult Conversations (formally, How Not To Get Shot!).

“Nobody likes the person who brings bad news.”

The How to Have Difficult Conversations material comes from a bold vision created by Harvard University’s Fisher and Ury. In their work, most notably Getting to Yes, they created the macro goal of preserving the relationship while dealing with tough issues. How to Have Difficult Conversations! is the micro level of Fisher and Ury’s macro level.

Course Details

This is a 2-5 day course
1/3 presentation, 1/3 demonstration and 1/3 roleplay
Dive deeper into these concepts with The Elusive Obvious.

Topics of study include

How to set one set of nonverbal communication techniques for bad news and another for good news.
The concept of decontamination, and how you can use it to preserve the relationship.
The best ways to sit and stand.
Where to look when you deliver bad news.
How to use your voice when delivering bad news.
How to use the right words to get your idea across.

Expected outcomes

Learn the 8 elements that will help separate you as a person from your message.
Understand the important role that eye-contact plays in communication.
Know when you’re in your person (using influence) and in your position (using power).
Learn how to use your voice patterns systematically and effectively.
Discover how to use 2-point and 3-point communication in volatile situations.
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