Better Conversations



Having Difficult Conversations Makes Every Workplace Better. Preparing And Participating In These Difficult Conversations Is Made Up Of Skills And Skills Can Be Learnt…

2 x half-day sessions, face to face or online workshop date TBA

Hosted by Zandy Fell

We believe that people want to have that difficult conversation, but sometimes they just don’t know how.  We will show you ways to develop your skills to manage better conversation, which will enable better outcomes.

This interactive workshop will emphasise mindset, capability/skills and courage.  The workshop will include frameworks, strategies, processes and techniques drawing from the disciplines of negotiation, influence, conflict management, change and leadership.  The 2 sessions will cover topics such as:

  • An exploration of current conversation philosophy and the requisite mindset and expectations of team members
  • The role and responsibilities of each individual to participate in workplace conversations
  • Practical options and strategies to control or influence key stages and factors of conversations and conflict (for example, choices available, positive problem solving, stakeholder management, articulating intention to ensure the desired impact, framing, active listening and managing conversations)
  • Understanding and managing your personal style and communication reputation and how to neutralise personal bias when necessary. This will include a self-reflection and an auditing of individual relationships with key colleagues
  • The role of assumptions, stereotypes & experience in difficult conversations
  • Understanding and recognising the individual’s non-verbal physiological/neuroscientific responses and impacts on conflict and difficult conversations (e.g. perceptions of power, stress, workplace justice etc.)
  • Work through practical scenarios including performance feedback, career development and return from leave situations.
  • How to de-escalate the dynamic when the tone rises
    • Tools and techniques to manage the “unexpected” during conversations (e.g. managing emotional outbursts, threats etc) and strategies for closing difficult conversations
    • Responding appropriately to both serious and minor escalating tension or “curve balls” to allow for productive responses and countermeasures. For example, how to manage “defensiveness”

Pre and post work is available to maximise learning.  The two sessions are held a couple of weeks apart to give time to complete post-work related to the first session. Research tells us this is the best way to embed learnings.

  • There is a significant emphasis on conversations regarding mindset and activities which promote skill experimentation. This approach provokes mindset change and motivates skill enhancement
  • The focus is on practical application of the relevant skills
  • Workshop components are interactive and experiential, with a little humour thrown in!
  • Practical, relevant, “real world” scenarios will be used as case studies within the training

Past Participant Comments:

Zandy’s session garnered the most positive feedback we’ve ever received.  She was highly engaging and energetic.  The session itself was a good balance of practical and theoretical, totally worth their weight I gold!
— Manager, Department of Premier and Cabinet

As a first time people leader the insights from your ‘Better Conversations’ course has been invaluable during this challenging period. Having authentic conversation and being vulnerable, especially around the unknowns of the future, has helped me navigate this new normal of remote working and virtual management. Thank you for sowing the seeds around leaning into and embracing the uncomfortable, but much needed difficult conversations!
— Jemima Joseph, Institutional Investment Relations, Cbus Super

Lots and lots of ideas I am ready to try.  This workshop will make me stop and think about the conversation I am going to have, why I feel it might be difficult and what choices can I make before, during and after the conversation. Even for a virtual session it was fantastic, the pace & energy were right.
— Stuart Fletcher, National Talent Acquisition Lead

Very engaging, easy to understand and to the point. Loved the frameworks and the activity which made me experience the message Zandy was giving.
— Marco Perchante, State Field Manager, Miele