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101 Difficult Conversations
Level 2 Seminar - Designed for Managers

Having tough discussions with your employees will always be one of the most important and most daunting tasks you will face as a manager.  There are circumstances where “avoidance” will simply encourage bad behaviour and erase good behaviour. 



This workshop will provide you with guidance and realistic sample scripts you can use to facilitate clear, direct interactions with your people, helping to side-step potential awkwardness and to meet issues head-on.


I       Common Managerial and Supervisory Discussions

  • Mediating Disputes Among Subordinates
  • Inheriting an Employee with Disciplinary Problems
  • Stopping Attitude Problems in Their Tracks
  • The 2-Minute Challenge
  • Coping With Criticism from Subordinates


II      Poor Work Habits and Job Performance Concerns

  • Lack of Quality, Detail, Efficiency, Quantity, Speed
  • Substandard Customer Satisfaction
  • Failure to Learn or Use Material from Training
  • Acts Resulting in a Loss to the Employer
  • Failure to Follow Through, or “Dropping the Ball”
  • Excessive Personal Phone Calls; Internet Usage
  • Absenteeism and Tardiness

o   “No Fault” System

o   “Excuse” Based

o   Patterning Around Weekends and Holidays

o   Exempt Employees who come and go as they please

  • Lack of Requisite Skills

 III    Inappropriate Workplace Behaviour and Conduct

  • E-mail Misuse
  • Bullying, Shouting, Arguments, Language
  • Hostile Environment

 IV     Substandard Communication Skills

  • Gossipmongers, Snitches, and Tattletales
  • Whiners and Complainers
  • Requests for Confidential Conversations from Other Supervisors’ Subordinates
  • Poor Listening Skills
  • Failure to Communicate Upward (especially “bad news”)
  • Poor Preparation and/or Participation in Team Meetings

 V      Leadership Style Challenges and Career Management Obstacles

  • Stalled Career Syndrome
  • Unwillingness to Confront Problems Head-On
  • Staff Motivation Conversations
  • Inability to Provide Constructive Criticism
  • Inability to Receive Constructive Criticism
  • Lack of Leadership
  • Lack of Planning, Scheduling, and Prevention
  • Poor Time Management Practices (focus on priorities)
  • Perfect Phrases for Delegation
  • Situation Leadership – Ken Blanchard

 VI     Corporate Actions

  • Probationary Termination
  • Administering Disciplinary Warnings
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Termination for Cause (in conjunction with progressive discipline)
  • Encouraging Voluntary Resignation When There are No Progressive Warnings on File
  • Negotiating a Separation Package When There Are No Progressive Warnings on File

VII    Perfect Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People

  • Difficult Co-Workers
  • Difficult Bosses
  • Difficult Employees
  • Difficult Customers
  • People Who Don’t Listen
  • Argumentative People
  • Negative People
  • When That Negative, Angry Employee is You

VIII   Perfect Phrases for Motivating and Rewarding Employees

  • Motivating vs. Satisfying
  • Herzberg’s 2-Part Theory
  • Specific Needs of the New Workforce – Generations at Work
  • The Motivated Environment
  • Ongoing Positive Feedback
  • Motivating the Underachiever
  • The Powerhouse Overachiever
  • Raising Morale in Tough Times
  • Public Recognition and Rewards
  • Peer Recognition Programs
  • Gifts and Special Occasions

 X   The Rules of Responsible Communication - Review

  • Stay Positive
  • Be Civil
  • Use Candor
  • Use Specific Examples and Observations
  • Speak Accurately and Honestly
  • Maintain the Three Perspectives (Yours, Theirs, and that of a Neutral Party)
  • Use the Deane Eldredge Communication Planning Model