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Handling difficult conversations

Handling difficult conversations

Understanding and flexing to individual behaviours for more effective conversations

Avoiding a difficult conversation doesn’t make the situation go away – quite the opposite. Left unchecked, negative behaviours can escalate and have a dramatic impact on individual teams and the entire organisation.

Course outline

This course focuses on behaviours and is designed to equip ‘people who work and deal with people’ with the necessary skills to understand and read behaviours in others, as well as appreciate their own personal communication style.

It empowers participants to effectively handle challenging conversations with employees and at work with practical strategies and techniques. By using a proactive approach they learn how to start and then manage conversations towards a fair, constructive and respectful outcome.
Participants work with coaches and actors and learn by seeing and doing, in a safe, consequence-free environment.

It will particularly benefit anyone working in a customer-facing environment who may have to deal with awkward customers or a complaint situation. It will also benefit line managers, looking for management training, to prepare for and manage effective appraisals or raise personal issues with colleagues.

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At glance
  • workshop-icon Style
  • time-icon Learning time
    One day
  • mask-icon Method
    LIVE Learning
  • coaching-icon Coaching

Learning activities

The learning can be delivered in a half-day workshop and will introduce a number of theoretical and practical tools to support the drama-based learning activities. The course engages the learner in the need for a change, before exploring a variety of options, using forum theatre and roleplay, to demonstrate potential options and generate ownership of the solutions. The last stage is designed to truly embed the learning using best practice LIVE scenarios and breakout sessions in smaller groups, where participants can practise their skills and receive constructive development feedback.


By the end of the workshop, participants have a tested structure for approaching and managing difficult conversations and will have developed an increased confidence to manage their conversations effectively. They will be able to recognise and adapt to individual behaviours and appreciate the impact of their own personal behavioural style. As an organisation, your staff will be better equipped to manage situations proactively and minimise negative impact and the need for escalation.

Supporting Theory
  • Discovery Learning – Jerome Bruner 1961
  • Emotional Intelligence – various sources
  • Conflict Resolution – Published Sources

The scenarios are very realistic which helps the operatives to engage from the start. I would like to express how professional the actors have been throughout.

Mike Dale - Head of Responsive Repairs & Strategy

View case study

Want to learn more? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch…

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