Difficult Leadership Conversations

As a leader, your team members come to you for guidance, support, development and much more. Sometimes these conversations can be tense as parties have different ideas or needs. Many conversations are highly charged, and the outcome is very important one or both parties.

Managing difficult conversations is a critical skill that leaders need to learn and use daily. This interactive Difficult Leadership Conversations course will help any leader to start, conduct and manage those conversations.

Course Content

Setting the context

  • What do we mean by a ‘difficult conversation’?
  • What is the impact of having/not having difficult conversations?

Starting the conversation

  • Difficult conversation model and process
  • Preparing empathetically for a conversation
  • Sharing your story and listening to their story

Managing the conversation

  • Managing potential reactions from both yourself and others
  • How to agree or agree to disagree

Mini-case studies

Action Planning

Course Approach


  • How people think about what a difficult conversation is
  • Current bad habits that may trigger flashpoints in themselves or others


  • Environments more conducive to having successful difficult conversations
  • Mental shortcuts to help prepare for unexpected difficult conversations


  • How leaders prepare both practically and empathetically
  • How leaders may manage themselves in these difficult situations

Embedding Success

Post programme activities to support the transfer of learning and building of habits


Reflect on recent difficult conversations.

How well have they run.

What has led to successes or unintended outcomes?

What can you learn from this?


Reflect on a recent conversation that did not go well.

What reactions did you or the other person have.

How would you manage this differently now?

How might you choose to follow up  on this conversation?


Think of a difficult conversation you need to have.

How will you empathetically prepare for this conversation?

What flashpoints or reactions might occur?

How can you plan for this?


of our clients would recommend Alpha to a colleague or peer


of a cohort was promoted within 2 years after participating in an Alpha course.


of participants felt more confident in their role, following an Alpha commercial leadership course.

Why study with Alpha?

Innovation and creativity born from experience

We are thought leaders in instructional and learning journey design and holistic solution architects. We have extensive finance and investments experience combined with skills application to deliver performance improving results. We develop immersive learning environments that maximize time to productivity, support talent retention and added value to improving quality of hires.

Knowledge Exchange Evangelists

We are focused on mining the embedded organisational intellectual capital for the benefit of the next generation. We create and curate best in class practice gathered from our experience with the leading financial institutions. We design our programmes with the end in mind – what results are you trying to achieve with this intervention? What metrics will we set ourselves to achieve that?

Generation Proof

Quality and innovation, using current market and industry best practices, have made us a trusted partner in delivering dynamic and motivating training for the financial and capital markets. Our programmes are generation proof and responsive to evolving learner needs and styles. Our solutions use a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy that expands beyond relationships between the learner and learning provider. We create connections with managers, peers and the wider business to drive impactful return on investment..

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The team are so friendly and pleasant to work with, everyone is very professional and keen to help us. Building a relationship over the past couple of years helps us to feel like the Alpha team are even more able to understand our needs and provide more proactive solutions.
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