ILR School

Managing Difficult and Heated Conversations (DR148)

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About the course

Workplace conversations on difficult topics can easily become unproductive. This workshop teaches strategies for planning and having challenging conversations. Classroom simulations and role-plays address techniques for de-escalation and managing emotional exchanges


  • Build your skills to productively approach conflict
  • Learn how to prepare and practice having difficult conversations
  • Define next steps and follow-up needed after challenging conversations

Approach and Features

Managing Difficult and Heated Conversations is a highly interactive, practice-based workshop. Participants will apply techniques through role playing and other live simulations. Techniques include creating personal emotional boundaries while supporting constructive conversation.

Key Topics

  • Strategies for designing and faciliating conversations that maintain civility and foster positive outcomes
  • Intervention techniques for negative or destructive conversations
  • Tools to prevent conversation escalation and to shift the conversation dynamic

Trust the experts

Katrina Nobles

Katrina Nobles is the Director of Conflict Programs for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, focusing on educating the next generation of neutrals and practitioners on campus and in the workplace. Nobles designs curricu...


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