Difficult Conversations for Leaders

Delivering bad news, handling complaints, or dealing with disputes, conflict is part and parcel of being a leader in the modern workplace. We can't avoid it, so how can we tackle these difficult encounters effectively whilst staying in control of our emotions?

Online, with practice online & in VR

AI feedback

6 interactive AI roleplays

5 additional practice exercises

Digital certificate

2.5 hours of learning and practice

Course Outcomes

  • Build a practical toolkit to enable effective communication in difficult situations.
  • Learn to manage your mindset and stay calm when emotions are high
  • Structure for your upcoming difficult conversation
  • Reflect upon and challenge your own natural responses to conflictual situations.
  • Practice tricky conversations, active listening and other skills with AI avatars

You will work through interactive activities and immersive AI simulations in VR and/or online.
By the end of this course, instead of dreading them, you’ll have developed the skills to view difficult conversations as opportunities for growth. You'll feel competent and confident to handle each challenging encounter with calm and professionalism.

This is a structured e-learning course with interactive quizzes and exercises as well as practice simulations and activities in Virtual Reality. If you don’t have a head-set, all VR activities can be accessed online through our immersive 360 degree software.

Key skills covered:

  • Challenging assumptions & managing mindset
  • Active listening 
  • Body language
  • Paraphrasing and reflecting back
  • Non-confrontational language

Online learning, done differently

We combine online learning with active practice for a unique learning approach. Throughout this course, you'll have the opportunity to practice what you've learned!

Course Content

1. Understanding difficult conversations
This module discusses what a difficult conversation is and how different people tend to approach them. You'll also have a chance to try out a difficult conversation with an avatar!
2. Preparation & Mindset
Adopting the right mindset is the first step to preparing for a successful conversation. In this module, we'll take a deeper dive into human assumptions and how managing them can help us achieve a growth mindset.
3. Key skills -Active listening
Excellent active listening skills are vital to effective conversations, especially when emotions are running high. This module provides you with a tool kit of techniques to help you become an effective listener and communicator. The interactive exercises (in VR or online) allow you to practice listening for detail and for wider meaning as well as mastering the art of paraphrasing and becoming body language literate.
4. Key skills - language
For better or for worse, the words we use impact the way our intended message is received by other people. This module focuses on how to make your message as non-confrontational as possible through choice or language. You will have the opportunity to rephrase confrontation expressions into cooperative language with an AI avatar.
5. Structuring your conversations
Going into your meeting with a strong structure at your disposal gives you the space to focus on the communication and mindset skills we’ve covered in this course whilst remaining on track. We provide you with an editable template as the starting point for your structure as well as some tips to consider when things don't go to plan.
6. Roleplay practice
This module is all about you. Practice putting all your communication and mindset skills into practice as you handle various crucial conversations with our AI avatars.
Your Facilitator

Helen Hooper

Helen is an experienced learning designer and facilitator with a passion for experiential learning and soft skills development. With a background as a presenter, storyteller and Edtech platform founder, Helen is well-versed in transforming complex subject matter into accessible and engaging formats, with active participation and practice at the core. 

Practice exercises

Practice difficult conversations with interactive and engaging exercises. At key points during the course, you'll be prompted to practice what you've learned in one of the following exercises.

Features in the practice exercises

Improve faster and practice what you learn with these features.

What's included in this course:
  • 2.5 hours of learning
  • 6 challenging roleplays
  • 5 additional practice exercises
  • AI feedback and questions
  • Interactive quizzes and assessment
  • Earn a digital course certificate
  • Flexible, self-led format
  • Access to updated content

Frequently Asked Questions

1How do I access the online classes and practice exercises?
You can access the classes through the VirtualSpeech website, on any standard web browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari. You can also access the exercises through the VirtualSpeech website. No additional software or download is required.
2When do I get access to the training?
When you enroll in the course, you'll get 24/7 access to the course (including tutorial videos, case studies, practice exercises, and more) through the VirtualSpeech website.
3What equipment do I need for the practice exercises?
Both the online classes and exercises run in your browser, no additional software or download is required. The exercises have been tested across multiple browsers and run smoothly on Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Edge.
4How can I pay?
We accept payment via Credit Card, Debit Card or PayPal directly through the VirtualSpeech site. If you'd like to pay with an Invoice or using another payment method, please contact us.
5Can I buy this course for multiple people / my team?
Yes you can. After pressing the 'Buy Now' button on this page, select the number of users (maximum is 25). After the payment, you'll be made course admin and can add users to the course from the admin dashboard.
6Can I get a certificate when I complete this course?
Yes, when you've completed this course, we'll send you a Certificate of Achievement, which you can share in the Certifications section of your LinkedIn profile, on printed resumes, CVs, or other documents. Click here to learn more.
7What is the refund policy?
If the course does not meet your expectations, you can get a full refund within 7 days of purchasing the course.