Managers, team members, owners and employees in New Zealand need to conduct difficult conversations at some time or another. Although difficult conversations cannot be avoided, they can be successfully managed to achieve positive outcomes.

Understanding, empathy and emotional intelligence skills development are necessary qualities that help  you control difficult conversations before, during and after they occur, so that you can achieve the desired outcome.  Giving critical feedback or dealing with highly-emotional staff can be a challenge, so we designed this course to help you gain not only the skills, but the confidence to manage them appropriately.

This highly valuable and engaging course empowers professionals to handle difficult conversations with ease to achieve professional success.

The PD Training Managing Difficult Conversations course is now available throughout New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and also via instructor-led online training.

Please click on the Public Class tab below to view our Managing Difficult Conversations course schedule by city or click the In-House Training tab to receive a free quote for courses delivered at your preferred location.

Your Learning Outcomes
Managing Difficult Conversations

After completing this course, participants will have learned to: 
  • Predict the results of a conversation
  • Establish the intent of a conversation
  • Identify the desired outcome
  • Manage their body language
  • Speak persuasively
  • Listen actively
  • Use probing techniques
  • Ask the right questions at the right time
  • Establish the purpose of a difficult conversation
  • Create a conversation template
  • Create a personalised action plan
  • Use communication skills to influence and control
  • Maintain safety in a conversation
  • Choose an appropriate place for a conversation
  • Understand and analyse the other person
  • Stay in control of the conversation throughout
Duration: 1.0 day course


Managing Difficult Conversations Reviews:

"I found Mal to be really good.  He knew his subject and put it across clearly.  Not one PPT slide which I thought was fantastic."



"A very knowledgeable trainer who engaged well with the audience and dealt with curve balls very well. We all enjoyed and got a lot out of the day."



"Fantastic day held with Mal very positive and very knowledgeable over all Great!"


"I wasn't sure initially what I would get from the course. I am now able to be confident with difficult conversations and have learned some techniques to prepare myself for any situation. Thanks Pam for your tutoring style. It suits who I am."



"I was happy all round and Pam was awesome . She created a great learning environment for us all and kept a great pace for the team involved."

"Outstanding course, thank you very much. Timing was brilliant, content excellent and the relevance of the course was perfect for my working situation. Thanks again. I would highly recommend this course."



"Kathy provided by far the best PD I have ever attended."

Marcellin College


"The reading list in the course manual is very helpful and I will be accessing some of these titles to strengthen my understanding of the topics."



"I really enjoyed the course - more time would have been great to work through more scenarios. We have some quite complex needs, so more time would have allowed us to dig into these more. I can't think of anything that wasn't useful."

Volunteer Services Abroad New Zealand


"Most useful were the techniques Roydon showed us. Setting ourselves up for those hard conversations."

"The personality traits that can be generic but also very useful in identifying how some people process information and communicate it."

Southern Cross Hospital Christchurch


"Looking at the personality of the person that you have to have the conversation with was quite enlightening for me."

"Overall a good positive learning experience with some valuable strategies to use in the future."



Course Outline
Managing Difficult Conversations

Download Managing Difficult Conversations Training Course Outline


Managing Difficult Conversations requires specialised knowledge and skill development because they can be challenging to handle without this support. During this training course, participants are taught how to develop an understanding of where, when, why and how to conduct difficult conversations. 

The goal of this course is to empower professionals to be in control of a difficult conversation at all stages of it, so that they can achieve the desired outcome. It is a necessary skill in the management of human resources, handling of irate customers and team management.

Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 1
  • Icebreaker
  • Housekeeping Items
  • The Parking Lot
  • Workshop Objectives
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 2
Choosing to Have the Conversation
  • Considering the Consequences
  • Establishing Your Frame of Reference
  • Establishing Positive Intent
  • Identifying the Desired Outcome
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 3
Toolkit for Successful Conversations
  • Managing Your Body Language
  • Speaking Persuasively
  • Active Listening
  • Asking Questions
  • Probing Techniques
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 4
Choosing the Time and Place
  • Weighing urgency
  • Privacy
  • Consideration
  • Transparency and presence of 3rd parties
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 5
Framework for Difficult Conversations
  • What’s Your Purpose?
  • Steps for a Difficult Conversation
  • Creating a Conversation Template
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 6
Staying Safe
  • Anticipating conflict
  • Mutual respect
  • Common ground
  • Staying in control
  • When to walk away
  • When things don't work
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 7
Testing the waters
  • Practice and review in class
Managing Difficult Conversations - Lesson 8
Wrap up
  • Course review
  • Action plan

In-House Training We’ll focus on what matters most to you and tailor to your context

Live Online or Hybrid Class Tailored to Your Needs

When you want a tailored learning experience targeting exactly what you want without bringing everyone physically together, the best choice is a Live Online Class run by PDT.

We tailor the content and activities to be specific to your current needs and the needs of the people and run the course in our usual activity-based workshop style training, however, the participants can all be offsite, or some can be in the room with others offsite.

Unless you have a preferred tools we use 'Zoom for Education' that includes enhanced collaboration features such as One-click content sharing, real-time co-annotation (people can work together in activity files), and digital whiteboarding, we also include things like live polls and group chats so you virtually have the same collaborative learning experience of attending a course in a room with other people.

live online & hybrid

We have delivered these 100's (if not 1000's) of times, and get great outcomes. We achieve great outcomes because we keep our learner centric approach - just because it’s delivered through a screen to some or all participants doesn’t mean it needs to be less tailored or less personalised.

You still have an expert trainer who talks to you prior to the session and tailors the delivery to use your terminology, ensure activities are relevant and directly applicable and ensures an engaging learning experience that provide people with skills and techniques they can apply the very next day.

A hybrid class is with some people dialling in, and some people physically together in the same room.

Live Online Participant Feedback:

90% Overall Trainer Rating

88% Delivery was Adapted to me Personally

75% I Would Recommend this Course to Someone Else

Face to Face Options With Everyone in the same room

1-hour Motivator
one hour motivator
3-hour Power Sessions
3 hour power session
Full-day training
full day training
At your workplace At your workplace
In our Training Rooms In our Training Rooms
 In our Online Training  Room - the HIVE In our Online Training Room

We’ll make things easier so you can focus on adding more value

We provide the Training Management Centre which is an information hub before, during and after training.
(Let us know if there’s parts you don’t want to use)

Invites people to training

(So you don’t have to)

Invite People icon

Generates Sign in Sheet

(So you don’t have to)

Generate Sign In Sheet Icon

Generates Branded Flyer

If you if you want to ‘promote’ internally

Generate Branded Flyer Example

PDF’s of Certificates

(can be co-branded with your logo)

Completion Certificate Included

Collects and Reports feedback

(So you don’t have to)

Feedback Report Example

Complete Results Dashboard

(including trainer insights)

Results Dashboard Example

What are people going to do differently?

At the completion of training participants are encouraged to create an action plan, and invite an accountability buddy via their Orgmenta App.

In your Training Management Centre you have transparency to the action plans so you can see what people are going to do differently.

My Action Plan
Participants encouraged to create

Want to get clear on impacts and measure success? Our system and expert consultants support you.

Our systems and people make it easy to identify how you’ll be able to measure impacts,
and then report on the success in the weeks or months after training.

Measure metrics your way

Do you already have a training management system and wish they were automatically up to date?

Training APIs

It’s surprisingly easy to make it so that your system can automatically be up to date with all the training record details you need.

More than just a training provider - we are your Learning and Development Partner, we look forward to working with you, talk to one of our friendly expert consultants today.

Public Class Dates for
Managing Difficult Conversations


  • Time: 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
  • Small classes, average 5 people, max 16
  • Prices excl. GST
  • Lunch and refreshments included
  • Pay on Invoice or by Credit Card


  • Certificate of Completion (always available in the App)
  • Comprehensive courseware as books (& available in the App)


learn more

Location Date 1 Date 2 Date 3 Date 4
Auldhouse Computer Training, Three Lamps , 338 Ponsonby Road Ponsonby NZ 1011
April 21
1.0 day course
Last Chance!
$0 for members
June 5
1.0 day course
Filling fast
August 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast
November 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast
Auldhouse, JacksonStone House, , Level 8, 11 Hunter Street Wellington NZ 6011
April 21
1.0 day course
Filling fast
June 5
1.0 day course
Filling fast
August 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast
November 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast
Auldhouse, 13 Stanley Street, Sydenham Christchurch NZ 8023
April 21
1.0 day course
Missed out
June 5
1.0 day course
Filling fast
August 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast
November 10
1.0 day course
Filling fast

When you book a Public Class with PD Training you can expect:

PDT Activities and discussion

To Be Engaged All Day

Activities and discussion for engaged learning all day.

Real world trainer

An outstanding trainer

On average PDT trainers have 15 years industry experience and 7 years training experience.

Tailored training

Focussed on you

We always tailor activities and scenarios to be relevant to you.

Transfer policy

100% Transfer Policy

If an unforseen event prevents public class attendance, no problem. Transfer to new person, course, date or city.

Refresher course

Refresher Course $0

In-House and Public Class participants are welcome to join a public class in the same topic for 12 months.

Confidence of booking

Acclaimed Provider

The confidence of booking with an acclaimed multi national training company.

eLearning and video

Multi-modal Reinforcement

Support, reinforcement & extension eLearning and videos in the App.

Not exactly what you needed? Try other courses in the Management and Supervision Courses Category

Managing Difficult Conversations Training
4.72 out of 5 from 184 responses