Learning Spotlights

Learning Spotlight: Difficult Conversations


Difficult conversations don’t need to result in difficult situations. Communicating well and knowing how to listen effectively are both key aspects of helping to ensure a positive outcome from a difficult conversation.


Listening: to pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said.

Feedback: the process of giving constructive information or advice to colleagues based on performance, behaviour, or skills in the workplace.

Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Emotional Intelligence: the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you.


Article: How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Work (5 mins): a good guide with useful pointers from Harvard Business Review.

Video: Five skills for improved Listening (4 mins): Assess your own listening skills by looking at what you’re already good at, and what could use some improvement.

Video: How to receive feedback well (4 mins): Start by understanding and reflecting on how you handle receiving feedback.

Course: Having Difficult Conversations (1 Hr 7 Mins): Identify underlying differences in work styles, goals, and power dynamics and change the way you view conflict. Learn about a model to move the conversation to a positive direction and to determine next steps.

Course: Communicating with Empathy (47 Mins): When empathetic communication is encouraged at work, individuals feel more comfortable speaking openly, they feel like they matter, and they feel safe. That's why empathy at work is crucial.

Video: How to Effectively Deliver Criticism (14 Mins): This video contains tips and tricks to conduct meetings, communicate the problem, and leave a conversation with a productive outcome.


This deep dive into Giving and Receiving Feedback (48 mins) explains how to how to give effective feedback, ask for feedback, and use the responses you receive as a tool to improve personal performance.

Listening is a critical competency and an underrated skill, whether you are interviewing for a new job or leading a team. This course on Effective Listening (1 Hr 4 Mins) will help you build skills fast.

Learn how to Develop your Emotional Intelligence (1 Hour) to build strong and collaborative work relationships.


Why not ask for feedback yourself from 2-3 colleagues to hear how feedback is delivered and how you handle feedback?

Practice, practice, practice! Pair up with a colleague and roleplay a tricky conversation. Ask for feedback and use it!