Courageous Conversations

"Navigating Courageous Conversations!" (A Roadmap for dealing with Tough Topics and People)

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With over 30 years in people development, I have consistently seen team leaders in multiple industries and professions struggle with the same issue: conducting courageous conversations. In this presentation based on my book “Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)”, I demystify the subject and give people clear and simple tools to equip their confidence and ability to handle challenging conversations.

As with all of my presentations, I interview relevant industry personnel in order to customize the following content to the context of the audience:

  • Understanding the current relational account balance in order to conduct an effective courageous conversation
  • Above or Below the Line attitudes- the litmus test to assess whether the recipient is on board or not
  • The “Y” Conversations© Model which helps to determine the tone for the too timid and the too tough
  • The BISCuit© Model- because it’s useless navigating to a destination when you don’t have any kind of a roadmap
And what too few people know about what trust is and how to build it!

Entertaining, Engaging and Inspiring

I doubt that you’re a fan of racism and I strongly doubt that you’re a fan in any way of the Nazi philosophy. So, imagine that you’re sitting in a cafe waiting for your appointment to arrive, and in walks a young guy with a shaved head with a large swastika tattooed on the side of it. He sits at the table next to you- clearly he’s waiting for someone to turn up also. So, you’re both sitting there next to each other, and if you’re not at all a fan of the Nazi philosophy, then would you embark on a courageous conversation with this individual? And if you would, what would you say?

That was a situation that I found myself in in an out of town gym one evening that’s recounted in my book “The Art of Persuasive Influence”. I was sitting on a weights machine and in walked the guy I have just described, complete with shaved head and the swastika tattoo. So I’m thinking to myself- “Will I, or won’t I? Should I, or shouldn’t I?” And despite hearing my wife’s voice inside my head strongly suggesting that I mind my own business, I found myself walking over to this young guy to have a “chat” about his philosophy.

How did I conduct the conversation, particularly given the fact that he was obviously accompanied by his 2IC- you could see a very clear leader/follower relationship in their body language which might make the conversation even more challenging? How did I conduct the conversation to the point where, despite needing to maintain his ego with his 2IC present, he was open to me giving him career, relationship, and even parenting advice? This is all covered in my Courageous Conversations’ presentation!

Having worked in various roles of developing leaders over the last 30 years and for the last 13 years working specifically with team leaders, the number one pain-point that I have seen consistently has been a lack of confidence and competence in terms of conducting difficult conversations. It’s been such an area of need, and many businesses have failed to adequately equip their people, that I wrote a book solely dedicated to the subject- it’s called “Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)”. I’ve presented courageous conversations material to multiple industries and professions from manufacturing to mining, traffic management to software management with content such as:

“Navigating Courageous Conversations!” is also available as a workshop from three hours to three days. Contact me now to talk further!

As with all of my presentations I customize this “Courageous Conversations” presentation to the specific industry or professional realm that I’m speaking to. I do this by initially consulting the client to understand the needs of the audience. I then solicit both the names of senior leaders and those closer to the front line to conduct interviews to ascertain pain points and specific challenges. This provides invaluable information for me to customize my presentation specifically to the audience in question and in doing so I’ll make at least 25 references specifically to their world in any 60 minute presentation.

And one thing I can guarantee with all of my presentations that no coroner will ever provide a ruling of “Death by PowerPoint!” I have my audiences laughing, on their feet, interacting with each other, and have audience members on stage with me doing live demonstrations! And all of this mixed in with thought-provoking, and riveting stories that keep the audience engaged the entire time!

“Navigating Courageous Conversations!” is available as a presentation, and also as a workshop from (3 hours to 3 days). Contact me now to talk further!


HeadingNavigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)

This free chapter from the book “Navigating Courageous Conversations” begins with the running conversation between a workplace team leader (Sandra) and her coach over a particularly difficult team member (Daniel). This introduces chapter 9 which explains the BISCuit© model- a four stage process for dealing with courageous conversations, concluding with another conversation between the team leader and her coach.

Download a Free Chapter

Download a free PDF chapter from Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)

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M.P. - National Mini Storage

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K.B.J. - Plastics NZ

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M.H. - National Sales Manager, Autex Industries

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M.H. - National Sales Manager, Autex Industries

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M.P. - National Mini Storage

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K.B.J. - Plastics NZ

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K.B.J. - Plastics NZ

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E.D. - Director, Morrow Industries

"(At one point he had an) industry person up on stage to assist him with an exercise based on trust – which had the audience in stitches"

E.D. - Director, Morrow Industries

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E.D. - Director, Morrow Industries

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E.D. - Director, Morrow Industries

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M.H. - National Sales Manager, Autex Industries

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Courageous Conversations
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