This course will provide effective strategies to:

  • Know how to deal with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ issues through opening lines, questioning tips and interaction strategies
  • Develop de-escalation techniques
  • Find out how to turn around difficult and demanding situations
  • Build an effective, skill-base to defuse aggression, handle bullies, complacency, complainers

Delegates will take away a wealth of practical strategies, informed by some psychological understanding, to deal with difficult people effectively, and with confidence, confidentiality, care and compassion.


  • Explore the drivers to tackle difficult situations and create a positive professional ethos
  • Investigate practical strategies to manage behaviour that leads to difficult situations
  • Gain skills in assertiveness, evidence gathering, effective questioning and target setting
  • Understand how to create win-win outcomes and success based solutions
  • Know how to apply the tools and techniques learned straight away back at the workplace


COURSE DATE London Thursday 22 March 2018
WHO FOR?  Senior and middle Leaders
Mentors, CPD coordinators
Support staff
Front of house, office and reception staff
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
Detailed notes On-line materials
Powerpoint presentations CPD Certificate
 High quality training facilities Sit-down buffet lunch



10.00 – 11.15am: Why we need difficult conversations – tackling complacency, deflection and underachievement

  • Unlock the psychology of difficult conversations
  • Explore confrontation risks and benefits
  • Getting the right mindset: overcoming the need to be liked
  • Learn to break habits and exit comfort zones

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break


11.30 – 12.30pm: How to face difficult conversations head on

  • Prepare, deliver and deal with difficult conversations
  • Pinpoint the most appropriate conversation: style tone ego state language
  • Know how to deal with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ issues: behaviour attitude manner manipulation
  • Plan constructively and establish clear objectives

12.30 – 1.15pm: Lunch and informal discussion


1.15 – 2.15pm: Ways to avoid aggression and defensiveness

  • Handling defensive feelings
  • How to maintain composure and control
  • Developing de-escalation techniques
  • Tackle difficult conversations assertively and confidently

2.15 – 2.30pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


2.30 – 3.30pm: Build a skill-base to tackle difficult situations confidently

  • Practical tools and techniques to maximise outcomes
  • Develop a calmer, constructive, postive environment
  • Communication and response skills
  • Opening lines
  • How to say ‘no’ and mean it

3.30 – 3.45pm: Plenary and end

Steve Burnage

Steve’s career spans over 25 years teaching and senior leadership experience in inner city, urban and rural schools. Now a well-respected trainer, consultant and author who is frequently rated ‘outstanding’ by his clients, Steve makes regular contributions to education magazines and newspapers and his ‘BiteSized Training’ is now a regular CPD feature in SecEd magazine. Steve brings a wealth of expertise and relevant professional experience of resolving difficult and challenging conversations to this course.