Critical Conversations Results-based Communication

Upcoming dates (3)

Sep. 18-19, 2024

Madison, WI or Live Online

Course Overview

To achieve good outcomes in the workplace, we need all stakeholders to have open, clear and honest conversations with their team, bosses, peers and customers. Often conversations go wrong through misunderstandings and perceptions of ulterior motives. People are often aware that their conversations are not achieving the results they want but do not have any specific tools to improve them. 

This course provides a communication framework to plan and have an effective conversation that achieves jointly satisfactory outcomes. It includes a step-by-step approach to having truthful conversations that deliver the real message without alienating anyone.  The course is relevant to getting the most out of all day-to-day business conversations and especially relevant where an unwanted conflict in the workplace occurs.

 In this course you will learn how to:

  • Assess the true business outcome you want and how to achieve it
  • Assess a situation and recognize when a conversation could become emotional
  • Use a simple template to plan a conversation
  • Follow a step-by-step model (5S-5F-3A) to deliver a difficult message safely
  • Deploy advanced communication skills, including how to recover a conversation with unwanted conflict
  • Leverage the art of storytelling in a business context
  • Understanding how to avoid emotions derailing the conversation
  • Ensure the desired business outcome is achieved after the conversation

Who Should Attend?

This course will benefit anyone who needs to regularly communicate effectively, including:

  • Newly appointed managers or team leaders directing technical professionals
  • Experienced managers who are looking for ways to be effective and efficient
  • Engineers and other technical professionals aspiring to management and leadership positions
  • Project Managers with cross-functional teams

Additional Information

This course is part of the Technical Leadership Certificate. Course may be taken individually as well.

Course Outline

  • Establishing a mutual goal
    • Getting aligned to a shared business outcome
    • Eliminating detracting secondary goals
  • Recognizing what makes a conversation emotional
    • Trigger words to avoid
    • The role of unshared context
  • Understanding the advanced 5S-5F-3A communication model
  • Critical elements of advanced communications
    • Making it emotionally safe to speak the brutal truth
    • Advanced conversation skills, including listening and questioning
  • Mastering storytelling
    • Understanding the games we play
    • Defusing the games they play
  • Difficult conversations—dealing with the really tough cases
    • Dealing with high conflict situations
    • What to do when things go badly
    • Toolkit  of opening and recovery phases

Closing well – Getting agreed outcome and action plan


Trevor Manning

Trevor Manning is an accomplished author, leaderhsip consultant, and trainer with extensive international experience leading technical teams. He has held roles such as chief engineer, technical director, Chief Operating Officer, and board advisor.

With a diverse background spanning various companites including a large government-owned utility, a US-headquartered manufacturer, an international London headquartered start-up, and a privately owned telecommunications operator, Trevor offers valuable insights into real-world business operations.

Trevor leads three training courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on practical insights derived from his wealth of experience.

Effectively Managing Technical Teams

Leadership Beyond Your Team: Managing Up and Across

Critical Conversations: Results-based Communication

Trevor has published several technical and leadership books and lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Upcoming dates (3)

Program Director

Jon Wellik

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