What you will learn

  • How to feel more confident having conversations about challenging topics
  • Increased skill set for having these conversations
  • An improved your way of relating during talks
  • Downloadable resources and tools to support you


Learn the basic concepts, skills and mindsets for holding talks about difficult or tough topics. Many managers fear holding these talks, yet they are essential to your success as a leader. This course will take you step-by-step through a talk with practical examples and proven advice.

Learn to Master the Preparation, Planning and Performing of a Difficult Conversation With This Step-by-Step Course

  • Learn to prepare yourself to avoid unnecessary emotional tension
  • Create a plan for the talk will make it easier to hold the talk and that sets you up for success
  • Become skilled at analyzing the situation so you can find the real problem and address it effectively
  • Learn to craft a crystal clear purpose for the talk and how stay on track even when the other person or you own emotions try to derail you
  • Get proven methods and actual phrases to start and end a talk in a good way

Build Your Confidence and Skill Set

A study by CPP Inc found that employees in the US spend approximately 2.8 hours per week dealing with workplace conflict. Psychometrics Canada found in their study that 32% of employees have to deal with conflict regularly. 

Handling difficult requires skill and empathy, but in the end it also about having the courage to go ahead and do it. In the course we will address all of those aspects so you can make a habit to face these issues head on in a good, effective way.

Content and Overview

Special attention has been made remove all the "fluff" from this course so it just filled with practical advice and examples. The course also helps you get started right away with carefully crafted assignments.

You will learn to prepare yourself before the talk to avoid unnecessary emotional tension that could otherwise create undesired outcomes. During the course you will also create a plan for an actual talk that will make it easier to hold the talk and that sets you up for success.

You will also strengthen your skills when it comes to analyzing the situation so you can find the real problem, addressing it clearly and effectively. You will also learn how to craft a crystal clear purpose for the talk and how stay on track even when the other person or you own emotions try to derail you from reaching that purpose.

Throughout the course you will benefit from proven methods and actual phrases that you can to start and end a talk in a way that increases the chances of everyone involved walking away feel good about the talk.

All major sections of the course has a methodically structured quiz at the end to make sure you have grasped the important pointers from that sections. You will also walk away with downloadable material that you can use for future reference.

Who this course is for

  • This course is for managers and leaders on different levels in organisations
  • If you are feeling a bit unsure on how to approach and hold conversations about difficult topics then this course is for you
  • You do not need to have the formal position of a manager to get benefit from this course
  • If you have a long experience of holding these conversations and are looking for a course on legal and cultural aspects of talks, then this course is NOT for you

Course content

  • 1

    Introduction to the Course

    • Welcome to the Course

    • Three Quick Tips to Get You Started

  • 2

    Definition of Challenging Topics

    • Why it is Called Talks About Challenging Topics

    • What is a Talk About a Challenging Topic?

    • Examples of Challenging Topics

    • Assignment: Make a List of Challenging Topics

    • Quiz: Definition

  • 3


    • Six Hour to Chop Down a Tree

    • Think of One in Your Life

    • What is Your Intention? What is Your Desired Outcome?

    • Set the Frame for a Successful Conversation

    • Assignment: Write Example, Intention and Set a Frame

    • Quiz: Preparation

  • 4

    Seven Questions to Ask Yourself

    • Introduction to the Seven Questions

    • Question 1: What is the Problem?

    • Question 2: What Would the Other Person Say?

    • Question 3: How Have You Contributed?

    • Question 4: What Buttons of Yours Are Being Pushed?

    • Question 5: What Assumptions are You Making?

    • Questions 6: What is Your Intention?

    • Question 7: What is Your Preferred Working Relationship?

    • Assignment: Answer the Seven Questions

    • Quiz: Seven Questions

  • 5


    • The Success Formula

    • The Importance of Having a No Winner or Loser Mentality

    • What it is About and What it is Not About

    • Reframe the Way You Look at Things

    • Respect is Key to Success with Talks

    • The OK-Matrix

    • Separate Person and Behavior

    • Sidetracker No 1: Your Own Emotions

    • Sidetracker No 2: Thwarting Ploys

    • Love (Yourself)

    • The OK-Matrix

    • Assignment: : Apply the OK-Matrix

    • Quiz: Mindset

  • 6

    Let’s Do It!

    • Being Centered

    • Further Key Points

    • How to Start

    • Examples of Openers

    • How to End

    • If No Change is Happening

    • When You Have the Power to Impose an Outcome

    • Check Legal and Cultural Framework

    • Assignment: Select Opener and Start

    • Quiz: Lets do it!

  • 7


    • Review Your 7 Questions and Do Dry Run

  • 8

    Course Wrap-Up

    • Take Pressure Off Yourself

    • Final Thoughts

    • Bonus Lecture: Other Courses and Contact Information


The Swedish Leadership Expert

Markus Amanto

Markus Amanto is a well renowned author, speaker and trainer from Sweden. He has worked with improving leaders, teams and organizations in Asia, Europe and North America for over 25 years.

His books include "The Leadership School - Who's Really in the Driver's Seat" and "The Basics of Group Dynamics" (currently available in Swedish only). 

He has held multiple positions as a manager. When he worked as a sales representative he built a sales team of over 400 people spanning the Nordic countries. 

He started his own consulting business in 1998 and has worked as a certified trainer for UGL-trainings for several years. He is also a certified user of TotalSDI® (Strength Deployment Inventory). He is also trained in emotional debriefing, psychosynthesis and has also participated in Anthony Robbins Mastery University.

Clients have included The University of Stockholm, Nasdaq, Kongsberg Automotive, Pitney Bowes, Tetra Pak, AstraZeneca, KPMG, ALMI and International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR).

Markus is fluent in Swedish, English, Finnish and Spanish. He is also able to communicate well in Danish and Norwegian. 

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