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Managing Tough Conversations

In Partnership with Lange International

Strategies to listen and react during tough and unexpected conversations

How do you prepare for challenging conversations? Are you managing your tough questions with poise and confidence? Being prepared with strategies for navigating these key moments will build your confidence, create and maintain long lasting relationships, and drive understanding and action in those around you.

Upcoming course dates

Thursday, September 26, 2024, 12:30-3:00pm PT

Benefits of attending this online course

  • Build and practice reflective listening skills and strategies
  • Practice how to manage difficult conversations using a template for delivering bad news
  • Learn strategies for maintaining relationships after tough conversations occur
  • Manage key “moments of truth” with confidence to inspire action

Managing Tough Conversations content overview

Crucial to all levels of personal and professional development, being a good listener is a key communication skill. It builds trust, deepens relationships, and strengthens connections. Participants will learn and practice reflective listening strategies, as well as how to ask open-ended, high-value questions, to ensure alignment with others, uncover motivation, and create engagement. You will practice how to manage difficult conversations using a template for delivering bad news and consider strategies for maintaining the relationship after the conversation occurs.

Business Communication Certificate

This course is offered on its own or as part of the Business Communication Certificate. Learn more.

Registration and Fees

Dates and fees Registration
Thursday, September 26, 2024, 12:30-3:00pm PT
Register now

Deadline: September 19, 2024

Program fee includes instruction and learning materials. Payment must be made by credit card or UW budget transfer prior to the program. Discounts are not applicable to UW Executive Education online classes. It is strongly encouraged that you register early as space is limited. See cancellation policies.

Thomas Gruver is a Communications Consultant, Executive Coach and Workshop Facilitator who partners with executives and teams to deliver programs and communications that cut through the noise. Tom has deep discipline expertise in value proposition and product management, as well as marketing communications and storytelling at the executive level.
As a true believer in the axiom that communication is only as good as the message received, Tom believes that every great engagement is rooted in communications that are compelling, relevant, and useful.

With over 35 years in the tech industry as a marketing and communications professional, Tom has experience across the entire value chain (retail, distribution, manufacturing) in both hardware and software, and is obsessed with the customer, both internal and external.
He spent the last 23 years at Microsoft, working with a variety of product and marketing groups, with leaders and teams at all levels of the business. He has owned comms strategies for organizations, created training and guidance for the marketing profession, and traveled the world helping top executives deliver speeches that resonate and inspire.

Kirsten Smith is an Executive Coach, Consultant and Workshop Facilitator who works with leaders to expand their sphere of influence through a strong presence and powerful communication. She helps leaders develop their style and the courage to lead authentically.

Prior to joining Lange, Kirsten provided HR leadership to fast-paced, accelerated growth companies in wireless, high-tech and biotech. She later made the shift to working at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In each organization, she helped build HR capability and capacity, designed and implemented effective people strategies, shaped culture and coached leaders and their teams to achieve higher performance.

She is an optimist and works one on one to help leaders reframe and see the possibilities in the challenges they are facing day to day. She provides a balance of gentle nudging and straight talk for leaders to make the change needed to be more effective and make a positive impact. She believes there is a warrior in all of us and works with others to discover their true warrior way. Her clients include Microsoft, T-Mobile, Parametric, University of Washington, and local nonprofits.

Kirsten is a Hudson Institute and ICF Certified Coach and is certified in Strengthscope®, Strengths Deployment Inventory, DISC®, and EQ in Action. She is a fourth Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Arnis who continues to teach and train today.

Partnership with Lange International

Lange International transforms leaders into great communicators. Their primary goal is to ensure each client is confident and prepared to make the most of every communication moment.

They help clients improve the WHAT and HOW of communication. From content creation and story development to executive presence and event coaching, they are experts in guiding leaders to connect and compel.

Since 2003, they have delivered communication workshops, leadership programs, executive coaching, and keynotes around the globe.