Off the shelf courses

How to Have Difficult Conversations

About the Workshop

Your skill and effectiveness as a leader can be made or broken through the quality of your conversations. There is both a science and an art to these conversations. This workshop is an overview of the mindset and skill set that inspires and catalyzes successful, essential conversations. It includes a framework for utilizing discoveries from neuroscience, communication theories, and various psychologies—including positive, cognitive, evolutionary, and existential. Become more adept in navigating conversations by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges people face (including yourself) in having mindful, compassionate conversations. The principles and practices we explore are applicable to personal relationships as well.

Some of the skills and tools taught in this workshop:

  • An approach for understanding the common opportunities and impediments to meaningful, leadership conversations
  • Recognizing and addressing the hidden dynamics and issues people have behind their upsets
  • The importance of interpersonal courage along with how to focus on and develop it more
  • Why clarifying intention and staying on purpose is so critical to successful conversational outcomes
  • The factors that increase the probability of having the other person receive your message positively
  • Ways to recognize and identify emotional reactivity (defensiveness) as the core obstacle to successful conversations
  • Awareness of the hidden assumptions that could derail an essential conversation
  • Practices to diminish reactivity and inspire positive participation

About the Facilitator

Daniel Ellenberg, PhD, is a leadership coach, organizational trainer, executive and conversation advisor and licensed therapist. He is a principle in Rewire Leadership Institute® and Relationships That Work®. He leads Strength with Heart® men’s groups and seminars and is a board member of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He co-created and delivered a resilience training program for several NASA space centers and is the co-author of Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust, and True Partnership. He and his wife, Judith Bell, are writing a book on mindful conversations for Guilford Press. He specializes in helping leaders both craft and deliver their messages to individuals, teams, and boards, and throughout the entire organization. He helps leaders understand the critical success factors that turn assumptions, misunderstandings, and conflicts into clear, precise, and productive conversations.


October 9, 2018 - October 9, 2018


3 hours and 0 minutes


1449 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

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  • CIIS Members: $52 Registration Fee
  • Non-CIIS Members: $65 Registration Fee
  • Register here

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