Difficult Conversations Workshop:
Learning Outcomes

Workshop Introduction: What makes difficult conversations difficult?

  • Understand the neurological dynamics that make difficult conversations difficult, specifically how threats to our deeply held beliefs trigger our instinctual fight, flee, freeze survival drive, and how they rob us of the cognitive capabilities we need to engage in difficult conversations creatively and empathically. 

New Survival Strategy #1: Prioritize the relationship over being right.

  • See why keeping the channel of communication open during a difficult conversation is imperative for healing not only the relationship but also ourselves.

  • Learn about and apply the transformative power of personal storytelling as a method for healing conflicts, building relationships and facilitating collaboration.

  • Apply the tools and strategies introduced in this section to a current “difficult conversation” in your life.

 New Survival Strategy #2: Separate your ‘self’ from your ‘story.’

  • Understand how our experiences in life shape and often distort our perceptions.

  • Learn about the “neurological correlates” of our ‘story self’ and how it constricts our “window of tolerance” and the role it plays in triggering our survival drive in a difficult conversation.

  • Understand the neurological basis for, and then apply, several strategies that help us expand our window of tolerance including cultivating awe, wonder and gratitude.

  • Apply the tools and strategies introduced in this section to a current “difficult conversation” in your life.

 New Survival Strategy #3: Transform resistance into response.

  • Understand the value of “resistance” as an “early warning system” that our survival drive is about to kick into gear.

  • Understand the concept of neuroplasticity and its relevance to moving beyond resistance to response.

  • Apply the tools and strategies introduced in this section to a current “difficult conversation” in your life.