To get things accomplished, it is often necessary to convey difficult information to others. Our work lives can be end up being full of conversations we would rather not have – or try to avoid – including presenting data and disappointing results to peers or bosses, or providing feedback about poor performance and unpleasant behavior to colleagues or direct reports. However, these conversations are usually the ones that lead to true organizational effectiveness and transformation.
Attend “Delivering Difficult Information” to: improve your ability to give specific feedback to individuals; effectively share information that may evoke a negative response; and to prepare for the typical reactions that such “sharing” may involve. Gaining the skills to do this well can improve everything from your ability to get things accomplished, the quality of your working relationships, and your long-term career success.
Build confidence and skills in conducting difficult one-to-one conversations
Develop and practice a delivery style that is empowering and effective
Deliver difficult information about performance, behavior, or results – honestly and proactively
Identify and communicate behavioral examples of problem performance
Understand how you are perceived when delivering difficult information
Acquire skills to handle immediate responses and defensive reactions
Develop strategies for getting results once the information has been delivered
Importance of timely data and feedback, and impact of not addressing issues
The five stages to “landing” feedback
A roadmap for the difficult meeting
Mistakes to avoid when delivering difficult information
An easy model to follow when writing and delivering the information
The ladder of inference – how we come to our conclusions and how to manage that process
Personal communication effectiveness
Developing plans for follow-up conversations that ensure results
This three-and-a-half hour workshop is highly interactive, and involves small-group discussion of case studies from the life science and technology industries. The workshop puts its emphasis on ‘skills practice’ in conjunction with theory. Participants will gain experience identifying the reactions to difficult information. They will develop strategies to work through the stages of shock, anger, and rejection to progress to acceptance, new learning, and changed behavior. They will receive easy-to-access handouts with reminders and strategies.
Who Should Attend
Experienced managers, project and team leaders, and executives in the life science and technology industries who need to give behavioral and performance feedback to their reports
Individual contributors who want to improve their ability to share data or feedback in an effective manner
Anyone in an academic or professional environment who feels they would benefit from being stretched in a challenging but safe environment to develop their skills in facing up to, preparing for and delivering difficult information.
Gwen Acton, PhD, is the CEO of Vivo Group. She holds a doctorate in
biology from MIT, and specializes in developing leadership and
management skills of scientists and engineers.
Maura Snow is a VP and Senior Consultant in Human Resources at Great
Brook Biotech. She has over 20 years experience in HR management and
staff development in the life science industries.
Benefits to the Individual
Greater confidence when delivering difficult information
Get more ideas accepted and successfully implemented
Improve your ability to get others to do what you need them to do
Strengthen long-term working relationships with colleagues
Insight into how others perceive what you are saying
Deeper understanding of workplace dynamics when confronted with dysfunctional behavior
Benefits to the Organization
ALL important information and feedback is shared directly and effectively
More proactive approach to addressing problem areas
Better organizational transformation through more effective conversations
5:30-6:00 Registration, refreshments, and networking opportunity
6:00-6:20 Introductions and overview of workshop
6:20-8:45 Slide presentation, group discussion, case study analysis, and practice groups
8:45-9:00 Wrap up and action items
Workshop Takeaway Materials
Hard-copy ‘Participant Workbook’ containing tips and tools for delivering difficult information
Tip sheet with reminders and strategies for use throughout the feedback process
Template worksheet for planning difficult conversations (hard-copy and electronic)