Succeeding with Difficult Conversations

Session video

full-day workshop tutorial

Succeeding with Difficult Conversations to Build Strong Relationships in Your Cross-Functional Team

Software development teams need strong relationships to work collaboratively and build in quality. But sometimes testers or quality advocates on cross-functional teams struggle to have their ideas heard. And sometimes they have to deliver news that is hard for others to hear, making a difficult conversation unavoidable.

What if:

  • You have to tell your product manager that the team needs more testing time
  • You must give feedback to a team member that you know they will be unhappy about
  • You want to negotiate a bigger salary

Situations like these are challenging for anyone. You know the conversation could be difficult, and it’s crucial to end up with an agreement that is positive for all participants.

To succeed, you’ll have to initiate the exchange and carefully address the other person’s reactions as well as managing your own feelings. To do this takes both courage and skill. It helps to practice in a safe space.

This tutorial is an interactive workshop where we will practice initiating, sustaining, and
concluding difficult conversations—building relevant skills and knowledge along the way. We’ll explore the factors that can inhibit us in beginning such a conversation, as well as those that might influence the other person’s reactions.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Common pitfalls in starting difficult conversations, and how to avoid them
  • Ways to prepare before we speak
  • Strategies, models and techniques that can help us understand and deal with difficult
  • conversations successfully

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