Webinar Course Description

Go Back

Straight Talking: Delivering Tough Messages

Straight Talking: Delivering Tough Messages

2 hours


One primary goal of business conversations, especially for managers and project leaders, is to communicate negative or challenging news in a direct and complete manner. A second goal is to encourage open and honest communication from employees and team members so that everyone understands what is actually happening and what people are actually thinking. By bringing their own and others’ unspoken thoughts into the open, managers and project leaders are able to address business problems and opportunities efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, “…silence is not only ubiquitous and expected in organizations but extremely costly to both the firm and the individual.” (Is Silence Killing Your Company? by L. Perlow and S. Williams, HBR, May 2003)

In this course, participants practice and get feedback about the core skills of Straight Talking: listening, inquiring, speaking, and silence. Participants learn the Straight Talking process and practice conversations involving tough messages. Finally, participants learn how to create the necessary conditions for open, honest communication with everyone in their organization.

Key Topics

Conversation Concepts

  • Public, private and background conversations
  • Communicating tough messages

The Core Skills of Straight Talking

  • High quality listening
    • Three characteristics of high quality listening
    • Practice and feedback
  • High quality inquiring
    • Three characteristics of high quality inquiring
    • Practice and feedback
  • High quality speaking and silence
    • Three characteristics of high quality speaking
    • Tips for the effective use of silence

The Straight Talking Process

  • The opening statement
  • Practice conversations involving tough messages

Seven Key Requirements for Open, Honest Communication