Delving Into Difficult Discussions

Enhance your ability to prevent, address, and resolve persistent problems

Are you experiencing

Conflict avoidance and people pleasing?
Heated arguments with no resolution?
Recurring issues?
Stress and burnout?
Blame culture?

People focused on a problem rather than a person
Two people talking with puzzle thought bubbles

Addressing problems and navigating conflict are vital to creating an organization where people can thrive

Yet, despite all the benefits, teams, leaders, and organizations struggle to address problems and navigate conflict effectively.

By avoiding difficult discussions or using approaches that create persistent and escalating problems, we negatively impact motivation, engagement, and teamwork and create an environment where neither people nor performance can thrive.

Delving into Difficult Discussions

is a multi-session program that offers ideas and exercises to help you improve your ability to have difficult discussions and solve performance and interpersonal problems.

Thoughts Feelings Behaviour Results connection

Develop the thoughts and behaviours that lead to success

The Delving Into Difficult Discussions program helps you develop the thoughts and behaviours you need to plan and have conversations that lead to “win:win” outcomes, recognizing that success comes most easily when we perceive problems and conflict as positive, use emotional intelligence and assertive behaviours, and help others do the same.

When you apply the concepts in the program, you will find that many of the discussions you thought would be difficult are much easier than you expected.

I had the privilege of participating in the Delving Into Difficult Discussions program led by Melanie Taylor. This experience was truly transformative. Melanie’s approach is both interactive and informative, making the learning process engaging and practical.

Throughout the program, I learned valuable strategies for navigating challenging conversations. Melanie’s emphasis on emotional intelligence and assertive communication resonated with me. The sessions were thought-provoking, encouraging self-reflection and growth.

What stood out to me was the program’s focus on turning conflict into an opportunity for positive change. Melanie’s guidance helped me approach difficult discussions with confidence, leading to better outcomes both personally and professionally.

If you’re seeking a consultant who combines expertise with a genuine passion for helping others, I wholeheartedly recommend Melanie Taylor. Her program has equipped me with essential skills that I continue to apply in my daily interactions.

Lorrie Guggisberg

HR Manager

Program Outline

Group of People Talking

Throughout this program you will be encouraged to develop new ways of thinking about and responding to the situations you face.

Changing your thinking and behaviour is easiest when you go slow, have a chance to put ideas into action, and have support. We meet several times so that we can introduce concepts over time, support you to make small changes, and give you an opportunity to talk about what’s working and what isn’t.


Conversations relating to performance and interpersonal problems tend to feel and become difficult because they trigger the stress response, resulting in aggressive and passive behaviours that become barriers to success. In this session we’ll explore safe spaces, reducing stress by reframing the way we think, using emotional intelligence, and choosing behaviours that support us to get the results we’re looking for.


In this session, we’ll briefly discuss how systems thinking can help us have better conversations and more effectively solve problems. We’ll build upon the concept of creating safe spaces, reviewing the importance of the relationship and how to strengthen relationships to increase success. Finally, we’ll discuss what is involved in effective communication and some ideas on how to plan your communication.


To effectively address problems, we must first be able to clearly articulate what we were expecting to be happening or not happening. This can be challenging, which is one of the reasons we have performance and interpersonal issues in the first place. In this module, we discuss the importance of identifying and discerning between expectations, facts, and interpretations. We present ideas for timing and location, reinforcing the importance of the safe space and present an approach to use to set your discussion up for success. We also offer some ideas for providing and receiving feedback.


When attempting to address a problem and navigate conflict, you will likely encounter “protective behaviours.” There may be aggressive behaviours like getting defensive, yelling, blaming, and lying or passive behaviours like owning other people’s feelings or giving in to conflict. This module offers some more specific ways to apply the ideas presented in previous modules to increase your chances of having productive conversations and get the benefits of discussion and debate while minimizing the amount of protective behaviour.

Participant Feedback

Here’s the feedback we’re getting for Delving Into Difficult Discussions:

The strategies presented help me to self-reflect. Going through this program, I am more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

Good discussion about the lesson’s ideas and it is easy for me to participate when my first reaction is usually to sit still and listen.

I like the prompts and examples provided to help guide us through upcoming difficult conversations. I feel this training program has already been beneficial from a work and personal perspective.

I like that we get the opportunity to think over the material before joining the conversation. This allows me time to reflect on my experiences and prepare some questions/ideas to share to better expand my understanding of the material.

I enjoyed how to program took relatable situations and made us look at them from a completely different perspective.

In addition to providing “theory”, it also operationalized the concepts into useful techniques that could be used on a regular basis. It is so applicable! I’ve used the techniques and information many times in the last few weeks since completing the last session. 

Delivery Options

Public or Private

Join an open enrolment program or book a private program for your organization or group.

click here for open enrolment options

In-Person or Online

We have an outstanding track record of facilitating learning in-person and online.

The Delving into Difficult Discussions course has helped my difficult discussions feel much less difficult.

I really enjoyed the course format—the self-reading, reflection, and sharing with the team. Initially, I would have preferred a one-day course, but I now realize the value of having time between sessions to put the lessons into practice. Additionally, I wondered about the sharing component; it’s not typically something I’m overly comfortable with. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was pretty easy to open up and not feel judged.

I really liked the energy and perspective Melanie brought to the program. She helped all of us reframe our situations and apply essential concepts like listening, being careful with phrasing, pausing, setting boundaries, and remembering to take a break if things are going off the rails.

Marnee Colman

Head of North American Commercial Business
Delta Commercial / Masco Canada