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Difficult Discussions Matter

Hello and welcome to our Difficult Discussion Page.


We have all encountered difficult conversations with people at some stage in our lives and it's safe to say that we will continue to have these conversations.

 Do you struggle to say what's really on your mind?

Does your confidence fade when faced with a challenging or difficult discussion?

Or do you simply avoid having a conversation as it's just too hard and nerve wracking?

Then look no further you have come to the right place!   





On this page you will find lots of materials, resources, video's and articles that will help you to start exploring your own attitudes and behaviours and that of others, delving into the depths of Emotional Intelligence and communication theories that can support us to understand more about ourselves and others.


We have also developed a 5 step approach at how you can actively make changes to support you in your own difficult discussions.  



As always we are here to help you with anything in relation to difficult discussions, so if you have any questions or you can't find what you are looking for, get in touch with Leigh who will be happy to talk to you.

 Leigh Must: 




 Have you ever wondered what makes a conversation difficult?

Or what gets in the way of having an easy conversation?

Some things to think about

  • Sensitive information or personal information particularly when it has emotional content
  • Challenging upwards - power imbalance
  • Differing views and opinions  - Attitudes and behaviours and when values don't match yours
  • Relationships with people - how you and others feel at the moment


There are of course many different things that could affect how easy it is to have a conversation with someone and what could make it really go awry. Take a few moments to think about you and what makes conversations difficult for you and write them down. 




Adar Cohen is a conflict resolution expert who gives a 15 minute 45 second TED talk on 3 simple ways to steer conversations to a more effective way, you can watch his video on the link below.

 Adar Cohen 3 ways to lead tough, unavoidable conversations



Brené Brown on Blame from The RSA on Vimeo. Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She is also the author of 5 no.1 New York Times bestsellers. You can discover more about Brene and her work on her website



When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.

Shannon L. Alder




The video below is a very easy and quick video of just under 5 mins to watch from Mel Robbins who gives 4 easy steps to having a tough conversations. A good watch if you are looking for some tips to having that tough or difficult conversation.



Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don't listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don't listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what's behind the words

Roy T Bennett, The light in the Heart




The next two videos you will see are role play video's based around being a good manager and bad manager. While the content is based around being a manager in an office environment, what is important to consider when you watch these videos is:

What attitudes and behaviours do you notice in the manager and employee?  

What are the things that you see and hear in the good manager video that make a difference compared to the bad manager video?

Note down any further observations and the impact of these.






 Theories and Models of Communication

There are a number of different types of theories and models that relate to how we communicate with each other and how this reflects on us a humans and the relationships we have with each other. 

We need to be able to reflect on our own attitudes, behaviours and values which helps us to understand where they are borne but also helps us to understand what we bring to our relationships and conversations with people.



Transactional Analysis is a theory developed by Dr Eric Berne in the 1950’s.

It is based on social psychology – a method to improve communication

The theory outlines how we have developed and treat ourselves and offer suggestions and interventions which will enable us to change and grow.

Transactional Analysis is a philosophy that:



To explore the theory in greater detail you can read more here . The Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy has written this insightful article on Transactional Analysis and explains in more detail around the Parent, Adult and Child ego states whilst giving it context through case studies.

 If you are interested in understanding your preferences and how to identify them in relation to your personal growth and change, you might find the following link useful.

 Transactional Analysis - The Drivers Tool

Coaching and Mentoring skills






What is Emotional Intelligence

 Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it's an inborn characteristic. The ability to express and control emotions is essential, but so is the ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others.




Daniel Goleman gives his description of what Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is in the video below. This lasts for 5 minutes 31 seconds.



More information, mind tools and talks on Emotional Intelligence, just click the link..  

 TED Talks Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Test & Tools

Mindtools for Emotional Intelligence




 We have created a short document that explains more about Emotional Intelligence and what you can do to improve your own EQ, you will find this here.



To book please click on a date below:

Difficult Discussions Matter held at Loch Leven Campus 2023












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