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Difficult Conversations

Course Overview

This 3hr webinar is developed by a clinical psychologist and associate professor who will explore techniques for recognising barriers to good communication and explore the importance of good communication and the positive effect this has on service delivery.


  • To build a comprehensive understanding of the barriers to effective communication within a healthcare setting and foster greater self-awareness in dealing with varying conflict situations and interacting with different personality types.
  • To teach students to better manage and understand the expectations, feelings, fears, and needs of patients.
  • To cultivate greater confidence, motivation, and control in handling challenging situations and complaints.
  • To differentiate assertive, aggressive, and passive behaviours and encourage assertive behaviour in professional interactions.


  1. Identify and explain the common barriers to effective communication in healthcare settings, offering practical solutions to overcome these.
  2. Detail the importance of superior internal communication, discussing the impact on service delivery and providing strategies for improvement.
  3. Foster reflective practice by encouraging students to examine their own responses to different conflict situations and personality types, offering insights on managing these effectively.
  4. Equip students with skills to empathetically manage and understand the expectations, feelings, fears, and needs of patients, incorporating case studies and role-plays for practical learning.
  5. Through a combination of theory and practice, enable students to exhibit increased confidence, motivation, and control when dealing with challenging situations and complaints.
  6. Clearly differentiate between assertive, aggressive, and passive behaviours, using practical examples, and illustrate the benefits of assertiveness in healthcare communication.

Course Content:

Session 1: Understanding Difficult Conversations in Healthcare 

  • Exploring the importance of effective communication in healthcare
  • Identifying common scenarios necessitating difficult conversations
  • Evaluating the impact of subpar communication on patient outcomes

Session 2: Building the Foundation for Effective Communication 

  • Emphasising the role of active listening and empathy in healthcare communication
  • Interpreting non-verbal cues to enhance patient understanding
  • Establishing trust and rapport with patients

Session 3: Strategies for Initiating Challenging Conversations 

  • Structuring difficult conversations using a systematic approach
  • Delivering information with clarity and sensitivity
  • Addressing patient and family reactions skillfully

Session 4: Managing Emotions and Conflict 

  • Recognising and addressing emotional responses in patients and healthcare professionals
  • Techniques for de-escalating tense situations and conflicts
  • Balancing empathy and professionalism for better outcomes

Session 5: Providing Support and Empathy 

  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion when delivering challenging news
  • Supporting patients in decision-making and coping
  • Highlighting available resources for patients and families

Session 6: Enhancing Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes 

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of difficult conversations
  • Strengthening patient-provider relationships through improved communication
  • Engaging participants through real-life case studies and role-playing exercises

Session 7: Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals 

  • Acknowledging the impact of difficult conversations on healthcare providers
  • Strategies for stress management and burnout prevention
  • Building resilience and preserving overall well-being

Who Should Attend: Our webinar is tailored for a diverse audience of healthcare professionals, including:

  • General Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Physician Assistants
  • Medical Students
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Workers
  • Healthcare Administrators


While there are no formal prerequisites for this webinar, participants are encouraged to have a fundamental understanding of healthcare communication principles and a willingness to actively participate in discussions and exercises related to difficult conversations in general practice.

Delegate information

Delegates are required to turn on camera and engage with session. In the event that you prefer to not turn on camera or audit, you are required to use the chat function to communicate.

This session is recorded for quality and audit purposes. It will not be available to delegates after the session.

Delivery Format:

  • This webinar is conducted online via a user-friendly video conferencing platform using MS Teams or zoom.
  • Participants gain access to  course materials, resources, and our learning management system.
  • Engage in interactive discussions, group activities, and live Q&A sessions.
  • Receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the course.

Difficult Conversations Handout


This is a commissioned course. Please email [email protected] before booking.

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Enrolled: 0 students
Lectures: 1
Level: Intermediate