Have a Question? Need Parenting Advice? Ask Michael Hawton

Face to Face – Tough Conversations™ for Frontline Staff



Tough Conversations™ for Frontline Staff


Learn practical skills for managing difficult, emotional or hostile situations


Psychologist, Michael Hawton and his team, present Tough Conversations for Frontline Staff. A practical workshop for those at the frontline of a school, council or service organisation to manage difficult, emotional encounters with members of the public.

This workshop provides the practical elements and skills for effectively dealing with offensive behaviour as it arises and what to say to defuse strong emotions. 

Attendees will see video examples of both poorly conducted conversations and, by contrast, more effective conversations. 


Expected learning outcomes

  • Reasonable expectations to hold about a persons ability to exert self-control so that you can respond appropriately.
  • An understanding of what constitutes ‘normal’ versus ‘abnormal’ in behaviour.
  • How to describe a problem using a template approach.
  • Important conflict resolution one-liners to recall when managing a tough conversation.
  • What the research is saying about great customer service and satisfaction.
  • What you can do to assist someone to regain control.
  • How to factually and reliably record an incident in the case of further reporting.
  • Practise at completing the re-useable worksheets.

What’s included

  • Training in how to conduct difficult conversations using a script to achieve accountability
  • A training manual containing course notes
  • Re-usable worksheets to prepare for a difficult conversation
  • A certificate of completion
  • Lunch and refreshments

Lesson framework

  • Why people overreact.
  • Self-control factors in adults.
  • How ‘frustration tolerance’ develops in people.
  • What to tolerate: sorting out what behaviour to let go and what needs your attention.
  • A step-by-step process to address a problem.
  • Three scenarios and how to record the facts of the matter to pass onto superiors.
  • How to deal with people who come already heightened and how to manage someone who gets upset mid-conversation.
  • How to tame tigers – effectively dealing with offensive behaviour and what to say to defuse strong emotions.
  • A video demonstration of the concepts applied to a tough conversation between a member of the public and frontline staff.

Please note that this is not a train-the-trainer course and it is not designed for the subsequent on-training of other workers at your workplace.

COVID Compliance

Parentshop are a registered COVID-safe business & are only running training at COVID-safe venues. Please, if you are unwell, stay at home. 


Flexible learning options

Train your team in-house and save

Parentshop offers convenient, flexible and highly cost effective in-house training courses. Equip professionals across your whole organisation with a unified approach to managing difficult, emotional or hostile situations.

For all enquiries or to book a package please call Caitlin on 02 6680 8910 or email service@parentshop.com.au


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