Challenging Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide for Great Bosses

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
July 11, 2012 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Challenging Conversations: A Step-by-Step Guide for Great Bosses
Originally Broadcast On:
July 11, 2012
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

Jill's book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, is available online and in bookstores.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

You can’t be too nice to have a tough conversation. Workplace problems get worse when bosses avoid those challenging chats or do them poorly. Few managers get training in doing them well. On the other hand, great bosses know how to handle challenging conversations.

In this webinar, Poynter’s leadership and management expert Jill Geisler shares concrete tips that you can put to work immediately to avoid conflicts, resolve problems, improve performance—and be a great boss.

In addition to offering step-by-step instructions and concrete advice, this Webinar will feature "in the moment" examples of how to respond to twists and turns in a tough conversation.

Want to learn more about leadership and management? When you enroll in this Webinar, you can purchase Jill's book Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.

What Will I Learn:
  • The key steps to prepare for a tough conversation and why skipping a step can trip you up
  • Why your first words are critical – and how to choose them wisely
  • How to deal with the “4 D’s”: denial, deflection, disruption and "dumping on the boss"
  • The surest ways to sabotage yourself in a tough talk
  • How to wrap up a conversation so it ends well for everyone
  • Why your ability to have difficult conversations can make for a happier workplace
Who Should Take this Course:

Managers at any level of an organization, both in journalism and outside a newsroom, who want to improve their leadership skills.

Course Instructor:

Jill Geisler

Jill Geisler heads the leadership and management programs at The Poynter Institute. She teaches managers – from aspiring to veteran – how to help people do their best work. She brings humor and humanity plus a research-based, realistic approach to teaching leadership skills and values. She is the author of Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, based on her What Great Bosses Know podcasts on iTunes U, which have been downloaded millions of times by people across the world who want to build their skills as managers. Geisler also is the instructor of several courses at Poynter's NewsU, including Dealing with Difficult Conversations and Lousy Listeners: How to Avoid Being One. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillgeisler.

Technical Requirements:

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.
We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

  • Flash Player - Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 or higher
  • Browsers - Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher; Safari 2 or higher; Google Chrome (any version)
    Windows users can also use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or higher
  • Bandwidth - 256Kbps (512Kbps recommended)

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at