Difficult conversations in the field

Upcoming course information



1 day course



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Course overview

Online or face-to-face.

Are your staff safe when they are working with people in the field?

At some point in our lives, we all find ourselves having difficult conversations. It might be with a work colleague, a stakeholder on your project, a client or customer, or even a family member. Often these conversations leave us feeling shaken and worried, and playing over in our minds the things we should have said, or wished we hadn’t said. 

But these conversations can be even more challenging when you are working in a remote location in the field. Other challenges emerge and saying and doing the right thing at the time may be paramount to ensuring your safety.

A specialised training program, Difficult Conversations can help to keep staff safe when they need to engage with the public.

Focused male supervisor sharing tablet with technician near solar panels

It’s designed for working those situations where you may be working remotely (sometimes alone) and you may need to have a difficult conversation – perhaps with someone who is hostile, emotional or aggressive. You can learn to manage these conversations differently – the unexpected ones and the ones you plan for. 

Bringing situation awareness, facilitation and mediation tactics together to keep technical and engagement staff safe this course helps to ensure your staff feel confident and have skills to help them conducting their work.

The course is Ideally suited for staff visiting community members and hosting meeting at the kitchen table and those conducting landowner meetings, property inspections, environmental testing, surveying and working in remote locations. 

Our Difficult Conversations training can open the door for you to feel more confident in approaching every type of conversation with stakeholders at all levels.  

In this one-day course, you’ll:

  • ^Understand what defines a difficult conversation
  • ^Learn – and practice - the listen–respond–manage model
  • ^Have a strategy to manage difficult conversations from initial meeting to resolution
  • ^ Tune up your listening skills with a framework you can use in any conversation
  • ^Have a kitbag of tactics to draw on even when your project is full of non-negotiable
  • ^ Know how to prepare for a difficult conversation (yes, it’s okay to prepare ahead of time)
  • ^Have more understanding of how body language – yours and your client’s – influences your communication
  • ^Know how to de-escalate an argument or misunderstanding.

Best practice theory alongside tools you can use immediately. You’ll:

  • ^Understand how your organisation values community and stakeholder engagement
  • ^ Understand models of communication, tools and tactics for a variety of circumstances
  • ^Consider what’s needed to plan for, take part in and debrief a difficult conversation
  • ^Build skills for effective communication to confidently work with conflict, anger and aggression 
  • ^Use emotional intelligence and empathy to listen and deliver complex messages
  • ^Consider body language and use tactics to appropriately respond to a range of challenging behaviours
  • ^Practice communications skills to help you think on your feet and manage your own responses to difficult conversations in the field
  • ^Build skills to confidently make sound decisions in the field and use situational awareness to continually assess and uphold health and safety.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for: 
  • ^Staff visiting community members
  • ^Hosting meetings at the kitchen table
  • ^Conducting landowner meetings
  • ^Property inspections
  • ^Environmental testing
  • ^Surveying
  • ^And working in remote locations.


This is a one day course, delivered online or face-to-face:
  • ^8:30am – 5:00pm (includes 30-minute technical onboarding and breaks)
  • ^Online delivery using Zoom (you can join online and don’t need to install anything), or face-to-face.
  • ^Cost: $695

Training participants say…

“Enlightening and engaging. I learnt so much about what I can and should be doing, as well as about myself and how that impacts my work and engagement.”

“Incredible training experience. This is a conversation we all need to have. This course should be mandatory.”

Amanda has significant experience in complex and controversial projects and shown she can handle them very well and achieve outcomes that meet the client and community expectations.

Amanda provides insightful and thoughtful advice on communicating stakeholders and the public especially when emotions are charged and is very strategic in her approach.

Paul Eagles

“Highly recommend Amanda – she was a fabulous, engaging and informative tutor, very engaging and is the best facilitator I have had throughout the engagement certificate units.”

“Relatable, incredibly knowledgeable, willing to indulge in specifics that made sense to councillors, let us have the freedom to explore our own ideas but kept us on track.”

Training participant
Trainers Alice Sherring and Amanda Newbery sitting on the couch

Your trainers

Alice Sherring

With more than a decade of experience developing innovative stakeholder engagement strategies for complex projects, Alice is a highly sought-after facilitator, trainer and strategist.

An experienced trainer, Alice is known for her ability to clearly articulate and explore complex concepts and problems with diverse groups. Alice has provided executive coaching services for managers and executives in Queensland.

Amanda Newbery

Amanda is an international award-winning engagement and communications expert who has led multiple ground-breaking projects. Widely recognised for her ability to quickly understand attitudes, perceptions and markets, Amanda leads a team of senior professionals at Articulous, the award-winning company she founded.

Amanda is a high-energy facilitator who can inspire innovation and deftly bring people to consensus. Her passion makes her a highly sought-after speaker.

Amanda Newbery and Alice Sherring from Articulous Academy

Articulous Academy Alumni

All our course graduates are invited to join the AAA! Watch your email in the days after the course for your invitation.

Articulous Academy Alumni is growing group and you receive special goodies:

  • ^Monthly email with a detailed case study that you can learn from and apply to your own practice
  • ^Early notice and special pricing for all our courses
  • ^A quarterly webinar on engagement hot topics
  • ^priority access and special pricing for group coaching
  • ^And more – we're planning new goodies all the time!