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Mastering the Art of Critical Conversations

at American Management Association - UNION SQUARE

Course Details
Start Date:

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780 Mission St
Btwn 4th & 3rd Streets
San Francisco, California 94103
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 20

What you'll learn in this communications course:

If you're like most people, you run into trouble when conversations turn from routine to crucial. Your body’s natural fight-or-flight response takes over. The knee-jerk response is to run and dodge the topic, hide behind an email, or just wing it and hope for the best.

Productivity stems from face-to-face communication, as well as your ability to express controversial and risky opinions effectively. Attend this course and practice using real-life models to conduct difficult conversations on any topic. You’ll gain the skills and summon the courage to step up, speak openly and honestly, and get results that count. 

Who Should Attend

Anyone who wants to be better prepared to manage critical conversations that can have a significant impact on relationships at work.

How You Will Benefit

  • Determine your “hot buttons” and take steps to manage your emotions
  • Transform relationships by addressing real issues with authenticity
  • Openly express opinions that can lead to success and productivity
  • Give and receive feedback without negativity
  • Self-monitor your reactions and keep calm during critical conversations
  • Develop advance strategies for managing critical conversations, as well as getting them back on track
  • Improve your ability to shape results and get things done

What You Will Cover

  • Analyzing elements of a critical conversation
  • Understanding your physiological response and when emotional hijacking occurs
  • Recognizing your default mode under stress and your preferred conflict style
  • Practicing tools to deal with various emotional responses
  • Examining your beliefs and self-fulfilling tendencies
  • Identifying remedies to manage critical conversations when they get off track
  • Preparing for and practicing different types of critical conversations
  • Diagnosing and addressing problems while having critical conversations
  • Practicing having critical conversations “on the fly”


Learning Objectives

  • Identify Situations That Require Critical Conversations and Plan for Them Accordingly
  • Determine the Best Conflict Management Strategy to Deal with a Given Critical Conversation
  • Self-Monitor Your Reaction and Keep Calm During Critical Conversations
  • Develop Strategies for Getting a Critical Conversation Back on Track

What Is a Critical Conversation?

  • Identify Types of Conversations That Are Most Challenging
  • Define the Elements of a Critical Conversation
  • Analyze Your Experience

Managing Emotional Responses

  • Understand Your Physiological Response Under Stress
  • Recognize Your Default Response to Stress
  • Understand Conflict Modes
  • Recognize Your Preferred Conflict Mode

Understanding the Critical Conversation

  • Determine Goals for Your Critical Conversations
  • Identify the Types and Sources of Conflict
  • Keep a Conversation On-Track
  • Utilize Effective Communication Skills During a Critical Conversation
  • Practice Effective Listening to Ensure a More Successful Outcome

Preparing for Critical Conversations

  • Identify Factors to Consider When Deciding How to Proceed with a Critical Conversation Using a Critical Conversation Model
  • Choose the Appropriate Conflict Mode for the Situation
  • Visualize Your Desired Outcome for Each Conversation
  • Anticipate Others’ Reactions in Critical Conversations

When a Critical Conversation Catches You Off Guard

  • Keep Calm When Confronted with an Unexpected Critical Conversation
  • Recognize and Deal with “Hot Buttons”
  • Turn a Negative Situation into a Positive One Through Reframing
  • Draw Out Underlying Concerns with Questions
  • Problem-Solve to Come Up with Acceptable Trade-Offs in a Critical Conversation

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Transfer, Cancellation and Refund Policy:

For Classroom, Live Online, Express Skills Courses and Webinar programs, you may transfer to a future session, send someone to take your place or cancel without penalty at any time up to three weeks prior to your program. If you provide AMA with less than three weeks’ notice, or fail to attend, you will be liable for the entire program fee. 

Programs included in AMA On Demand offerings are not eligible for substitution, transfer, cancellation, return, or refund. We appreciate that this is an important investment for you and your company and would like to accommodate your needs the best we can. Therefore, please email CourseHorse.

Pricing, Offers, and Discounts Policy:

AMA-delivered programs are eligible for AMA member pricing, GSA pricing, special offers, and discounts as applicable, according to the terms of the specific pricing, offer and/or discount. Third party-delivered programs available through AMA and Express Skills courses are excluded from all discounted pricing, offers, and discounts offered by AMA, including but not limited to AMA member pricing, GSA pricing, AMA Seminar Savings Pass redemptions, AMA SLS Contract pricing, AMA Annual Pass/All-Access Pass, and complimentary registrations of any type.


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School: American Management Association

American Management Association

The American Management Association, International (AMA) is the global leader in talent development. Founded in 1923, AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of educational products and services, including instructor-led classroom and virtual seminars, webinars,...

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