Having Difficult Conversations

Conversations about identity, social justice and change can feel difficult to have and poorly managed dialogue can hinder or even destroy organisations’ attempts to make progress around equality, diversity and inclusion. This practical session provides a toolkit for arts organisations looking to develop confidence and deftness in ensuring dialogue can take place in a way that is constructive, sensitive and ultimately productive.

Available as

  • In-person training


  • Delivered as a 3.5 hour session


  • Maximum 20 participants
  • Ability to tailor for you

Want to learn more? Read on for detailed information about the course. Contact our team on info@tonictheatre.co.uk or make an enquiry for further information and bookings.

Why train with Tonic? We are a leading EDI training provider, offering courses designed specifically for the arts and creative environments. But crucially, each time you book a course with Tonic you also help support our work driving change across the industry. Win, win.

“I found the trainer very engaging and it was great to have a course led by someone who understands our industry.”

participant, 2020

About the Course

This is a practical workshop which provides participants with a series of tools and models they can utilise to help them navigate potentially challenging conversions with colleagues, collaborators and other stakeholders. We’ll look at different characteristics of healthy and effective communication styles and give participants space to consider how they could apply these in their own interactions with others. The focus will be on tools to use when engaging with complex subject matter, including ‘grey areas’ and will acknowledge the emotional dimension that conversations around equality, identity, change and social justice often entail.

Participants will have the chance to work through recognisable scenarios, to ‘game play’ different eventualities, and to consider which aspects of their own communication style they want to develop or adapt. They should leave feeling more confident, relaxed and better equipped to conduct and support conversations that have a positive outcome.

workshop participants in a group discussion
Tonic Advance Network workshop. Photo by Tom Lovatt.

What we’ll cover

  • Understanding what might cloud your judgement in challenging conversations
  • Active Listening
  • Transactional analysis in action
  • Understanding challenging communicative behaviours
  • Practical tools and techniques for constructive communication

You’ll come away with

  • A greater understanding of how to maintain healthy conversations and interpersonal dynamics with colleagues and other stakeholders
  • Confidence in how to have healthy communication whilst engaging with complex and emotionally charged subject matter
  • A set of strategies and tools with which to structure and facilitate complex conversations with differing opinions

Course details

  • Available as in-person training
  • Delivered as a 3.5 hour session
  • Maximum 20 participants

Keen to learn more? Make an enquiry or contact our team at info@tonictheatre.co.uk for further information.


Yes, please email info@tonictheatre.co.uk to arrange a time to discuss your needs with a member of the team.

Yes, we would be happy to discuss bundling this course with others that we offer. We can also create bespoke sessions just for you. Find out more on our bespoke training page or email info@tonictheatre.co.uk to discuss what we can do for you.

Make an enquiry

All enquiries welcome! If you are interested in booking this course, or just need some more information, please complete the form below and one of our team will be in touch. Or email us direct at info@tonictheatre.co.uk.

Tonic – For greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the arts