Succeeding in Difficult Conversations

Date & Time

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm


GSS Ballroom, Thea Koerner House, Graduate Student Centre, 6371 Crescent Road, UBC, Point Grey campus


Postdoctoral Fellows Office



Get the tools you need to successfully navigate your difficult conversations in this intensive half-day workshop, which is distilled from our full-day version.

We all face them: those difficult conversations that stress us out, rile us up, and keep us awake at night. Join difficult conversations expert, author, and coach Diane A. Ross as she reveals the most important steps of succeeding in difficult conversations. This interactive workshop hits the highlights of what you need to know, including real-life tools, strategies, and examples, so you can improve your difficult conversation outcomes from day one. We will touch on the difficult conversation fundamentals, including:

  • The crucial question you MUST ask yourself before every difficult conversation
  • Preparation strategies that are simple to master, easy to implement, and set you up for success
  • What an ABC message is and why every successful conversation starts with one
  • How to navigate reactions with ease
  • Overcoming difficult conversation jitters and dealing with reactions so your message gets heard and understood

…and more! When you know the secrets of successful difficult conversations, you reduce anxiety and gain a confident, results-oriented approach that will transform your difficult conversation outcomes in the workplace and beyond. This is a very powerful way to spend just a few short hours!


Diane A. Ross

A sought-after litigation lawyer with 14 years under her belt, Diane A. Ross believed she was a communication expert; that is, until she learned that her guns-blazing communication style that won case after case in the courtroom was actually damaging the relationships in the rest of her life. This realization was the beginning of over 10 years of working to uncover the secrets of effective communication in times of conflict. Diane devoured research, trained in Advanced Negotiation and Mediation at Harvard Law School, became a Certified Executive Coach and, in 2013, published her first book, The Elephant in the Office: Super-Simple Strategies for Difficult Conversations at Work. Today, she is proud to be sharing her easy-to-implement tools with hundreds of people and organizations through webinars, speaking events and


Registration in this workshop is required and is now open. Those successfully registered will receive a confirmation email from the PDFO one week prior to the workshop. All cancellations must be received no later than 24 hours in advance of the workshop.


"Diane delivered “Succeeding at Challenging Conversations” as part of BC HRMA’s professional development program. Her evaluation results were extremely positive. Attendees reported that they enjoyed Diane’s dynamic and engaging style, and the ability to apply their learnings immediately in the workplace and beyond."

- Kyla Nicholson, Professional Development Manager (former), HRMA (formerly BC HRMA)

“Diane Ross is one of the most effective speakers I have had the pleasure of working with.  Her first presentation, “Tips & Tricks for Succeeding at Challenging Conversations,” generated such great interest that our association had one of the largest turnouts ever for an educational event.  The feedback was so positive that we asked Diane to return…”

- Jane Kennedy, BCLMA Membership Services

"Diane presented the workshop, “Succeeding at Challenging Conversations,” to our management group. She did a great job of customizing the material to reflect the communication needs of our organization, which greatly assisted the managers with practical application of the learning. Diane's presentation skills are first-rate. She delivers knowledge and imparts her experience in a meaningful, humorous, but always professional manner."

- Pauline Johnson, HR Manager, Envirotest Canada

“Can three hours change your life? It did for me and my work is more satisfying because of those three hours.  In fact it was the best workshop I have ever attended and I would highly recommend Diane’s workshop and her coaching. Simple, effective solutions that can have an immediate impact…it doesn’t get much better than that! "

- Cheryl McLean, First Nations Relations, Yukon Government