Difficult Conversations at Work and Beyond

Learn How to Master Difficult Conversations. In-House and Virtual Training for Businesses, Organisations, and Individuals.

Attention People Managers, Business Owners and Ambitious Employees

Before I became a manager in large organisations, I was a high school teacher.

However, there were some posters in the industrial arts department staffroom. Semi-naked women were straddling a piston, etc. You get the drift.

Some female teachers wanted the posters removed. They were not appropriate. But they felt they would be rebuffed if they approached the male teachers in the industrial arts department. So they asked me to talk to the Head Teacher of industrial arts about removing the posters.

I was hesitant. More than that, I was scared. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Anyway, I did it. As luck would have it, I made my point well, and they removed the offending items.

This was one of my early experiences with tough conversations. And yes, it’s only a small story because it was a small problem.

But here is what I’ve found. Whether the problem is small or large, it’s often a nerve-wracking experience.

Since then, I’ve had countless tough conversations, especially when managing teams.

It’s not easy, but the good news is that you can learn how to navigate your way to a successful outcome for most problems with difficult people.

To smooth the pathway, I’ve developed scripts and other techniques to ensure you become proficient at conducting tough conversations at work, at home, and in the community.

Please read the rest of this page and then register for our workshop program.


Mark McPherson

Have you seen these people?

Creating a productive and harmonious workplace can be challenging. This is especially true if some employees are causing problems.

Whether you’re a boss or an employee, you may have seen some of these people in your workplace: 

  1. Slacker.  Doesn’t do enough work. They do just enough to keep their job.
  2. Self-Appointed Boss.  Tells others what to do and bosses them around without authority.
  3. Know-All. They claim to know a lot about almost any topic. And for almost any problem, they claim to have the answer.
  4. Diehard.  They’re negative about new ideas.
  5. Gossip.  Tells stories about people and gossips about them.
  6. Backstabber.  Puts people down behind their backs.
  7. Excluder.   Excludes particular people from conversations, activities and events.
  8. Hogger.  Hogs information by not sharing what they know, passing on reports, etc.
  9. Nit-Picker.  Finds minor faults with others and their work and makes a big deal of them.
  10. Brown-Noser.  They love everything you say and do – at least to your face. They’ll happily say the opposite behind your back (Closet-Whinger).
  11. Commitment-Breaker.  They don’t do what they said they’d do, agreed to, implied they’d do, or were supposed to do.

The above list represents eleven examples of difficult types of people. My Master List has 52.

It’s one thing to know the different people types, but it’s something else to know how to handle different them.

And that’s why my Tough Conversations at Work and Beyond course will help you.

You will learn to handle almost any ‘people problem’ confidently and competently.

But more than this, you’ll be respected by your peers and increase your value in the marketplace.

Master This Skill and Watch Your Life Change
(For the Better)

Tim Ferris Says, “Your success is based on how many uncomfortable conversations you are prepared to have”.

Mastering this skill becomes essential if he is right (and we think he is). And the sooner, the better.

It’s not easy to conduct tough conversations. It took me decades to master it.

But the good news is that I have simplified the process with scripts and other techniques so you can move onto the ‘tough conversations’ Fast Track.

Tough Conversations You’d Rather Avoid

Having a Tough Conversation isn’t the end of the world. But we don’t like having them because they make us feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps you’ve had to handle situations like these:

  • Retrenchment. When an organisation downscales, some employees will inevitably lose their jobs.
  • Sacking Someone. Same as for point 1.
  • Ratbag Employees, Husbands, Wives, and Neighbours. When stressed, some people behave unreasonably.
  • Unhappy Customers. Including internal customers.
  • Asking For Something When You Don’t Have Power, such as asking the boss for a raise or a promotion.
  • Giving a Proper Apology, NOT a ‘Clayton’s’ Apology. It’s time to eat humble pie, but will you?
  • Back Sliders and Those Who Lack Discipline. For example, employees who are often late for work or meetings.

To make things easier, I’ve developed frameworks, scripts and formulas that make the process virtually foolproof.

If you’ve experienced one or more of the above situations, enrol in my Workshop.

Who This Course Is For

The session is designed for delegates from the same organisation or business.

It is especially pertinent for staff who experience difficult situations such as:

  • Difficult employees.
  • Bullying clients.
  • Unreasonable bosses.
  • Unreliable collaborators.
  • Litigious contractors.
  • Angry members of the public.

It will also help with in-house communications, smoothing relationships between colleagues regardless of their pecking order.

The downstream effects of this can be significant and potentially transformational.

A bonus is that you (as a participant) can leverage your new-found skills away from work, at home with family and friends, and in the wider community.

AT A GLANCE. Course Details


For businesses and organisations

For individuals


Minimum number of participants





Should You Enrol in This Course?

You don’t have to do this course. You have other options, one of which is to do nothing.

But if you don’t enrol, please consider the implications. The main issue is clear: you may not reach your full potential.

Your professional and career growth is not just about your core competencies, such as the technical ability to ‘do your job’. It’s also about soft skills such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Assertiveness skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Resilience
  • Courage

The point is that when you master the skills of Tough Conversations (and, by extension, negotiation skills), you will automatically improve your skillset in the soft skills listed above.

There will be an impact from NOT mastering these critical skills. The effect on you, your career, your community, and your home could be significant.

Take advantage of this affordable opportunity and register today.

“Mark has a natural talent for dealing with difficult people and having difficult conversations.”

Simon Van Wyk GAIDC – Digital Strategy Consultants


Who is Mark McPherson?

Do you, your colleagues, or your staff ever have to:

I can help you fix these problems by Bringing Out the Best in People so they always put their best foot forward.

I teach various methods, including Mastering Tough Conversations and Dealing with Difficult People so they work with you and not against you.

I help by giving you original content, models and processes. I give you realistic, down-to-earth strategies that have been tried and tested in the real world. And I help you develop your skills by using modern behaviour-rehearsal activities.

I’m a speaker, trainer, coach and author with over 40 years of experience. I work in Leadership, Management, Customer Service and Personal Relationships. I will work with you to design a tailor-made solution that fits your needs.

Enroll Now


The course is for anyone who wants more harmony at work and home (Note: we’re not psychologists).

No. Your results will depend on you implementing what you learn.

If you notify us 72 hours before the event, we will refund 100%.

No. Your results will depend on you implementing what you learn.

What Others Say About Mark

“Mark possesses an unmatched ability to captivate and engage audiences.”

I am delighted to provide a professional testimonial for my good friend Mark McPherson, an exceptional corporate trainer.

Throughout our friendship, I have witnessed firsthand his remarkable skills and unwavering dedication to his profession.

As a corporate trainer, Mark possesses an unmatched ability to captivate and engage audiences. He effortlessly imparts knowledge and skills that leave a lasting impact.

Mark’s expertise in various industries and deep understanding of organisational dynamics make him a sought-after professional. Mark’s genuine passion for empowering individuals and teams to achieve their full potential sets him apart.

His approach is not only informative but also highly interactive and fun. Mark is a damn good corporate trainer who consistently exceeds expectations.

I wholeheartedly recommend Mark for any corporate training endeavour, and I am confident Mark will deliver exceptional results. Elliot Yancy. Writer, Producer

“Mark has a natural talent for dealing with difficult people and having difficult conversations.”

I’ve heard Mark teaching and mentoring people many times, and his style is always accessible and pragmatic. I used his technique on a business partner who avoided difficult conversations.

I saved a lot of time, and it saved me from becoming involved in someone else’s expensive folly.

You can’t escape the difficult conversation, and Mark has a great framework for tackling it and is an empathetic mentor to people preparing for these discussions.

Mark has a natural talent for dealing with difficult people and having difficult conversations. It’s a rare skill these days because these conversations are often avoided.

He has a very down-to-earth and realistic approach to the topic and delivers more than he’s asked. Simon Van Wyk GAIDC. Digital Strategy Consultants

“One of the best things about his sessions is how much fun they are”

I observed Mark in action and experienced his coaching numerous times.

One of the best things about his sessions is how much fun they are and how he empowers people to overcome the daunting task of public speaking into an engaging and uplifting experience. Fiona Young. Principal, Hayball, RAIA

“Each person left his session with new skills and techniques for dealing with difficult conversations.”

In my firm, architects are often required to deal with conflict on building sites.

Mark carried out training tailored to the needs of my staff. True to his word, each person left his session with new skills and techniques for dealing with difficult conversations.

Mark was both entertaining and informative.  Nick Seaman, Architect