“One difficult conversation is far better than many that avoid the truth.”

Tough Conversations at Work and Beyond

How to Master Tough Conversations

Attention People Managers, Business Owners and Ambitious Employees


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

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. And 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.

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

I suggest that you 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 is not always an easy thing to do.  This is especially true if some people who work there 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.  For almost any topic, they claim to know a lot about it. 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 or 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 though 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 can 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”. 

If he is right (and we think he is), it becomes essential to master this skill.  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:

    1. Retrenchment.  When an organisation downscales, some employees will inevitably lose their jobs.
    2. Sacking Someone. Same as for point 1.
    3. Ratbag Employees, Husbands, Wives, and Neighbours.  When stressed, some people behave unreasonably.
    4. Unhappy Customers.  Including internal customers.
    5. Asking For Something When You Don’t Have Power.For example, asking the boss for a raise or a promotion.
    6. Giving a Proper Apology, NOT a ‘Clayton’s’ Apology.  It’s time to eat humble pie, but will you?
    7. 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 irrespective of where they sit in the 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.  But also in the wider community.

AT A GLANCE. Course Details

1. Price

For businesses and organisations

1. In-House.  $3,600 + GST 

2. Virtual (via Zoom).   $1,800 + GST

For individuals 

Virtual (via Zoom).   Lower ‘per person’ prices apply . Please ask.

2. Duration

1. In-House.  4 hours face-to-face (does not include any breaks) 

2. Virtual (via Zoom).   Two 90-minute sessions


3. Minimum number of participants

To ensure a fantastic learning experience, we require a minimum of 5 people from one business or organisation.

If fewer than five people can attend, consider enrolling in our Mixed Group Program.  Contact us for more details.

4. Inclusions

Resource Manual containing original material for each person.  Value: $50.


How to Master Tough Conversations video.   75 minutes.  Value: $95.

5. Support

Email: Email Mark with questions or requests for help, and he’ll respond within 24 hours.
Phone: You will be given Mark’s mobile number – contact Mark Monday to Friday during business hours for help.

6. CPD

If required, CPD Certificates can be issued to all attendees.

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.

Who is Mark McPherson?

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

  • Deal with someone who’s vague, hard to follow and won’t give straightforward answers?
  • Give someone bad news?
  • Speak up and state your case even though it mightn’t be well received.
  • Serve someone rude and uncooperative?
  • Have to remind someone to do things they know already know?
  • Get someone who doesn’t pull their weight, undermines others or breaks the rules to do ‘the right thing’?
  • Get people to work together, do what they need to do and help others.
  • Lay down the law?

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. And I work with you to design a tailor-made solution that fits your needs.


Who Is This Course For?

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

I’m the Only One Who Wants to Attend

No problem.  Ask us about our Zoom Mixed Group program.

Do You Guarantee a Result?

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

If I can’t attend what is your refund policy?

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

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    Tough Conversations Workshop – In Person
    $3,600.00 plus GST
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    Tough Conversations Workshops – Virtual
    $1,800.00 plus GST