Communication, Conflict, and Difficult Conversations

This six-part educational video series is designed in particular for those who have been in a rural health leadership role for two years or less, but it is also relevant to leaders who have been in their roles for longer or who may be training or mentoring new leaders. The series may also serve as a valuable resource for those who may be transitioning to a leadership role within the next year.

Description and Topics Covered

In this module, we’re going to dig into some things that are hard for many of us: Communication, conflict, and difficult conversations. We’ll look at what it means to be a collaborative communicator and share tips for becoming a better listener, keeping conflict constructive, and having difficult conversations.

  • Collaborative communication
  • Adapting communication to the audience
  • Active listening
  • The value of constructive conflict
  • Keeping conflict constructive
  • Leading difficult conversations

Reflection and Discussion Questions

  • How good of a listener are you? When is listening most challenging for you – and what might you do to overcome this challenge?
  • Who would you like to build a more collaborative relationship with? How might you communicate with them in ways that build trust and mutual understanding?
  • What one thing related to conflict would you like to get better at? Would you like to get more comfortable with it? Soften your approach? How might you make this happen? (Hint: See some of the suggested activities below!)

Recommended Activities

  • Identify an upcoming conversation where you’d like to practice your active listening skills. Let the other person know that you’re working on these skills, and ask them for feedback afterward.
  • Take the Conflict Styles Self-Assessment and answer the reflection questions above.
  • Use the Difficult Conversation Planning Tool to plan a challenging conversation. Then carry it out!
  • Talk to a trusted colleague about their approach to conflict and difficult conversations. How do they approach these types of interactions?



Was this information helpful?

Please include your email if you want us to follow up with you.