Challenging Conversations (GSA) Program

Difficult situations occur in all agencies as individuals scramble to adapt to a new normal in the government. It is natural for conflict to arise, and leaders need skills to successfully navigate intense and emotionally charged conversations to help resolve conflict and foster employee engagement and retention.

Our half-day Challenging Conversations program guides participants through the five interconnected steps that are critical to having a successful challenging conversation. Using this flexible model, government employees learn how to speak up directly and resolve conflict without alienating the other person and learn to stay focused, even when triggered by what they are hearing. The result is better conflict resolution and greater confidence in addressing difficult situations at work and home.


  • Gain skills to initiate challenging conversations that transform difficult emotions into productive energy and build trust
  • Build confidence in delivering difficult messages, giving tough performance feedback, or confronting challenging behavior
  • Increase competence, motivation, and confidence among direct reports for improved employee engagement
  • Resolve performance issues with fewer grievances and disciplinary issues
  • Reduce tension, friction, and employee turnover through effective coaching


This program benefits anyone who wants to build competence and commitment in preparing for and conducting challenging conversations. It is effective for individual contributors and government employees at all levels.

The Ken Blanchard Companies has been awarded a contract under Schedule 874-1, 874-4 and 874-5—Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS) by the General Services Administration (GSA), Contract Number: GS-02-F-0154U, MOBIS Training Services.