The Language of Difficult Conversations


This 8-hour program introduces international graduate students to the interpersonal and linguistic skills required to engage in difficult discussions. Participants will explore cultural differences in conflict resolution and practice strategies to engage in difficult conversations in ways that achieve positive outcomes and enhance relationships.


By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • identify the role culture plays in conflict resolution
  • apply specific language patterns to diffuse difficult conversations.

What to expect

The workshop consists of four 2-hour sessions. Participants who attend each of the four sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

Program Information

Upcoming Sessions

No sessions are scheduled at present.


Typically once in Fall, Winter, and Summer.


International and new resident graduate students, international postdoctoral scholars


Registration Instructions

  1. Login to Western Connect using your Western username and password.
  2. Go to the Centre for Teaching and Learning section. Select Event Calendar and select the event you wish to register in. Details and a description of the program will appear.
  3. Select the Register for this Event button. If the event has reached capacity, you may have the option to register on the waitlist.
  4. You will receive an automated confirmation email to your Western email account. 

If you have any questions or problems registering for an event, please consult our help guide or contact

Prerequisites / Recommended Preparation


Applies to following certificates

Western Certificate in Academic and Professional Communication

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“This workshop was really useful, because I had similar situations that was mentioned as examples in the class. In those cases, I was trying to avoid the situation (without any discussion). Now I learned that I could have handled the conflict in a different and better way. Thank you!”

“This program helps me to understand the possible ways to handle any critical conversations, whether in workplace or educational institutions. Now I will concentrate on my listening. That means I will try to be [a] more attentive listener in any conversation, and, according to the situations and participants, I hope I would be able to react [better] from now [on].”

“I learned to present my opinion in difficult conversations and discuss with my professors appropriately and politely.”