Managing Difficult Conversations with Colleagues and Staff

Enhance your work relationships and culture by learning how to approach difficult conversations with confidence. 



Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Thursday, Sept. 21 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm ET (recordings available)

Learn strategies for engaging in difficult conversations with people at work, such as giving a colleague or direct report critical feedback, approaching your manager with a concern, or even engaging a disgruntled patron. You will learn tenets of cultural humility regarding language, as well as how to assess your own communication styles in order to bring self-awareness into all conversations.

You will leave this 2-hour crash course with grounding techniques and rhetorical strategies to increase your ability to engage kindly, yet firmly, in a way that matches your values.

The live sessions run on Thursday, September 21, 2023 from 2:00-4:00 pm ET (recorded for on-demand viewing). Don’t miss this opportunity!


When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

Learning Outcomes

After you attend this crash course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand your own communication style and how it impacts conversations and conflict at work

  • Use trauma-informed practices to ground yourself and guide conversations

  • Engage in difficult conversations with cultural humility

  • Initiate difficult conversations with confidence and a strategy for success

  • Navigate power dynamics involved in difficult conversations


Who should take this course 

This course is geared toward aspiring managers, current managers, and leaders. That said, any librarian or educator who seeks to grow their skills and confidence in having difficult conversations will benefit from these skills.

Expected time commitment: 

If you attend or watch the recordings of all live sessions, you'll spend approximately 2 hours on this course. You'll earn 2 hours of PD credit and a Library Journal certificate of completion. 

Live sessions are also available on demand for six months

Can’t make a live session? All guest speaker sessions are recorded and available on demand for six months following the initial broadcast.

Certificate of completion provided 

2 professional development credit hours

For support with online courses, please contact


All guest speaker sessions feature live captioning and are made available on demand after the initial broadcast. Please email upon registration if you require any special accommodations and we will make our best efforts to facilitate them.


Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. 

Send us a request for a quote.




By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

For support with online courses, please contact



Thursday, September 21, 2023

Session 1 | 2:00-2:30 pm EST

Communications Skills During Challenges

Proactively preparing what you can say during challenges can help you once you’re in a tense situation. This session will teach you go-to, practical communication skills you can use in moments of conflict with colleagues, staff, or patrons.


To be announced




Session 2 | 2:30-3:00 pm EST

Stress Management and Equity in Conflict

Conflict can bring out the worst in all of us. That’s why this session is focused on two key parts of managing difficult conversations: managing personal stressors and centering equity. Learning the tools to remain grounded during conflict is crucial to managing difficult conversations. Likewise, committing to centering equity and cultural humility will help ensure that these conversations are as safe as possible for everyone involved.


To be announced



Break | 3:00-3:10 EST


Session 3 | 3:10-3:40 pm EST

How to Give Difficult Feedback

Giving critical feedback, whether to a direct report or a peer, can be difficult and uncomfortable. This session will focus specifically on difficult feedback conversations and give you tips and tools to approach them directly, kindly, and confidently. 


To be announced



Session 4 | 3:40-4:00 pm EST

Interactive Working Session

This live, moderated discussion will give you an immediate opportunity to process and apply the skills you’ve learned in the previous sessions. You will have the opportunity to join on camera and audio to discuss ideas, ask questions, and hear from other participants in class. 


To be announced





Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.

2-Hour Online Crash Course Format


Inspiring Live Guest Speakers 



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers 

  • Live, expert speaker sessions with audience Q&A (session recordings available on demand if you can’t join live)
  • Option to join on camera to participate in interactive discussions and activities with course presenters and peers


Online Course Features


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available After The Live Session

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live video stream (with recordings available afterward)



Early Access On Demand Resources

Early Access and Ongoing Resources To Support Learning

  • Supporting resources (articles, videos, worksheets) in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Access all course content for six months after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses and other bonus content




We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing