University of Wisconsin–Madison

Having Difficult Workplace Conversations

Difficult conversations with customers, with staff or with supervisors are usually not comfortable, but steps can be taken to ensure a positive end result. This course will cover tools and best practices to ensure that even the most challenging conversations will result in a happier workplace.

At a glance

Dates: July 12 – Aug 8, 2021

Where: Online

Cost: $150 (10% discount when you register 2 weeks in advance!)

CE Credit: 1.4 CEUs/14 LEUs

Program: #304022

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

Register online

Due to the continuation of remote work, please use the online registration option. If you need alternate arrangements, email Anna Palmer, or Meredith Lowe, Alternate registration options may result in delays.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins

Course details

Course goals

  • To determine when it’s time to have a difficult conversation
  • To provide tools on how to start difficult conversations
  • To determine how to stay calm
  • To understand how to approach people resistant to talking
  • To approach instances of unacceptable work behavior
  • To develop effective follow-up after difficult conversations


Pass/Fail grade is based on completing all weekly lessons, discussions, and assignments.


Jamie Matczak is the education consultant at Wisconsin Valley Library Service in Wausau, WI. Previously the associate director/continuing education coordinator for the Nicolet Federated Library System in Green Bay, she has taught Business Communication at Lakeland College, has a BA in Advertising from UW-Eau Claire, and an MS in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning from UW-Green Bay. Jamie has presented on marketing, social media and communication at state-wide and national conferences.