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Failure to Communicate: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them

Presenter: Holly Weeks, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School


These days, we’re all joint problem-solvers. But we’ve all seen problems that could have—and should have—worked out, but didn’t because conversations about them turned negative or broke down. The original problems were not beyond repair, but the damning judgments, hurt reputations, and broken relationships sometimes have been.
In this webinar, Holly will give you a clearer view of what happens in tough conversations. She will give you the skills you need to make your way through them, even when the conversations are unpredictable, big emotions are in play, and your counterpart thinks this is war. This is your best way out of failure-prone conversations with your reputation and relationships intact.

What Will You Learn

• The three biggest problems we face in difficult conversations
• Where these conversations go wrong and why
• How to deal with a counterpart’s tough tactics
• How to overcome our own tactical weaknesses
• How to break the grip of emotional reactions
• How to move forward through misconceptions, confusion, and deceit

You will take away effective strategies and tactics for getting through tough conversations without giving up, giving in, or compromising your integrity.

Who Will Participate

Leaders who want to model skill in difficult conversations and set a culture for handling them well, executives who know that how they handle themselves in tough conflicts defines their reputations and their most important relationships, managers giving performance reviews, and people at every level of an organization who want to raise their game.


Holly Weeks

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School

Access Resource

60 Minutes