Exploring Awkward Conversations

"The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard."
— William Hazlitt


Awkward conversations...difficult conversations...troublesome conversations. We all have them, at one time or another, whether with family members, close friends, work colleagues, bosses or employees. Often we are left regretful, wishing the conversation had gone differently, recognising we were perhaps unprepared, or went in with unreasonable assumptions and expectations. Or worse, we just walk away with resentment, or a sense of despair. Conversation is something we all engage in, frequently. Much of the time it is lighthearted and non-threatening, simply a tool we utilise for social interaction. But holding a serious, or potentially awkward conversation is an art, and not something we can take lightly. It is helpful to enter such conversations well prepared, thoughtful, empathic, releasing our own agendas and showing up in a spirit of understanding and enquiry.

Method and Framework

Using techniques from Augusto Boal's theatre work, the Human Givens model, and Quaker discernment practices, this workshop offers a set of ideas and skills, and provides a space to explore their applicability. Using your own scenarios, potential conversations can be role-played in a safe environment, where mistakes and outright failure are all part of the learning process. When it comes to holding difficult conversations there are no simple solutions, and no technique that is guaranteed to work. This workshop begins with that recognition, and will end with its acceptance. And yet we can all do better, and here you'll have the opportunity to acquire some basic skills, and through listening, observing, and practicing the art of conversation to learn from one another.

Workshop Cost

As I consider this workshop to meet the needs of a wide-ranging group of people, not just business folk, I am offering it at 50% of my usual workshop rate: £150 instead of £300. If this is still outside your affordability range, please let me know and we can agree on a fair price to suit your circumstances.

Facilitator: Tobias Mayer

I have been facilitating groups for almost thirty years, and have spent over fourteen years consulting in the corporate world. With two marriages, one divorce, four children, multiple encounters with drug addicts and alcoholics, and many years working in the probation, youth work and refugee support fields I feel well seasoned in the world of awkward conversations. I currently teach public workshops in the business world, and study Theology and Human Givens psychotherapy.


See the events home page for upcoming Exploring Awkward Conversations workshops.

Workshop Cost

The cost of this one-day workshop is £150. Discounts are offered to those on low income. Email Tobias Mayer for discount information.