Exploring Awkward Conversations

 London, 3rd May 2019

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

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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.

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.

Participant Comments

"The conversations we avoid or mismanage often leads to unnecessary suffering and broken relationships. In this workshop, Tobias designs a review of the experience as a whole, in order to break it down to explore how to better prepare and increase your awareness of the possibilities engaging in this type of communication actually brings. The range of participants, the size of the group, the experiential exercises, and the reflections that followed, means that you have a wonderful opportunity to check your attitude when approaching real-life examples of awkward conversations, and how to focus on what you can control, rather than worrying about the other party. As with anything Tobias-related, it's thoughtful, deep, and offers you valuable insight into your personal growth." —Moe Hashimi

"Coming to your workshop last week has had a profound effect on how I think and I want to thank you for your time and effort" —Tarlock Rai

"I expected to get a lot out of the class, but actually found it more valuable than I had anticipated." —Paul Marshall

"It was a really fun and interactive session and I came away with some good recommendations for conversations that have been playing on my mind. The group was so open and generous to everyone's ideas which was really refreshing." —Freya Finnerty

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Standard: £300 + VAT
First Six: £200 + VAT
Low Income: £100 + VAT
Workshop limited to 16


London, venue tbd

Date & Time

Friday 3rd May 2019
9.30 am to 5.00 pm

Page published: 21/11/2018
Last updated: 03/02/2019