How to Hold a Difficult Conversation in 7 Easy (?) Steps


Why do we avoid conversations where we know there will be disagreement, even when they’re essential to resolve for the sake of the work, or the relationship? Duh, because it’s hard—it makes us uncomfortable, it signals our “fight or flight” instincts, it threatens our relationships. And because it takes a lot of skill to manage a conversation where stakes are high and emotions run strong. Authors Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler addressed this topic with a methodology described in their best-selling book, Crucial Conversations. Based on her own experience and that of her clients, Linda Lubin Thompson streamlined their methodology into a straightforward behavioral framework. Participants should come to the workshop with an example in mind of a difficult conversation they need to have, have been avoiding, or one that didn’t go well. You’ll walk out with a plan for how to skillfully conduct a tough conversation that gives you the results you want.

Linda Lubin Thompson

As an executive coach and leadership consultant, Linda Thompson draws on more than 20 years of experience as a corporate vice president and director of human resources responsible for multiple areas of talent management and leadership/organizational development. In her consulting practice, L2T Leadership Development (, Linda helps companies protect their most important assets–their high-potential leaders at all levels of the organization. Through targeted programs, proven leadership tools and strategies, plus one-on-one coaching, Linda helps high-potential leaders become “ready now” for more responsibility. Leaders get the skills they need to contribute more to the business, and companies get a stronger, more capable leadership bench at all levels.

Prior to consulting, Linda was VP Human Resources and VP Global Leadership & Learning for Synopsys, where she oversaw the US human resources business partner team and employee development for the global organization.  Prior to Synopsys, Linda was Director of HR and strategic business partner to 5 members of the executive staff of Applied Biosystems.  She was HR Director for and led the Learning & Development team at Adaptec through its growth phase.  Linda’s early career was in management of Leadership Development and Organizational Development for Amdahl.

Linda holds a Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed the Human Resource Executive Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business as well as the Advanced OD/HR Management program at Columbia University. Her article, “Coaching Quicksand: Avoiding Hidden Dangers that Trap the Best of Us,” was published in the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations. Linda is also a recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry Award, which recognizes women leaders who represent leadership role models for others. 


Event Details

Tuesday, February 13th

6:30 – 9:30 pm


Tickets: $18