1300 611 288

Back in the day when I was an MD in London, there was a lady named Sharon, she was a brilliant EA.

Then there was this great bloke David, my Sales Director.

Now Sharon could not sit next to David, because David wore buttons.

Sharon had a fear of buttons (yes, it’s a real thing called Koumpounophobia).

One day Sharon and David locked horns over something. Sharon went to lunch. David went to Sharon’s office and poured a bag of buttons all over her desk.

Sharon resigned. A Crucial Conversation (as referenced by the book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High) was then had with all three of us.

  • How do you have a Crucial Conversation?
  • Who is at fault?
  • What can you say and what can’t you say?
  • It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
  • When do you make the call to have the Crucial Conversation?

Sharon, David and the buttons may seem a wee bit funny now, but believe you me, it was not funny for Sharon or me as her boss.

For more information: 1300 611 288 or email info@sparkletraining.com.au

In a post-COVID environment, many Crucial Conversations are need. Especially as more and more people emerge from their work-from-home sanctuaries to the big wide world of our office spaces.

Discomforts will grow, tension will increase and the those of us in charge will be expected to know how to handle discomfort and tension in the workplace.

                 As a team leader, don’t be put on the spot – learn how to have Crucial Conversations!

You may see the increased experimenting with virtual works-paces as an interesting side effect of this pandemic. However, it may have long-term effects on our communication skill-set and the ability to handle conflict.

Dysfunctional communication is at the core of every conflict. That is, we do not expect to be misunderstood. We have significantly developed our communication skills since the cave men days. And a scientific fact is that our DNA has only marginally changed since then. We only used to talk to a person who was a trustworthy group member. That is, everybody else might very well be a potential enemy. An also rarely talked to. All communication will therefore be interpreted differently. That is, against the backdrop of a relationship based on trust and understanding the person you are talking to.

Communication both internally amongst staff and externally with our customers needs to be effective. More over, we all need to be specific and considerate during the months post-COVID. That is to ensure we are sending out cohesive signals and reducing anxiety around us.

For more information: 1300 611 288 or email info@sparkletraining.com.au

When dealing with customers, our messaging needs to be clear and honest. So that to ensure there is an understanding approach to their needs.

Then there’s the staff. They will be anxious about their own areas of responsibility post-COVID. So we as leaders and managers need to employ an open and empathetic style with them. During change and uncertainty, Crucial Conversations and how to have them become vital for the functioning of our business.

Does your team know how to have Crucial Conversations?


There is an art to effective questioning that can be learnt. We were once born with it. But time and social expectations quashed our inbuilt natural questioning skills at a young age.


Are you a good listener? A simple series of appropriate questions will provide you with a personal listening score that surprises the most acute listeners among us. When interacting with customers, does your team know the difference between listening and hearing their customers?


Non-verbal communication is now more important than ever before in a post-COVID virtual sphere. Most interpersonal communication (> 55%) is non-verbal. It may be a revealing facial expression, a particular style of body language (fidgeting, distracted), or the subtle yet telling flicker of an eye. These non-verbal communications are key to understanding others. And how to, in turn, to effectively communicate with them.


If you are going to address your manager and set a KPI, what value proposition are you going to place?  As for our customers, we must have an understanding of how that value will be delivered. As well how our customer will enjoy the experience. It must solve a problem (Customer’s Pain). The more urgent the problem, the more valuable the solution.

Crucial Conversation Training is customised to our client’s needs. Additionally, it is currently being rolled out by SPARKLE TRAINING virtually and in-person. To sharpen your team’s learning and to get their communication back on track in a post-COVID environment, contact SPARKLE TRAINING . Call 1300 611 288 or email info@sparkletraining.com.au to secure a spot.