Professional Course

Having Difficult Conversations in the Virtual World

edX, Online
4 weeks
4 weeks
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Course description

Having Difficult Conversations in the Virtual World

Having a difficult conversation can be difficult, but it's an essential leadership skill for good relationships and the growth and development of good teams--whether at work, in volunteer life, or in personal relationships. This course will address the reasons we avoid difficult conversations and teach you techniques for having those conversations.

Despite how often human beings communicate, people often struggle with handling difficult conversations. In virtual settings, communication gets even trickier. Having the skills to engage in difficult conversations in the virtual world can support you in many contexts.

HR professionals, leaders, and individual employees often request help developing skills around having difficult conversations. Difficult conversations are challenging in person; they are also challenging in virtual environments. Meaning can be lost in virtual communication as much of it is nonverbal. This skill is critical in a variety of relationships. It’s not just leaders needing to deliver negative performance feedback in remote work. Individual contributors need to be able to have open, honest conversations with leaders and team members. Even friends and family members can benefit from this skill. For example, have you ever been in a video call where your contributions were shut down or ignored? You’ll need to have a difficult conversation with people (work or classroom) in order to set things right and move forward with trust.

Who should attend?



Training content

  • Overview and Introduction
  • Preparation
  • Framework
  • Application

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Indiana University, a partner institute of EdX.

2-4 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$99
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • Identify the pillars of effective communication, both professionally and personally
  • Engage with active listening skills
  • Identify how emotion interplays with difficult conversations
  • Engage strategies for effective communication in a virtual modality

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