Mastering Difficult Conversations Course

Mastering Difficult Conversations Course – 2021

Testimonials from participants in the 2020 program:

  • The course was very worthwhile in my role and gave many good insights about how myself and others possibly think when in a challenging conversation.’Steiner Teacher
  • ‘The MDC program is very thorough and in-depth while also giving plenty of time for practicing and sharing with others on the program. I can now approach difficult conversations with more confidence.’ Steiner Admin
  • ‘It is an excellent extension of the inner work we undertake. It is a practical way to apply your inner work with clear benefits to yourself and the people you interact with.’ Steiner Teacher

Following feedback from the successful Mastering Difficult Conversations program, run in 2020, we are very pleased to once again offer staff and board/council members at SEA Member schools and Associate Member organisations the opportunity to participate in the Mastering Difficult Conversations program developed by Murray Hopkins and his team. The program will run through term 2, and consists of 5 two-hour sessions, run over Zoom. Groups sizes are limited to a maximum of 24 people, please book early if you would like to participate in the program.  Details of the program are below. 

Mastering Difficult Conversations Course

Almost everyone finds certain conversations difficult or challenging. This 5-workshop program will help you change the way you think about so-called “difficult” conversations and transform them into “learning” conversations – ones that build relationships and reduce conflict.

The program consists of 5 two hour facilitated sessions using the free Zoom video app.

The zoom sessions are practical in nature, involving small group work and include an action plan for practice between sessions. All workbooks and support resources are provided. It is recommended that participants connect to the sessions using a computer, rather than a phone, so they can fully engage with the sessions.


Session 1: Tuesday 4 May, 2021
Session 2: Tuesday 18 May, 2021
Session 3: Tuesday 1 June, 2021
Session 4: Tuesday 15 June, 2021
Session 5: Tuesday 29 June, 2021

All Sessions run from 5pm – 7pm NSW time

Please note that when signing up for the program, you are committing to attending all 5 sessions. All sessions are interactive and it is recommended that participants connect to the sessions using a computer, rather than a phone so they can fully engage with the sessions.The sessions are not recorded.

Special offer for SEA Members: $370 + GST per person for 5 two-hour sessions, workbooks and course materials.

This special price is offered to staff and board directors of SEA Members Schools and Associate Member Organisations for the Mastering Difficult Conversations program (5 sessions). Participants need to commit to complete all sessions. An added advantage of participating in this special program is that all participants will be coming from SEA Member Schools, and a Steiner/Waldorf context.

The first three workshop sessions provide practical frameworks and skills which build on each other. 

Session 1 – Understanding My Sense-Making

Note: If you attended the introductory session through the SEA GLaM Seminar program you have completed this session already. However, since that was some time ago, we highly recommend you attend Session 1 again. The material covered in Session 1 is fundamental the other 4 sessions and to your success.

This session:

  • Explores the way you construct your experience of the world and describe that experience through stories
  • Introduces the use of Gervase Bushe’s “Experience Cube” – to deconstruct your experience so you understand it more deeply and clearly and can communicate it more effectively to others
  • Helps you understand how every human being makes subtly or dramatically different meaning-making “stories” from the same experience
Session 2 – Getting Curious about Their Sense-Making

This session:

  • Provides an advanced Listening to Understand skill
  • Explores how we make sense of the other person and what they are doing
  • Introduces the use of “Multiple Perspectives” to get curious about what their experience might be and insight into the relationship dynamics
Session 3 – Managing Defensiveness

This session:

  • Explores common survival “triggers” which activate defensiveness in yourself and others
  • Introduces two practical frameworks to help you manage your emotional state and defuse defensiveness in others
Session 4– Planning and Conducting the Conversation

This session brings it all together as you use the Conversation Framework to plan and practise having a difficult conversation after the session, in real time.

Session 5– Follow Up

This provides the opportunity to debrief how the conversation went and consolidate skills and learning for the future.

Learning Support

In the program you will be supported to:

  • Explore the science behind the frameworks and skills
  • Practice in pairs and small groups
  • Plan actions you will take between sessions to apply skills and build confidence
  • Deepen your understanding through collective debriefing and exploration

As part of the program package you will have 12-months access to repeat this follow-up session in which you can share your challenges and learning and receive ongoing support to apply the skills and frameworks covered in the program. The repeat follow-up sessions will be offered periodically. You must have completed all 5 workshop sessions to participate in the repeat follow up sessions.

Places are limited to 24 people per group, so please book early to avoid missing out.

Register via Try Booking 

For more information please contact