Videos: Difficult Conversations

These clips show a variety of scenarios that are meant to support you in having conversations to resolve problematic situations that can arise in the workplace.  Throughout the videos, tips are provided along the way to highlight particular strategies that may be useful.

The individuals you will see are Dalhousie employees who have volunteered their time to this project, and for this we are very grateful.  The scenarios are meant to add realism, but are not intended to identify specific individuals or situations.Click below to view videos showing difficult conversations on a range of topics and roles.

Resistance to change (7 mins. 44 sec.)                                  Supervisor/Employee
Each time there is a new idea or a message delivered from “management” there is a critical, cynical, or sarcastic comment made by an employee during regular staff meetings. The supervisor is aware that these comments are affecting the mood of the group.

Supportive conversation (9 mins 24 sec.)                             Supervisor/Employee
There has been a change in an employee’s performance and behaviour over the past few months. The supervisor has concerns about her mental health.

Addressing Concern  (2 mins. 27 sec.)                                   Co-workers
An employee has noticed a change in the interactions with her colleague. She wants to discuss her concerns in order to improve their relationship.

Subtle Behaviour  (5 mins 28 sec.)                                         Supervisor/Employee
An employee’s tone of voice can be dismissive of others in the team and her body language sends the message that she thinks she is better than her teammates. While the behaviour is fairly subtle, the supervisor has witnessed is consistently and feels it is affecting, or will affect, the morale of the group.

Complaining to Others (6 mins. 37 sec.)                                Supervisor/Employee
Several students living in residence have complained that an employee regularly complains about the employee’s supervisor. The students are uncomfortable with these conversations, but are more uncomfortable speaking directly to the employee to address their concerns.

Intervening during an Argument (5 mins. 24 sec.)               Director/Employees
An employee has noticed a change in the interactions with her colleague. She wants to discuss her concerns in order to improve their relationship, but their conversation gets heated to the point that their Director intervenes.

Underlying Cause  (16 mins)                                                     Manager/Supervisor/Employee
An employee is having trouble with her supervisor. She finds him overly critical of her work and yet doesn’t set clear expectations.  The supervisor is frustrated and questions her commitment to the job. Watch as their conversation goes badly, prompting the Supervisor to seek advice, which leads to a more collaborative discussion.

Mediating after an Argument (12 mins. 50 sec.)                    Chairperson/Faculty Members
While their Chair was away last week, two academic colleagues had an argument in an Admissions Committee meeting. The Chair has met separately with each of them and now brings them together to work out a way forward.

Disruptive Faculty  (8 mins. 44 sec.)                                         Chairperson/Faculty Member
A Department Chair has been approached separately by two junior faculty members who are complaining about the aggressive approach of a senior faculty member when critiquing their work.