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F21-700 What Should I Say? Handling Difficult Conversation at Work

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

800 Online |  700 Professional Growth & Development
Jennifer Alfonso, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists



Avoiding difficult conversations at work can grow to become a major barrier and obstacle to excellent performance. Despite education and training, avoiding difficult conversations with supervisees is a common problem. Supervisors learn from experience that it is uncomfortable and often unproductive to confront someone or provide constructive feedback. The solution can be to avoid additional stress and not say what needs to be said. Instead, conversations happen with anyone except the person except with whom they are needed. This can lead to suboptimal performance. In this interactive and dynamic training, participants will learn strategies to overcome these obstacles and learn proven techniques on how to have courageous conversations and provide constructive feedback to supervisees.


Jennifer Alfonso, LCSW-C Related seminars and products

Jennifer Alfonso, MBA, MSW, LCSW-C, CEAP, is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on anger management and conflict resolution.  Ms. Alfonso founded ANGER  in 1997, a program that receives referrals from the Office of the State’s Attorney in Maryland, Parole and Probation Departments, Therapists, EAPs, and Attorneys.  Ms. Alfonso is a dynamic and engaging trainer who acts as a national consultant to both public and private organizations. She has presented over 2000 workshops to organizations such as: The Department of Justice, American College of Cardiology, Centers’ for Disease Control, NASA, the Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and, the National Institute for Health Statistics.

Agenda & Learning Objectives


12:45 pm - 1:15 pm Registration/Log On
1:15 pm - 2:45 pm


  • What Makes Conversations Difficult
  • Ineffective Strategies for Difficult Conversations
  • What to do instead
  • Low Inference Evidence
  • RISCI Model
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Lecture (Continued)

  • Inviting Discussion
  • Amygdala Attack
  • Strategies for Amygdala Attack
  • Difficult Conversation Summary
  • RISCI Reviewed (if time permits)
  • Take Aways
  • Questions & Answers
4:30 pm Adjournment



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Learn how to avoid emotional hijacking during difficult conversations
  • Understand why supervision can be challenging
  • Learn proven practical ways to stay calm even in tense situations
  • Review a five-step model on how to respond to challenging situations
  • Improve supervision feedback skills
  • Understand COMAR regulations that apply to social work supervisors

Bibliography & References


  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Shelia Heen, (Penguin Books, 2000)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey (Free Press, 1989, 2004)
  • Beyond Reason, Using Emotions as You Negotiate by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro, (Viking Penguin 2005)
  • Mistakes were Made (but not by me), by Carol Tarvis and Elliot Aronson, (Harcourt Inc., 2007)
  • Dialogue and the art of thinking together by William Issacs (Doubleday 1999)
  • Fierce Conversations, Achieving Success, at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time, by Susan Scott, (Berkley Books, 2002)
  • Taking the War out of Our Words: by Sharon Strand Ellison (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 1998-2009)
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when the stakes are high, by Patterson et al, (McGraw- Hill 2002)
  • First Break All the Rules: by Buckingham & Coffman (Simon & Schuster Inc.,1999)
  • It’s all Your Fault: 12 Tips for Managing People who Blame Others for Everything, by Bill Eddy (HCI Press, 2009)
  •, 6/1/2019
  •, 6/1/2019
  •, 6/1/2019  

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms




The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $65 and includes CE credit. Registering after November 18, 2021 will incur an additional $20 late fee. *Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the live interactive webinar to receive a refund or a credit letter.


*All cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for 3 Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.


ASWB Approved

Course completion requirements: To earn CE credit, social workers must log in at the scheduled time, attend the entire course, and complete the online course evaluation located in your account. After the online course evaluation is completed, you are then able to download your certificate. Partial Credit will not be given for participants who arrive late or leave early.


Unversity of Maryland School of Social Work, Office of Continuing Professional Education, provider #1611, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. UMSSW Office of CPE maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 02/11/2021 to 02/11/2024. Social workers participating in this course receive 3 continuing education credits.


Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

Webinar Policies & FAQs

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