Executive and Professional Development


Writing Skills for Challenging Communications

Writing a positive and upbeat document can be tough, but writing to address negative, controversial and other challenging situations is significantly tougher. Such situations, however, are unavoidable. Frequently we are called upon to let someone down gently but firmly, say no to someone who is making a request, give constructive criticism, and raise difficult issues with colleagues, co-workers and reporting employees.

This one-day workshop will look at tips and techniques for preparing written communication for challenging situations. You will come to understand when a direct answer is ineffective – and when it works well. The format for writing bad news will be discussed and the pros and cons of the “sandwich” concept will be explored.

Writing Skills for Challenging Communications is a required seminar for the Series for Excellence in Written Communication.

DATES - 1 Day Seminar

April 26, 2018

$420 + HST
Facilitator: donalee Moulton
Location: Saint Mary’s at the World Trade Centre, 8th Floor, 1800 Argyle Street


Program Content

Getting started

  • Deciding what needs to be said and what can remain unwritten
  • Preparing an outline      
  • Ensuring a calm and respectful tone
  • Identifying the readers’ questions and concerns


Writing the content

  • Finding the best words to use
  • Using the language the recipient is familiar with
  • Sounding sincere and reasonable
  • Organizing for effectiveness

 What You Will Learn

  • The recommended format for writing bad news
  • Indirect vs. indirect approaches to writing for difficult situations
  • How to determine if content is relevant to the reader
  • How to focus on the readers’ needs and not be distracted by the emotional elements of the situation

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you:

  • Write letters of dismissal, bad news correspondence, letters denying claims, etc.
  • Manage staff who write challenging letters, reports, emails and more
  • Work on projects where different points of view are expressed