Executive and Professional Development

Writing Skills for Challenging Communications

Writing good news 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, reporting employees and external audiences.

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. Participants will also work in groups to tackle writing about difficult workplace issues.

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

DATES - 1 Day Seminar

December 11, 2019

$420 + HST
Facilitator: donalee Moulton, BA
Location: Saint Mary’s University at 1800 Argyle Street 8th Floor Halifax NS


Program Content

Getting started

  • Deciding what needs to be said and what can remain unstated
  • Imbuing a calm and respectful tone
  • Identifying – and addressing – the readers’ questions and concerns

Writing the content

  •  Finding the best words to use
  •  Sounding sincere and reasonable
  •  Organizing for effectiveness

 What You Will Learn

  • The recommended format for writing bad news
  • Direct 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
  • The PAIBOC method to analyze communication problems before writing

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
  • have to communicate with individuals and groups about sensitive, difficult, and controversial issues