Resolving Conflict & Difficult Conversations on the Frontline

16 and 23 February 2023 | 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM AEDT | Online

Training Overview

Navigating and Turning Complaints and Difficult Situations into an Opportunity 

In theory, difficult conversations and conflict is regarded as an important tool for public sector governance and a key channel for feedback and improvement. It helps to address gaps in public service delivery and is seen to improve relationships between key stakeholders.

This training course has been developed for the unique needs of frontline local government employees, who are called upon to de-escalate conflict and manage difficult conversations.  This program is not just about ticking a training box, it is about changing behaviours, understanding conflict as an opportunity and building confidence.

Local Gov Training Overview Image

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for Heads of, Managers, Leads, Co-ordinators, Officers working with internal customers local in local councils including:

Contact Centre / Customer Service / IT Service Desk

Community Services Centre

Parks / Recreation / Facilities / Events

Learning Outcomes

Clarity in Conflict

Uncovering the Patterns

Build Resilience

Thinking on Your Feet

Practical Tips

De- escalate Charged Interactions


Negotiating and Problem Solving

Meet Your Facilitator

Local Government Trainer Q1 2023 - Giles Watson

Giles Watson,
Customer Experience Coach,
Trainer and Consultant,
CX Training

Giles Watson is leading Customer Experience Coach and Trainer with over 20 years of experience spanning Australia, England and Wales. His expertise lies in shifting mindsets, building skills and changing behaviours to embed a customer centricity as a core competency. He is also passionate about adopting a strategic view of customer experience and with strong focus on service design and customer value which can be delivered across different channels and platforms.

In addition to his role as a coach and trainer he is also involved in academia as a Lecturer in the Kaplan Business School; Course Facilitator with the Queensland Law Society and Visiting Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology. As Practice Support Manager at Queensland Law Society, he authored the influential Client Care: Communication and Service and introduced a client service component to the Society’s practice management course for practice principals – an Australian first! Prior to that, at the Law Society of England & Wales he managed Lexcel, a client-service focused quality scheme that led to a 30% reduction in complaints against accredited law practices 

Key Sessions

Day 1: Module 1Day 1: Module 2Day 2: Module 3 Day 2: Module 4

Conflict and De-escalation  

  • What is customer experience? 
    • Re-framing customer experience on the front line and what it means for you?
    • Mapping the dynamics and difficulties of conflict
    • How do you de-escalate difficult customer interactions?
  • Managing your own Emotions and Mindset
    • Understanding your own emotions and behaviours
    • Self-awareness and emotional intelligence for conflict
    • Strategies for staying cool and calm

Customer Behaviours & De-escalation

  • Mapping out Different Customer Behaviours
    • DiSC behavioural framework
    • Other behavioural differences
    • How to translate this to your role
  • Managing Customer Emotional Needs and De-scalation Skills: Part 1
    • Understanding customer emotional needs in difficult situations
    • How to de-escalate by meeting and managing customer emotional needs
    • How to build rapport in challenging situations

Delivering Solutions on the Frontline

  • Managing Customer Emotional Needs and De-scalation Skills: Part 2
    • Questioning, listening and language skills
    • How to demonstrate empathy
    • How to build trust and demonstrate accountability
    • How and when to be assertive
  • Delivering Solutions on the Frontline
    • Negotiation and problem solving
    • Delivering a ‘no’ or communicating disappointing outcomes
    • How and when to apologise

Building Personal Resilience

  • Navigating Different Types of “Difficult”
    • Understanding the different types of “Difficult: abusive customers, know-it-alls, complainers, demanders, indecisive customers, sexist, ageist and prejudiced customers
    • Effective Response Strategies and Behaviours
    • How to maintain and remain empathetic
  • Building Personal Resilience in the Face of Conflict
    • The impact of prolonged conflict and difficult conversations on psychological health
    • How you can manage stress and maintain good health
    • Strategies to build long-term personal resilience
    • Identifying when to ask for help


Final Price


per person + GST

Customised in-house options available for teams

Interested in any of our online trainings?

You can also choose to have them delivered in house. We will work closely with our inspiring session facilitators to tailor the content around the key development areas your team are prioritising, shape the learning outcomes around your core departmental challenges and make the most of your L&D and upskilling budget.

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