Online Workshop

Difficult Conversations Series


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About this Online Workshop Series

The basic building block of all communication is the conversation. What, when, how and why we hold a conversation can have a profound impact on achieving our desired results.

But when the stakes are high, emotions run strong, or opinions conflict, we label these conversations as difficult. Whether we face difficult conversations with coworkers, clients, friends or family, invariably the same fear and apprehension comes over us the fear of failure or making matters worse.

OMSSA is pleased to offer workshops that assist with making difficult conversations easier, and that enhance your communication and listening skills. 

New for 2023, OMSSA has bundled these three-workshop together to help individuals build a strong foundation for communication.


NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.

Who Should Attend?

All three workshop are well-suited for any human services professional. In order to attend the series of workshops, participants must complete all three workshops in this order: 

  1. Making Difficult Conversations Easier
  2. Improve Your Listening Skills with the 4-Step Empathy Loop
  3. Resolving Difficult Conversations

Format and Duration

  • Making Difficult Conversations Easier 
    • Two, two-hour online workshops over two back-to-back days
  • Improve Your Listening Skills with the 4 Step Empathy Loop
    • One, two-hour online workshop (held approximately one week after the foundational workshop)
  • Resolving Difficult Conversations 
    • Two, two-hour workshop over the course of one week

Technical Requirements

OMSSA will be hosting this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet

Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:

  • a webcam or built-in camera

  • a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones

We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise. 

System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.


Workshop Dates and Registration


All sessions in Eastern Standard Time.

This series is a bundle that includes the following three workshops: Making Difficult Conversations Easier, Improve Your Listening with the 4-Step Empathy Loop, and Resolving Difficult Conversations. Please ensure you are able to attend all three workshops when registering for a session.

If you wish to register for just one course in the series, please reach out to education@omssa.com. Please note that Making Difficult Conversations Easier is a mandatory prerequisite for the 4-Step Empathy Loop, and Resolving Difficult Conversations.

Difficult Conversations Series - Session 1

Series registration cut off: Wednesday, February 1 

Making Difficult Conversations Easier 

  • Part 1: Thursday, February 2 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Friday, February 3  | 10:00 – 12:00 

Improve Your Listening with the 4-Step Empathy Loop

  • Tuesday, February 28 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Resolving Difficult Conversations

  • Part 1: Thursday, March 30 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Friday, March 31 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Register Now

Difficult Conversations Series - Session 2

Series registration cut off: Tuesday, April 11 

Making Difficult Conversations Easier 

  • Part 1: Thursday, April 13 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Friday, April 14  | 10:00 – 12:00 

Improve Your Listening with the 4-Step Empathy Loop

  • Thursday, May 11 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Resolving Difficult Conversations

  • Part 1: Wednesday, May 31 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Thursday, June 1 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Register Now

Difficult Conversations Series - Session 3

Series registration cut off: Thursday, September 7

Making Difficult Conversations Easier 

  • Part 1: Monday, September 11 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Tuesday, September 12  | 10:00 – 12:00 

Improve Your Listening with the 4-Step Empathy Loop

  • Monday, October 2 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Resolving Difficult Conversations

  • Part 1: Thursday, October 26 | 10:00 – 12:00 

  • Part 2: Friday, October 27 | 10:00 – 12:00 

Register Now


Pricing

  • Members: $260 + HST

  • Non-Members: $340 + HST  



Making Difficult Conversations Easier


Improve Your Listening Skills with the 4-Step Empathy Loop


Resolving Difficult Conversations

About the Facilitator

Sharad Kerur has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and Master of Industrial Relations from Queen's University, with a focus on negotiation theory and alternative dispute resolution methods.   

For over 30 years, Sharad held senior level positions in the union and association sectors. His most recent position was Executive Director of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), Canada's largest non-profit housing association. As a result, he has a strong grasp on the business of non-profit organizations and associations, and real-world experience in negotiation and mediation.

Sharad is Harvard-trained, having obtained a Certificate in Mediating Disputes and a Certificate in Negotiating Difficult Conversations from the Harvard Negotiation Institute (Harvard Law School) and also holds a Certificate in Dispute Resolution and an Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution, both from the York University in Toronto.

Amongst his credentials, Sharad is:

  • a Qualified Mediator through the ADR Institute of Canada, 
  • an accredited Chartered Community Mediator through the Ontario Community Mediation Coalition, 
  • a Certified Conflict Management Coach, coach-mentor and trainer with CINERGY®
  • an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation, 
  • a certified Personal and Business Coach through the Coach Academy (Canada)
  • a certified Conflict Dynamics Profile practitioner through Eckerd College in Florida, and
  • a certified Senior Workplace Fairness Analyst accredited by the Workplace Fairness International.  

Sharad also leads his own consultancy firm known as Resolution Pathways, which assists people and organizations to transform conflicts into collaboration.  With his knowledge, expertise, and experience, he currently provides services in:

  • 1-to-1 conflict management coaching
  • "understanding-based" mediation services
  • training on managing difficult conversations and navigating conflict relationships
  • assistance in the development of high-performing teams
  • workplace conflict assessments and fairness restoration strategies