Course 1: Chair Career Level Difficult Conversations

Date/Time: Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 3:30 AM – 5:00 AM
Level: Professional Development Course
Room: Landmark 1
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As Neurology Chairs, we frequently need to tell a faculty member, trainee, or staff member that their work is inadequate, that they have done something wrong, or that their services are no longer needed. We are called on to investigate real or imagined infractions, or mediate between conflicting personnel. These interactions are collectively known as “Difficult Conversations.” Despite years of medical and research training, we get no training in how to do manage these interactions effectively. This session will provide guidance from Dr. Henry Kaminski, a senior Neurology chair who will share what he has learned about how to approach a difficult or contentious topic, how to mediate between warring parties, when to take sides, how to fire an employee, and other challenging topics. We recommend several good books on the topic, including “Difficult Conversations” by Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton, and “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson et al.


  • Discuss strategies for conveying unpleasant information without injuring the person or the relationship.
    List several approaches to diffuse contentious situations, and describe why it is important to listen to all sides of an argument before making a judgment.
    Discuss why honesty and integrity are the most important things you bring to a difficult conversation.