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Awkward but Necessary Discussions

How many times have you...

  • Not said something to someone because you didn’t feel comfortable?
  • Held back something that should have been said for fear that saying it might hurt the other person’s feelings or damage your relationship? 
  • Acted in a manner that had a negative impact on a relationship? 


Workshop Details

The AND workshop offers an approach that can help you feel more confident and be more effective in these situations.  Our simple, easy-to-follow model can help you execute a win/win for all parties; resolving your issue AND preserving or building a relationship. The program leads you through the process, providing you with all the materials and practice time needed to gain confidence addressing those “sensitive” topics that may otherwise go unresolved.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:


  • Explain what makes some discussions awkward and others not
  • List Risks and Rewards of having or not having an awkward discussion
  • Confidently proceed with a awkward discussion
  • Identify and resolve safety issues as they occur during a discussion
  • Lead and participate in dialog that creates a win/win situation using the AND process
  • Create an environment where a positive resolution can occur

One-Day Workshop Program contents:

  • Part I: What happened, what are my emotions, what do I want? All about you. The risks involved of having or not having “the discussion”.
  • Part II: Creating a safe environment, inviting the other party to tell their story, listening. Equal participation
  • Part III: Create workable solutions and select the best.

Participants receive an 18 page participant workbook that walks them through the learning process.  They also receive several worksheets that provide additional insight into each of the areas of the model.  The worksheets describe what to look for and in some cases provide statements you might use to facilitate a productive discussion.


During the workshop, participants will use the worksheets to work through a situation that they’re currently facing.  In other words, participants will have actually completed the process from start to finish by the end of the day.


Who Should Attend?

The AND workshop will have the most impact and profound results for:

  • Managers
  • Employees
  • Anyone who faces having an awkward discussion (at work or at home)

Expected Outcomes

  • Identify the costs and benefits of having and not having awkward discussions
  • Understand your style of dealing with awkward discussions
  • Know how to adapt your communication strategy to maximize safety and effectiveness when having an awkward discussion
  • Learn and implement the steps in the AND Model for Awkward Discussions

About the Instructors



Robert Cardy, Ph.D.

Dr. Bob Cardy is a professor of management of the Department of Management at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He joined the UTSA faculty in 2006 after serving as a professor at Arizona State University for 18 years. He also held a faculty appointment as an assistant professor at SUNY at Buffalo. His Ph.D. is from Virginia Tech and his undergraduate and master's degrees are from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Cardy has teaching and research interests in human resources management, particularly in the areas of employee and student retention, performance appraisal and the design of effective management systems. His work on management focuses on merging human resource management practices with the contemporary organizational environment.

He has published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, and HR Magazine, among others. He co-founded the Journal of Quality Management. In addition to his journal publications, Bob is author of Performance Management: Concepts, Skills, & Exercises and co-author of Performance Appraisal: Alternative Perspectives, and of the text Managing Human Resources. 


Gary Grimes, M.S, M.A

Mr. Gary Grimes was one of the pioneer members of the American Society for Training and Development, ASTD, to earn national certification as a Performance and Learning Professional.  He holds two Master’s degrees: one in Management, with specialization in Manpower, Personnel and Training Analysis and another in Human Resources Development. He is a retired Air Force Officer with many years experience in training, selection, classification, retention, manpower studies and program management. Gary after several years of service in the Human Resources department of UTSA he retired in 2010. For the last three years he has worked as an Adjunct Faculty member teaching Human Resources Management and Training and Development.

UTSA Extended Education

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