Having Difficult Discussions

Management Training for Craft Brewers

Course: Having Difficult Discussions

Lead Trainers: Mark LoyeBrian Beck & Jason Gladfelter

Location: The Conflict Center-4140 Tejon St. Denver, CO 80211

Date: Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Time: 9am – 1pm

Cost: $95 per participant (Want to send 3 or more people from your organization? Contact Jason to receive a 10% discount). Lunch will be provided.   

Contact: Jason Gladfelter  720-295-7119

Participants will take away:


    • Tips and skills on how to effectively have uncomfortable discussions
    • Understanding of communication and Conflict styles (including their own)
    • Importance of listening as part of the communication cycle
    • Importance of interests behind positions
    • What characteristics make people “difficult” and how to deal with them

Checks Also Accepted  A few seats still open! Call before July 11th and we can probably get you in.Seats are limited so register now!

OvalOptions is dedicated to providing craft breweries with assistance in recognizing, managing and resolving disputes in an effort to help maintain the communal, friendly and passionate atmosphere found in the craft brewing industry. We offer guidance through difficult situations, solutions to conflicts, and continuing education through our training services.

As part of our Craft Brewing Series, this course helps participants understand the dynamics of difficult communication and its affect on workplace operations and relationships. Participants will learn what makes some discussions difficult, the dangers of avoiding them, and how to manage them effectively.

-Lessons from this course are not restricted to the workplace-

Communication is a critical element of all companies.  It binds the workforce in its obligation to meet established goals, overcome challenges, correcting mistakes, and relaying important messages.  Yet, sometimes these messages are uncomfortable, contain emotions and stress, and bring about dreaded anticipation. Those carrying the message must deliver it in an effective way, thus managing the stress, discomfort and emotions. Sometimes, they make matters worse by avoidance or poor delivery.  Having effective difficult discussions is vital to a company’s overall operation.

The close-knit atmosphere in a brewery is no different, and sometimes can make difficult discussions even more so.  Friendships develop in breweries between supervisor and employee, owner and brewer, staff and customers, or sales team and production that can make management decisions complicated.  Having these difficult conversations is crucial to overall conflict management and brewery operations.


Many situations prompt difficult discussions.  Here are a few we have observed in craft brewing:

  • Employees busy on their smart phones, texting or chatting online
  • Friendships making supervision difficult
  • Business manager and head brewer at odds (production, schedules, releases, ingredients, etc)
  • Disagreement over how your distributor handles your beer
  • Work responsibilities affecting home life, or vice versa
  • A sales team full of non-salespeople who face difficult discussions daily with accounts
  • Initial contact with another brewery over possible trademark issues
  • Handling feedback
    • From customers, some of whom may be a bit intoxicated
    • Through evaluation of work duties
    • From other brewers commenting on your beer, and vice versa

Participants are encouraged to involve real life situations for this course. Instructors will modify talking points to adapt to whatever the participants bring forth. As such, we encourage active participation to enhance the learning process.

The last hour of the course will include a facilitated, problem solving conversation on the topics of interest to the participants.

Clink the link below to register online. If you would like to send 3 or more employees or have questions, contact Jason by email or phone – 720-295-7119.

Comments are closed.

^ Back to Top