Why Is This So Difficult? Transforming “Difficult” into “Learning” Conversations

February 01, 2023
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by the COF Junior Faculty Community

Learning to communicate skillfully in an emotionally charged context can be practiced and is trainable. During this highly interactive discussion participants will explore what makes conversations difficult; how to transform “difficult conversations” into “learning conversations”; and engage in targeted practices and skills to increase confidence while navigating challenging conversations. Additionally, the role of self-awareness, emotional regulation and empathy will be explored.


  1. Define what a “difficult conversation” is and what makes such conversations difficult and how nuances (culture, virtual mediums, etc.) potentially further hinder such conversations.
  2. Describe the five steps to preparing for and conducting a difficult conversation.
  3. List and practice specific strategies for turning a “difficult conversation” into a “learning conversation”.


Tara Higgins, PharmD, BCPPS, FPPA, FFSHP
Assistant Professor
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy


Charisse L. Johnson, MS, PharmD
Associate Dean, Office of Experiential and Continuing Professional Education
Chicago State University

Jeremy Hughes, PharmD, EdD.c.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Chicago State University

Anita J. Cleven, PharmD
Associate Professor
Pacific University Oregon

David Fuentes, PharmD, MSOL, SHRM-CP, EdD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
University of Portland School of Nursing