Managing Difficult Conversations With Constituents

Disagreements often go “You say up, I say down. You say left, I say right. You say hot, I say cold.”  Differences of opinion can quickly become opportunities to create new enemies if the conversations get out of hand. Elected officials can benefit from learning  additional skills for managing conversations when constituents and others are frustrated, angry, or demanding.  

The skills you  learn in this workshop can help you change negative or even hostile exchanges into constructive conversations in which everyone feels heard. This workshop is lively and interactive; real life situations provide opportunities for humor, making this a fun experience. Skills practice includes steps and tools to help you integrate the learning into practice, so you can have more constructive conversations even when you have differences of opinion.


● To be able to show people who disagree with you that they have been heard.

● To be able to find areas of commonality or agreement when those are present.

● To be able to share your views in a way that makes it likely you will be heard by the other person.  


LELA Level:  This is a 301-level course in the Local Elected Leaders Academy. Elected officials who attend this class will earn 3 credits towards the Mentor recognition certificate.  

Facilitators are members of the Braver Angels Organization of North Carolina. The School of Government is extremely grateful for an anonymous contribution that has deeply reduced the registration fee for this course.


The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners provides cost offsets for county elected officials to attend LELA courses. For information on this discount please click the link below.

LELA3.00 hrs
There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.


For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Lisa Sheffield

Programs Team Lead, Management, Administration, and Leadership Group
Manager of Elected Official Programming, Center for Public Leadership and Governance