The 411

December 10-11, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$750 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

David Kardish

David Kardish

Mr. Kardish has over thirty years of experience working in all aspects of planning and communications in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has consulted to federal government departments, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies. Mr. Kardish has worked as a strategic planner, communications practitioner, evaluator, lobbyist, social marketer, and is a skilled adult educator, trainer and facilitator.

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"I enjoyed all aspects of this course from suggestions and advice on how to effectively challenge to character traits of different clients and stakeholders to tips for dealing with different types of people."

"This course provided solid plans and ideas that can be easily modified for internal/external clients and stakeholders. Good examples used throughout for putting them into practice."

"David was an excellent teacher. His stories helped me understand the real-world uses and implications of what he was talking about."


NOTE: The workshop content described below will be delivered through ZOOM ONLINE on two consecutive half-day sessions. Agendas and other relevant workshop documentation will be sent to you by the workshop instructor at least three days prior to the date of the first session.


The CEC’s workshop on Advising Tough Clients Through Influence, Persuasion and Diplomacy will provide learners with the skills necessary to advise ‘tough’ clients. Today, many advisors working in the public, private and voluntary sectors find it increasingly difficult to not only brief upwards but to get clients to listen to and/or to act on their advice. This workshop will focus on the skills required to influence and persuade those in a leadership and/or decision-making position to listen to and consider the advice being provided.

This workshop is not a skills development workshop on ‘negotiation methodologies’. It is a professional development workshop focused on the techniques required by advisors to influence, persuade and earn the trust of tough-minded clients.


This workshop will help those working in an advisory capacity to acquire the skills and techniques necessary to advise tough clients. The workshop participants will learn how to:


This highly innovative workshop will be beneficial to all of those individuals working in an advisory capacity in either the public, private or voluntary sectors.



Thinking Things Through: Innovating through analysis and ideas
Engagement: Working effectively with people, organizations and partners

8:45 - 9:15 Introductions and Workshop Overview
  • Participants will introduce themselves and outline their expectations for the workshop
9:15 - 9:45 The Politics of Advice: Falling on Deaf Ears!
  • Participants will discuss why the advice provided to clients seems to fall on deaf ears
9:45 - 10:30 Tough Clients: A Look Behind the Curtain
  • Participants will discuss the common characteristics of tough clients and why some clients are harder to reach, influence and persuade than others
  • Participants will also discuss some initial solutions to managing difficult clients
10:30 - 10:45 HEALTH BREAK
10:45 - 11:30 How to Successfully Apply Influence, Persuasion and Diplomacy
  • Participants will discuss the characteristics and skills that advisors require to reach, influence and persuade tough clients
  • Participants will discuss the strategies required to influence and persuade tough clients to listen and to act on the advice provide to them
11:30 - 12:15 Exercise
  • Working in small groups, the participants will identify and describe the challenges that they regularly face when trying to advise tough clients
  • The participants will determine which if any of the challenges identified are common to everyone in their small group
12:15 - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 1:45 Strategies for Successful Negotiations
  • Participants will review and discuss positive negotiating approaches and strategies when working with tough clients
1:45 - 2:30 Building Relationships Based on Trust and Reputation
  • Participants will learn about the skills necessary to build relationships based on trust and on how trust and reputation are critical to securing the respect and support of tough clients
2:30 - 2:45 HEALTH BREAK
2:45 - 3:30 Getting to Yes — The Road to Consensus and Challenging When Necessary
  • Participants will learn how to reach consensus and build rapport with tough clients when trying to persuade and influence them
  • Participants will discuss how to challenge tough clients using a strategic combination of reason, respect and diplomacy
3:30 - 4:15 Exercise
  • Working in small groups, the participants will design strategies to overcome the challenges identified during the morning exercise session
4:15 - 4:30 Re-cap and Evaluation
  • The participants will have an opportunity to ask final questions and discuss remaining concerns
  • The participants will complete a short workshop evaluation