‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop

Don’t let unresolved workplace issues hold your business back. Empower your team with the skills to have difficult conversations. Increase productivity. Decrease recruitment costs. Boost profits!

Is valuable time, money and sleep being lost because your team is avoiding necessary but challenging workplace conversations?

The ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop will empower your managers and team with essential skills and techniques to tackle challenging conversations with confidence, resulting in:

Enhanced Staff Retention

Increased Productivity
A Harmonious Workplace Culture
And Boosted Profitability

Managers play a pivotal role in nurturing a productive and thriving environment. Engaging in difficult conversations is the key to preventing issues spiralling out of control.

Managers, business owners and employees all must engage in conversations about:

Performance Management
Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination
Project Scope (With Clients)
Pay Reviews and Promotions
Mental Health

Unfortunately, many people avoid having these conversations in a timely manner…or at all, resulting in:

A lack of clear direction and co-
operation within the team
A team that lacks motivation and
untapped potential
Employees who feel undervalued
and unsupported in their roles
Increased turnover of employees
resulting in recruitment costs and
lost expertise
A toxic, blame-oriented workplace
Decreased profitability due to
projects exceeding their scope
Diminished productivity.
Addressing these issues through effective communication and timely conversations is paramount to a healthy, thriving work environment.

Did You Know?

Ready to ensure that these issues are addressed in your workplace?

Case Study: The Consequences of Silence

An employee (let’s call him Bill) had been employed by ABC Co for 18 months. Bill’s boss had been unhappy with Bill’s performance for a while, but had said nothing. One day, out of the blue, Bill’s boss ended Bills employment. BOOM! Bill felt blindsided. He filed an unfair dismissal claim. ABC Co‘s prospects of successfully defending the claim were slim. Bill hadn’t been given any feedback, warnings or opportunity to improve. Bill’s boss’ silence was unfair.

Bill and ABC Co settled the claim at Conciliation, but neither party felt good about the outcome. Bill had to find a new job (and he still didn’t know why). ABC Co had paid ‘overs’ to Bill to avoid a hearing…and they had to hire a new employee.

Getting it Right

Having conversations about employee performance is difficult and requires courage.

But doing it well is worth it.

If Bill’s boss had spoken to him about his concerns as soon as they arose, they could have
agreed on a plan to improve Bill’s performance together. If Bill’s performance improved,
everyone wins. If it doesn’t, there can be a respectful discussion about Bill moving on. In my
experience, where employees like Bill aren’t blindsided or embarrassed, an expensive and
stressful legal dispute can be avoided.

Introducing ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshops
Equip your managers with the
essential skills to address underperforming or toxic team members head-on.

Empowering your management team with these will result in:

A Positive Workplace Culture
Happy and Engaged Staff
Skyrocketing Productivity
Drastically Reduced Crisis Management
Lower Recruitment Costs
Significantly Increased Profit

Do you want to invest in your team’s success today and watch your business flourish?

Your team could feel as awesome as this…

“Jen is not just your down to earth lawyer, who has an open ear for all types of legal queries and facilitates positive outcomes for employers and employees alike. "

“The difference Jen makes is that you can call her at anytime, not have to have airs and graces when you speak with her, does not charge like other lawyers, offers brilliant training options to suit any business and follows up after any events to check if all is okay. My favourite lawyer”.


“Jen is a unicorn who everyone needs to know!"

“She’s been an invaluable asset to our business. We’re incredibly grateful to have Jen on our team to help us navigate the difficult conversations we need to have in our business. We’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and have a stronger sense of financial security and confidence.”|


"Jen makes topics (like employment law) that could be dull and boring, lively and even fun. She’s engaging, clever and relatable and our community love her so much we’ve welcomed her back many times!"

“Jen is extremely knowledgeable and informed and delivers information in a clear and practical way – she is a stand-out in her field and every masterclass she’s presented for us has been a huge success”.



Transform Your Team’s Conversations From Awkward To Awesome

With the courage and confidence to be proactive, you will:
Save valuable time and resources by avoiding legal and recruitment costs
Maximise staff utilisation on key projects
Redirect your focus towards growth or career advancement
Experience reduced stress and a good night’s sleep, knowing you are in control.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

These workshops are for you if…

Under performing staff are dragging down your workplace culture

Even if you have just one problematic team member, it can have a profound impact on productivity and the workplace atmosphere. Don’t let the fear of difficult conversations cost you your best employees.

Your business goals are out of reach due to low productivity

Sub-optimal performance is expensive. Regular performance reviews ensure that you have the right people in the right seats. Stop avoiding these crucial conversations because you’re too afraid to have them.

Your staff consistently exceed project scope.

When staff lack the confidence to have tough conversations with clients about scope boundaries, your business loses tens of thousands in scope creep. Unclear boundaries can affect relationships with clients.

Sub-optimal performance comes at a high cost.

The ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshops equip your managers and employees with the confidence and the right words to:

Give and receive feedback effectively
Navigate performance management challenges
Lead others with impact
Address bullying or harassment claims head-on

Are you ready to empower your team to conquer difficult conversations with confidence?

Sustainable Success

Our ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshops are not just about immediate change – they’re designed to sustain transformed behaviour by:

Identifying your current behaviour
Understanding why change is necessary
Crafting the solution needed
Implementing a ‘best practice’ plan
Continuously reinforcing the new behaviour

Experience lasting transformation and secure your path to sustainable success.

Elevate Your Team’s Conversational Prowess Today!

The ‘Awesome to Awkward’ Workshop comprises:
A 30-minute diagnostic call to tailor the workshop to your business and team’s needs

A 3 hour interactive and engaging group workshop with up to 20 participants

Customised, user-friendly templates that participants can keep for future reference.

In these workshops, your managers and team will learn:

The six essential ingredients of a difficult conversation
How to expertly plan for a difficult conversation using “the 6W’s”
My battle-tested seven-step process, proven to navigate and succeed in difficult conversations.

At the conclusion of the workshop, your team will emerge with:

Enhanced Communication Skills

Attendees will acquire essential communication abilities that empower them to communicate with greater effectiveness, especially in challenging situations.

Increased Confidence

Learning the art of planning for difficult conversations will significantly boost participants’ confidence in approaching and managing such discussions.

Exceptional Conflict Resolution Skills 

The seven-step process for difficult conversations will provide managers and team members with a practical framework to navigate conflicts constructively, leading to effective resolutions.

Enhanced Workplace Relationships

Mastering the skill of handling difficult conversations enables attendees to foster more positive interactions, resulting in stronger relationships among team members and improved connections with their managers.

Elevated Employee Engagement

Proficiently managing difficult conversations can establish a supportive and transparent work environment, leading to increased engagement and commitment from team members.

Diminished Workplace Tension

Equipped with the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop, participants can proactively tackle issues, effectively mitigating tensions before they have a chance to escalate.

Innovative Problem-Solving

Grasping the vital ingredients and adhering to the step-by-step process for difficult conversations will empower managers and team members to collaboratively address problems and uncover mutually beneficial solutions.

Heightened Empathy and Understanding

With a strong emphasis on empathy and self-awareness, the workshop fosters a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives, resulting in more compassionate and empathetic conversations.

Performance Management Excellence

Armed with enhanced skills, managers will adeptly offer constructive feedback and effectively address performance issues, resulting in enhanced performance and development among team members.

Positive Workplace Culture

Implementing the principles learned in the workshop can contribute to building a culture of open communication, trust, and accountability within your business.

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What other business leaders like you say

"Jen provides advice that is commercial, pragmatic, and actionable by the business."

“Not only does she provide excellent, timely legal advice; but, more importantly, she is able to develop a strong understanding of the business needs and stakeholder personalities, to ensure that the advice and tools provided are able to be embraced broadly, across all business teams. I have engaged Jen in my current role, as well as in my previous GC role in the entertainment industry. Jen’s skills adapt perfectly across industries and she is a breath of fresh air, when all you want is some no-nonsense, practical guidance, to assist the team in moving through difficult workplace matters”.



"We choose Jennifer Bicknell because she understands our business and gives us the right advice to quickly find a solution for our HR needs."

“Passionate and professional, Jennifer helps us navigate the minefield of employment law in plain English and helps us plan pre-emptive strategies to avoid issues before they occur”.


"Although I have never veered away from hard conversations, those relating to employment law, and staff-related matters, I have always been mindful to get it right. "

“Until meeting Jennifer, anything related to workplace matters was just a plain headache. Now, Jennifer is my “go-to” for any issues that require an extra set of eyes, ears and advice related to employment matters. Jennifer not only has a practical and firm stand-point, but her approachable nature allows hard conversations to be on a more balanced level. I feel my business has a strong advisor in this field and would not hesitate in recommending Jennifer’s services”.

What is the true cost to your business when your managers and employees shy away from difficult conversations?

Recruitment costs can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

According to the Australian Human Resource Association (AHRA) the true cost of replacing an employee is 1.5 times their salary!

The loss of exceptional employees in a competitive talent market.

The AHRA also highlights that having a ‘poor relationship with a direct manager’ and a ‘toxic workplace culture’ are the leading causes of employee turnover.

Poor performance and toxic employees lead to high levels of stress.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Safety the median direct cost of mental stress workers’ compensation claims due to work pressure, is $26,299, compared to $27,153 for claims due to work-related harassment and bullying, and $2,598 for all accepted workers’ compensation claims.

Unfair dismissal fees.

According to the Productivity Commission, the average unfair dismissal claim costs an employer $13,500.

A reduced bottom line.

Lost productivity costs Australian businesses nearly $4 billion each year.

Can the ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshop work for your business?

Absolutely! These workshops are meticulously designed to suit the context of your industry, business and team. Prior to the workshop, we invest 30 minutes with you to grasp the unique challenges your business faces. This ensures that the training is relevant, practical and customised to your needs. Here is just a glimpse of the industries we have worked with to empower teams with the skills for difficult conversations:







Creative Services

Human Resources







Performing Arts

My Story

I thought my life had reached its peak when I saw ABBA at the age of 9. I worked hard to find some meaning after that and then I found law – Dancing Queens were replaced by Q.C.s and my robes and wigs were more sombre, but I’ve been a lawyer for over 30 years and I love it.

I spent 15 years at Minter Ellison and 8 years as a partner at Kennedys. I’d witnessed countless workplace disputes that were entirely avoidable. That’s why, in 2015, I embarked on my mission to prevent workplace conflict before it escalates, and Bicknell Law & Consulting was born. I do the usual employment lawyery stuff, from contracts to dispute resolution, but my focus is on dispute prevention.

I’ve educated countless business owners and managers on mastering the art of performance management, equipping them with bespoke scripts, coaching, workshops, and courses, provided online and in-person. My ultimate goal? Empowering my clients with the expertise and tools to handle challenges independently – making myself redundant!


Want to know more about the ‘Awkward to Awesome’ Workshops?

What specific skills will be covered in the workshop?
The workshop will comprehensively cover a range of valuable skills, including:

1. Effective Communication: Learning how to communicate clearly and assertively in challenging situations.

2. Conflict Resolution: Acquiring strategies to identify, address, and resolve conflicts constructively.

3. Performance Management: Developing the ability to provide constructive feedback and manage performance effectively.

4. Bullying and Harassment Handling: Gaining insights into addressing and preventing workplace bullying and harassment.

5. Emotional Intelligence: Building emotional awareness and self-regulation skills for better interpersonal interactions.

6. Problem-Solving: Mastering problem-solving techniques to find mutually beneficial solutions.

7. Empathy and Understanding: Developing the capacity to understand different perspectives and foster empathy in conversations.

8. Relationship Building: Cultivating healthier workplace relationships through effective communication.

9. Conflict Prevention: Recognising early signs of conflict and taking preventive measures.

10. Performance Improvement: Implementing strategies for improving overall workplace performance.

These skills will empower your team to approach difficult conversations with confidence and competence, leading to more harmonious and productive workplace dynamics.

How will the workshop be structured?
The workshop will be structured to ensure a comprehensive, engaging and fun learning experience. Here’s an overview of the typical workshop structure:

1. Introduction and Overview: The workshop will kick off with an introduction to the key concepts and goals. Participants will gain a clear understanding of the importance of difficult conversations in the workplace.

2. Interactive Learning: The workshop will feature interactive sessions, exercises, and discussions designed to engage participants actively. These activities will help participants grasp the practical aspects of handling difficult conversations.

3. Case Studies: Real-life case studies and scenarios will be presented and discussed, allowing participants to apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills in context.

4. Role-Playing: Role-playing exercises will enable participants to practice having difficult conversations in a safe and controlled environment. This hands-on experience will build their confidence and competence.

5. Customisation: The workshop will be customised to address specific challenges and scenarios relevant to your industry and business. This ensures that the training is practical and tailored to your needs.

6. Q&A and Discussion: Throughout the workshop, participants will have opportunities to ask questions, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful discussions with Jennifer and their colleagues.

7. Resource Sharing: Participants will receive valuable resources, including templates and scripts to support them in applying what they’ve learned in their daily work.

8. Conclusion and Action Planning: The workshop will conclude with a summary of key takeaways and action items. Participants will leave with a spring in their step and a clear plan for applying their newfound skills in their workplace.

By structuring the workshop in this way, we aim to create an engaging, informative, and practical learning experience that equips participants with the tools they need to excel in difficult conversations.

What are the expected outcomes of the workshop?
The workshop is designed to deliver a range of expected outcomes that will benefit both individuals and the organisation as a whole. Here are the expected outcomes of the workshop:

1. Enhanced Communication Skills: Participants will develop stronger communication skills, enabling them to articulate their thoughts and concerns effectively, even in challenging situations.

2. Conflict Resolution Proficiency: Attendees will gain the ability to identify and address conflicts constructively, leading to quicker resolutions and mutually beneficial solutions to workplace challenges.

3. Performance Improvement: Managers and team members will acquire the skills needed to provide constructive feedback and manage performance, resulting in increased employee growth and productivity.

4. Bullying and Harassment Prevention: Participants will be better equipped to recognise, address, and prevent workplace bullying and harassment, fostering a safer and more inclusive work environment.

5. Emotional Intelligence: Building emotional awareness and developing empathy and understanding of diverse perspectives will enable participants to manage their emotions during difficult conversations, leading to more productive interactions.

6. Better Workplace Relationships: By mastering the art of difficult conversations, participants can cultivate healthier interactions, leading to stronger relationships among team members and with their managers.

7. Conflict Prevention: Equipped with early conflict detection skills, participants can take preventive measures to stop conflicts from escalating.

8. Mastering Performance Management: Managers will be better equipped to provide constructive feedback and address performance issues, leading to improved performance and development.

9. Positive Workplace Culture: Implementing the principles learned in the workshop can contribute to building a culture of open communication, trust, and accountability within the business.

10. Innovative Problem-Solving: Understanding the essential ingredients and following the step-by-step process for difficult conversations will enable managers and team members to tackle problems collaboratively and find mutually beneficial solutions.

11. Overall Business Impact: These outcomes collectively contribute to a more harmonious, productive, and profitable workplace, with reduced conflict and improved employee engagement.

By achieving these outcomes, the workshop empowers individuals and organisations to handle difficult conversations with confidence and competence, ultimately leading to a more positive and successful work environment.

Can the workshop be tailored to address our specific workplace challenges?
Absolutely. The workshop can be fully customised to address your organisation’s specific workplace challenges. Here’s how the customisation process typically works:

1. Needs Assessment: To begin, we conduct a thorough needs assessment, to helps us understand your organisation’s unique challenges and goals.

2. Content Customisation: Based on the needs assessment, we tailor the workshop content to address the specific issues and scenarios relevant to your industry and organisation. This ensures that the training is practical and directly applicable to your workplace.

3. Case Studies and Scenarios: We incorporate real-life case studies and scenarios that mirror the challenges your team faces. This allows participants to practice handling situations that closely resemble their own workplace dynamics.

4. Role-Playing and Exercises: Customised role-playing exercises and group activities are designed to simulate your workplace scenarios, giving participants hands-on experience in addressing your specific challenges.

5. Scripts and Templates: Participants receive customised scripts and templates that they can use as practical tools when dealing with workplace issues. These resources are tailored to your organisation’s needs.

6. Interactive Discussions: The workshop encourages interactive discussions and Q&A sessions where participants can openly discuss their challenges and receive guidance on how to address them effectively.

7. Action Planning: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants leave with clear action plans for applying the skills they’ve learned to address your organisation’s specific challenges.

By customising the workshop in this manner, we ensure that it directly addresses the issues most pertinent to your organisation, providing practical solutions and actionable strategies for your team to implement. This tailored approach maximises the workshop’s impact on your workplace and helps you achieve your specific goals.

How will the workshop engage and involve participants?
The workshop is designed to actively engage and involve participants to create a dynamic and effective learning experience through:

1. Interactive Exercises: Participants will be actively involved in hands-on activities and exercises that mirror real workplace scenarios.

2. Role-Playing: Role-playing exercises allow participants to practice difficult conversations in a safe and controlled environment. This helps build confidence and competence in handling challenging situations.

3. Group Discussions: Facilitated group discussions provide a platform for participants to share their experiences, ask questions, and engage in meaningful dialogue with Jennifer and their colleagues.

4. Case Studies: Real-life case studies and scenarios relevant to your industry and organisation will be presented and discussed. Participants can apply their problem-solving skills to analyse and address these cases.

5. Customised Scenarios: Scenarios and examples specific to your workplace challenges will be integrated into the workshop. This customisation ensures that participants can directly relate the content to their own experiences.

6. Practical Tools: Participants receive practical tools such as scripts and templates that they can use in their day-to-day work. These resources enhance engagement by providing tangible takeaways.

7. Q&A Sessions: Open Q&A sessions allow participants to seek clarification, share their thoughts, and receive expert guidance on specific challenges they may be facing.

8. Action Planning: Participants will develop action plans during the workshop, outlining how they will apply their newfound skills in their workplace. This promotes engagement by encouraging immediate implementation.

9. Customisation: The workshop is customised to address your organisation’s specific challenges and needs. This customisation ensures that participants feel a direct connection between the workshop content and their workplace.

10. Facilitator Expertise: Jennifer has in-depth knowledge of workplace challenges and effective communication techniques will guide the workshop, keeping participants engaged through expert insights and guidance.

By incorporating these engaging methods and customising the workshop to your organisation’s unique context, we create a highly interactive and participatory learning experience that empowers participants to apply their newfound skills effectively in their workplace.

What ongoing support or resources will be available after the workshop?
After the workshop, participants will have access to a range of ongoing support and resources to reinforce their learning and continue applying the skills they’ve acquired. Here are some of the support mechanisms and resources typically provided:

1. Lifetime Access to Online Course: Participants will receive lifetime access to an online course, “Difficult Conversations In The Workplace: A Lawyer’s Guide To Not Needing A Lawyer.”; This valuable resource allows participants to revisit the workshop content at any time.

2. Customised Scripts and Templates: Participants will have access to customised scripts and templates developed specifically for your organisation’s needs. These practical tools can be used as references when handling difficult conversations.

3. Coaching and Consultation: Post-workshop coaching sessions or consultation hours can be arranged to provide one-on-one guidance and support for specific workplace challenges.

4. Additional Workshops or Training: Advanced or specialised workshops or training sessions may be offered to participants who wish to further enhance their skills in specific areas related to difficult conversations.

5. Action Plan Follow-Up: Participants’ action plans developed during the workshop may be revisited in follow-up sessions to assess progress and make adjustments as needed.

By providing these ongoing support mechanisms and resources, the workshop ensures that participants have the tools and guidance they need to continue honing their skills and successfully applying them in their workplace long after the initial training has concluded.

How can we measure the success of the workshop in our specific workplace context?
Measuring the success of the workshop in your specific workplace context involves setting clear objectives and using both quantitative and qualitative metrics to assess its impact. Here’s a framework for measuring success:

1. Objective Setting: Begin by establishing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives for the workshop. These objectives should align with your organisation’s goals and challenges. For example:

– Objective 1: Increase the number of timely and effective difficult conversations among managers by 30% within six months.

– Objective 2: Reduce employee turnover related to workplace conflicts by 20% in the next year.

– Objective 3: Improve employee engagement scores related to communication and conflict resolution by at least 10 points in the next employee survey.

2. Pre-Workshop Baseline: Collect data or conduct surveys to establish a baseline measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs) related to workplace challenges, communication, conflict resolution, and employee engagement before the workshop. This provides a starting point for comparison.

3. Post-Workshop Assessment: After the workshop, assess the impact using a combination of the following metrics:

– Behavioural Changes: Measure the frequency and quality of difficult conversations held by managers and employees. Are they initiating these conversations more often, and are they more effective in addressing issues?

– Performance Indicators: Examine performance metrics related to employee engagement, turnover rates, productivity, and workplace conflicts. Compare these with the baseline data to identify improvements.

– Feedback Surveys: Collect feedback from participants to gauge their perception of the workshop’s effectiveness. Ask about their confidence in handling difficult conversations and their ability to apply what they’ve learned.

– Peer and Supervisor Feedback: Solicit input from peers, direct reports, and supervisors to assess whether participants have demonstrated improved communication and conflict resolution skills in the workplace.

4. Case Studies and Examples: Gather specific case studies or examples of difficult conversations that were handled differently or more effectively after the workshop. These real-life anecdotes can highlight the workshop’s impact.

5. Follow-Up Workshops: If applicable, conduct follow-up workshops or training sessions to assess participants’ continued progress and skill retention. Measure any changes in behaviour and performance compared to the post-workshop assessment.

6. Feedback Mechanisms: Establish ongoing feedback mechanisms where participants can share their experiences, challenges, and successes related to difficult conversations. Use this feedback to make adjustments and improvements.

7. Long-Term Tracking: Continue tracking relevant KPIs related to workplace challenges, communication, and conflict resolution over an extended period to identify sustained improvements and trends.

8. Qualitative Assessments: Conduct interviews or focus groups with participants and key stakeholders to gather qualitative data on their experiences and the workshop’s impact. This can provide valuable insights into the workshop’s effectiveness.

9. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Calculate the return on investment (ROI) by comparing the costs of the workshop with the financial benefits achieved through reduced turnover, increased productivity, and other relevant factors.

10. Employee Surveys: Include questions related to communication, conflict resolution, and workplace dynamics in regular employee surveys to assess long-term improvements in employee perceptions.

By combining these quantitative and qualitative measurement methods, you can effectively gauge the success of the workshop in your specific workplace context and make data-driven decisions to further enhance the impact of future training initiatives.

It’s time for you to make one of two choices.

Do Nothing

Stick your head in the sand and tell yourself that all the problems will sort themselves out. We all know how that ends.

Invest In Your Team

By empowering them with the skills to have a difficult conversation. Making this choice will help your business to foster a functional, engaged and happier workplace.

Are you ready to invest in the success of your business?

One-to-one Coaching

If you would like to access one-to-one coaching with me to resolve a specific situation in the workplace, you can check out my coaching packages here.

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