All of the examples have come from our workshops. 


Challenging Questions and Statements:

Why should I believe you?
You don’t care!
Please explain those facts in a way I can understand!
Promise this will never happen again!
How bad could it be?
You’re making people in my community sick.
Why can’t you go to zero?
You’re causing cancer here.
Where do you live?
That’s nonsense!
Your organization lied in the past about…
No risk is acceptable.
Is my job being eliminated?
Why did he/she get promoted?
Here – you drink the <contaminated> water.
How would you understand our concerns?
How much do you get paid?
Can you guarantee us that…?
Do you think it’s fair that…?
How many jobs will be eliminated?
That’s not what your organization said last time.
How would you like it if…?
You’re a racist!
How many would die if…?
How would YOU know how we feel?
You’re trying to talk over our heads.
We deserve better!
I’m afraid of…
Your policy makes no sense.
You don’t know what you’re talking about.
That’s unacceptable.



Challenging Situations:

        • How do you learn about another culture before interacting in that culture?
        • How can you tell if someone is faking anger and/or fear?
        • How long should you let an angry person or group vent?
        • How do you determine if someone has a RISK concern or instead has an AGENDA?
        • What’s the first thing you should say if you or your group is accused of lying or hiding and it is NOT true?
        • What’s the first thing you should say if you or your group is accused of lying or hiding and it IS true?
        • When someone suddenly folds their arms does it mean anything?
        • How do you determine where people are coming from by their non verbals – body, voice, space?
        • When someone asks you to accomplish the impossible (such as no risk) you say…?
        • Is it better to be empathetic or sympathetic?
        • How long do you let rude behavior continue? Is it different for one-on-one discussions versus a group discussion?
        • What’s the best way to deal with a Control Freak Boss?
        • How do you handle unacceptable behavior such as words or gestures?
        • Your organization misled the public in an earlier meeting and now you’re asked why.
        • Two people in a public meeting start arguing with each other. What do you do?
        • Someone asks what you think about what someone else said. You respond by…?
        • In a public meeting someone says something that is rude to you. The first thing you do is…
        • In a meeting with the public, someone on your team says something that’s not correct. What are your options and which do you choose?
        • What’s the best way to deal with fear?
        • What are the three key ways to improve perception of risk?
        • What are the major differences between risk communication skills and public speaking skills?
        • What’s the best way to minimize taking things personally?
        • What are the different ways to use 3rd party support?
        • Do you and your team know the purpose/mission of a meeting beforehand?
        • What are the key factors in preparing for challenging meetings, public or internal?
        • What is the best strategy for dealing with individuals, or groups who will oppose you 100% no matter what?
        • What is the best strategy for delivering any bad news?
        • When and how should you admit mistakes?
        • What are the options for explaining numbers and risk comparisons?
        • In a crisis, how do you communicate about the unknown?
        • How is media communications different than non media communications?
        • How do you use non verbal skills to determine where people are coming from in terms of having a genuine risk concern or agenda driven, being truthful or not, genuine anger/fear versus fake anger/fear?
        • Can you hide your emotions?
        • How do you know when to stop talking?