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Xenonex Coaching helping with Difficult Conversations

Effective coaching in the workplace can bring about transformational and cultural change within an organisation. Coaching skills enable managers to build stronger bonds with their team members and help them develop the skills they need to perform at their peak.


Our ILM Executive Coaching and Mentoring programmes are designed to enable learners to critically review the role and contribution of coaching and mentoring at a senior level and helps managers build a specific bank of tools and strategies designed for the corporate arena.

Coaching skills enable you to communicate clearly with team members and come to a satisfactory resolution following a difficult conversation.  This edited article by author Amy Gallo, an expert in handling conflict at work, picks up on some ways in which you can get your message across in a difficult conversation.

If you need to have a difficult conversation with someone, you’re unlikely to come to a resolution if you don’t hear the other person out. After you’ve listened to your counterpart, you can create a better understanding of your message by doing the following:

  • Own your perspective. Treat your opinion like what it is: your opinion. Start sentences with “I,” not “you.” Explain what’s bothering you and follow up by identifying what you hope will happen.
  • Pay attention to your words. Avoid name-calling and finger-pointing. Your language should be simple, clear, direct, and neutral.
  • Watch your body language. Are you slumping your shoulders? Rolling your eyes? Take stock of the impression you’re giving.
  • Change the tenor of the conversation. If things get heated, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and suggest a different approach, such as: “If we put our heads together, we could probably come up with a way to move past this. Do you have any ideas?”

Maybe you have additional suggestions that have worked for you – let us know.

Xenonex is an approved ILM (Institute of Learning and Management) Centre and is recognised for the quality and standard of its training in the National ILM Hall of Fame. The Xenonex team trains internal and external coaches and has experience of developing and embedding coaching within the public and private sector.

Our next ILM7 open programme in Executive Coaching and Mentoring starts in Leeds in June 2016. Xenonex also provides in house level 3 and 5 qualifications for first line and middle management development.

For more information call 0113 322 9234 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk.


Suzanna Prout