Communication Skills

The Conflict Conversation

‘Conflict House’ Ashley wanted coaching on how to argue. I had told her about a concept I call “Conflict House,” a place where people with conflicts have to go if they want to resolve their conflicts. Whether an argument is large or small, whether it goes well or is a disaster, every conflict happens inside …

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A house with two doors Ashley was fed up with two of her direct reports. A bubble of anger between the pair seemed in constant danger of exploding. Their conflict had impacted productivity and quality, and she wanted it to end. I asked how each direct report approached conflict.

Holding Boundaries

Provoking war Mandalit and I had tackled an idea that unsettled her: setting boundaries. She was a life-long “good girl” who, despite her success in business, often struggled to advocate for herself.

How to Stay Calm Under Fire

Thrown off script Nigel had been hired as a member of the CEO’s executive team. To date, he’d made two presentations to the Board of Directors. Mandeep, the CEO, felt both could have been better. Mandeep felt that Nigel’s skills were good overall, but to succeed with this Board, Nigel would need to stretch in …

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How To Turn Data into Stories

Tell a Better Story Nigel was a Brit who loved language. He took pride in being well-spoken. So when Mandeep, his CEO, told him his first presentations to the Board of Directors hadn’t been up to par, he was a bit stung. He’d had a flash of anger when Mandeep suggested he work with me.

How to Re-engage a Team

Drawing Together Neela loved leading teams. During our very first coaching conversation she talked about the various efforts she’d put into building her current team. Then COVID hit. While the team’s productivity remained steady, she felt their spirits had withered.

Tough Conversations

Wielding intelligence as a weapon Martin’s coaching was triggered when a peer named Maribel filed a complaint filed against him. As a result of our first coaching conversation, he’d gone back to Maribel and asked for more feedback. One message Martin heard loudly from her was, “You make me feel stupid.”

The Rising Executive

Teams at risk Rafael was two months into running the largest team of his career. He wasn’t certain, but he sensed the CEO was about to pit his new team against another team. If that happened, one team’s business would win out over the other’s. No jobs would be lost, but years of work would …

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Style Conversations

Confrontation anxiety Estifania was thirty days into leading a large division of scientists and doctors. We were discussing her direct reports. In general, she seemed pleased. “Except for Michael,” she said. “He’s already pressuring me to re-organize the division. Ha! I barely know where the bathroom is! As if I’m ready to think about a …

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Giving Upward Feedback

Asking the boss to change Julie wanted to give her boss, Zuwena, some feedback. Knowing Julie’s devotion to Zuwena, I was curious to hear the situation. Julie said, “She has this habit of thinking out loud in meetings. She’ll say something like, ‘We ought to look into the regulations on that.’ And then she keeps …

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