Don’t Play Chinese Whispers in Difficult Conversations!

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” (Alan Greenspan, American Economist)  It’s so easy to mishear and misunderstand what others are saying to us and vice verse, particularly when tensions are starting to rise. Here’s a simple…

How do you listen if someone is upset, annoyed and off-loading on you?

Listening is a much-lauded but greatly under-used skill – and not because we don’t know how to listen well.  Instead, it’s that so easily fall into the trap of trying to ‘fix’ the situation rather than taking the time to let a person talk (and think it) through and in doing that, find their own way…

Trying to Manage a ‘Difficult’ Person: Are they Taking too much space in your head?

Does a person on your team sap everyone’s energy? Do you find yourself putting too much time and attention as a manager on their behaviours? Are you constantly listening to grumblings from others about them? When people come for coaching in these situations, they are usually looking for a list of strategies. How can they…

Going Around in Circles in a Conversation? Here’s How to Break That Cycle

A common question in ‘Difficult Conversations for Managers’ workshops is what to do when it feels like you are in one of those fruitless dialogues, repeating the same thing without achieving anything. The other person isn’t listening or taking on board what you need them to hear or understand. A recent example was where a…