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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…

The Number One Temptation in the ‘Mediator Role’ and Six Reasons Why Not to Succumb!

There you are, calm, level headed, objective. You’ve helpfully offered to mediate between two employees who’ve clashed. They are at the initial ‘story telling’ stage and you sit composed, with your impartial and non-judgmental hat on. You are patient, attentive, doing the rapport thing… nodding, kindly eye contact, open body posture and empathic ‘hmms’ at…

Relationships that Endlessly Frustrate: Can the Dynamic Be Changed?

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~ Anaïs Nin The above quote neatly captures the psychological phenomenon, that while there is a factual and concrete reality out there, none of us have a truly objective view. There can be many different perceptions of the same situation. As an…

Emails…Are you Trigger Happy? Read this Before You Press ‘Send’

In the late eighties I taught in Germany on a two-year Business English programme. One of the course handbooks focused solely on writing business letters in English. The students were schooled in great detail on the etiquette and nuances of letters and memos in a variety of business contexts. These ranged from sales to commissioning…