Coaching for challenging conversations.

The Coaching for Challenging Conversations workshop helps participants harness the positive aspects of conflict while keeping their emotions under control.

World-class faculty

Our faculty have applied these skills under pressure at crucial moments in their careers - including preparation for Olympic competition.

Trusted by the best

Our partnership with the Smith School of Business at Queen's University has delivered our coaching programs to executives for over 20 years.

Sticks under pressure

Participants not only learn a structural approach for a productive conversation - they learn crucial emotion regulation skills for when the heat inevitably rises and tempers flare.

A practical model for confronting

While many programs (including this one) provide a model and tools for structuring a challenging conversation, these skills are useless if you can’t keep emotions under control and access the skills you’ve been taught when it counts. Rooted in our 25 years of experience in helping elite athletes manage emotions under intense pressure, participants will learn a practical map for challenging conversations and a set of self-awareness and self-management techniques to access these skills in the heat of the moment.

Participants have the opportunity to:

  • Gain an understanding of their personal tendencies in addressing conflict (using the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Management Instrument), and how to adjust in the heat of the moment.
  • Prepare for a challenging conversation using a custom planning tool.
  • Determine the common roadblocks to positive outcomes, and how to avoid them.
  • Conduct conversations that deliver the performance improvements while building relationships.

Meet the facilitators

  • Garry Watanabe

    A corporate lawyer who became an elite swim coach before pursuing a degree in Sport Psychology - Garry is a true renaissance man. Learn more

  • Karyn Garossino

    Karyn is an Olympic figure skater with a Master's Degree in psychology and adult education - and boundless enthusiasm. Learn more

  • Peggy Baumgartner

    Peggy Baumgartner's work includes training Olympic athletes for competition and training executives at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University. Learn more

Upcoming events

Managing challenging conversations from a distance

Explore the principles of effective feedback and productive confronting, and learn a set of skills that you can use to have challenging conversations remotely in a way that minimizes defensiveness and delivers positive results. Delivered in partnership with the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.

Nov 10, 2020 — Register

Difficult conversations at work

Of all the situations we face in team leadership, holding a challenging conversation with a team member may be the most uncomfortable. And yet, when handled effectively, these moments of truth can deliver performance improvements, deepen the relationship, and become a growth experience for both coach and coachee. Offered through our partnership with the Niagara Institute.

Starts Nov 8, 2021 — Register

Learn more.

Get the fact sheet on Coaching for Challenging Conversations.

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