Gracefully Confronting Challenging People

Sometimes it’s not easy being a coach. I work with clients who are seriously struggling against office toxicity and supervisor oppression and despite their efforts, they just can’t seem to get out from underneath. They always have the option of finding something new, but it is a little heartbreaking knowing that you’ve built a career, family, friends and reputation within a department or organization and now feel forced to leave.

The true difficulty lies in gracefully confronting the challenging person and actually getting through to them.

First, you have to work on your skills at face-to-face conversations that are uncomfortable but necessary. You need to come prepared with talking points and leave emotions out of the equation. But even if you bring your best, you don’t always get results. There are individuals who won’t change, can’t see a need for change, don’t have the capacity or resources to make a change, or to be honest, just like being difficult.

When these challenges arise for my clients (maybe some of you reading this), I truly feel like getting up and walking into the challenger’s office and having a heart to heart talk on my client’s behalf, asking “Hey, what’s really going on here? How can we get this resolved?” The problem is, I can’t. It’s not that I’m not permitted in my role as a coach(though technically I shouldn’t be doing this) but it’s about my client.

If I were to fight my client’s battles (and ask them to fight mine) I would be doing everyone a huge disservice. Heck, I could even make it worse! First, it is unethical for me as a credentialed coach with the ICF. As coaches, we believe that clients have their own answers and the role of the coach is to create a space for the client’s wisdom to emerge.

We are all adults and though it may not seem like it in the moment, we CAN find a solution, even when it feels like all hope is lost.

With this being said, please, please, please do not suffer in silence. Reach out and let me know how I can help. Talking it over, strategizing a proactive conflict resolution plan, developing and reviewing taking points, looking for a new career or even helping you embrace a more formal solution are just some of the things we can work on together.

Remember, I’m here for you.  

How to Be Career Happy? Learn to Gracefully Confront Challenging People

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