Learning to observe — A personal development experience that exceeded Carla’s expectations.

Carla Event

"The program was transformational because it challenged how I think and how I perceive difficult conversations."

Industry: Human Resources
Job title: Corporate Recruiter

Here is what Carla had to share after participating in the Mastering difficult conversations coaching program.

How I felt about difficult conversations before

In my head, difficult conversations were always about tension. You may have a pure intention to help that person, but at the end of the day both will try to convince the other person of what’s right and wrong. I have a lot of courage to have these conversations, but I also had fear of what the other person would think about me, because they might come from a different perspective.

How I feel about them after the program

I feel more comfortable and prepared with these types of conversations. In the sessions, Steffan went in depth individually with us with a lot of passion and dedication. He went into our individual stories and explored each case on its own with us. I felt a part of a family where everyone shared their own story. He went with care into how we think and what the process is overall to have these conversations, including observing, listening, adjusting and practicing as well.

What impacted me the most

I don’t think there is only one thing, it touched base with a lot of things in me as an individual. It was very transformational because it challenged how I think and how I perceive difficult conversations. Now, I see it like I’m trying to benefit that person, to help them, and they may end up helping me as well, because we can both learn from each other. It benefited me in a lot of ways!

The process and approach were beneficial. It wasn't just a regular workshop with a slideshow. Steffan gave us space to talk. We were only 5-6 people so we were comfortable. He gave us that space to share, listened to us carefully and followed up with us after each session. It was a great experience and I learned a lot! One of the things that I will take with me is to listen and adjust according to how the person in front of me is behaving and interacting.

Listen to the video for the full breakdown. Video is in English only.

What I put into practice

What I put into practice more and more is the observation part. I think it’s very important to observe what people are saying, how they say it, their choice of words, when they are saying it, why… and also asking questions rather than attacking the person, pointing fingers at them or telling them they’ve done wrong or right. I try understanding that person, having more empathy for them, regardless of what we think is right and wrong. Right and wrong can be subjective, so being open-minded is what helps me out a lot.

My key moments during the program

  • One of the best things I learned: the wordmap at the beginning of the sessions. It started that transformation in me, reflecting on these words, what they meant for me and why. It was a starting point.
  • Preparing: I never knew I would need to prepare so much for a difficult conversation! Preparing is not about what I want to say, but it’s more about where I should say it, at what time and how I should say it. And if I don’t have time to prepare, it’s OK because it’s just a discussion. I’m not going in with the intention of “I’m right”, I’m going in with the intention to listen, and maybe the person will teach me something I don’t know about.
Steffan went into my consciousness and transformed from there. What’s different about him as a coach from other coaches I’ve encountered is he approaches us on a personal basis. He puts us into practice and listens to the diversity of how others think.

Listen to the video for the full breakdown. Video is in English only.