2 students

Basics about challenging conversation

‘Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.’ Leonardo da Vinci

Some conversations can be very challenging, either because they have a high emotional loading or affect us very personally. Avoiding such conversations is, most of the time, not an option. In some cases avoidance is exacerbating the situation. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to best approach such conversations to maintain one’s own effectiveness.

The key elements of this course have been selected to take a more conscious approach to how we engage with others when discussing difficult subjects. This can help to avoid a lot of misunderstandings and frustration. At the heart of this module is the ladder of inference. A structured approach which enables you to avoid the pitfalls in such discussions and helps to create a productive yet honest conversation. This concept was first developed by Chris Argyris (1990).

Note: For a more in-depth learning experience, please also check out the standard or premium versions of this course.


I have more than 16 years of professional experience in FMCG internationally. In this period I worked in different European countries and in various functions, i.e. Supply Chain, Research & Development and Technical Marketing interfaces, with more than 14 years of experience as line manager in assignments spanning from factory management to programme management in corporate research.
In early 2005 I decided to become an independent coach working across Europe.