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Chapter Program: Applying Coaching Skills to Difficult Conversations
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Chapter Program: Applying Coaching Skills to Difficult Conversations

Chapter Program
Presented by: Michael Hutchins and Erin Hutchins
Location: Innovation Health
This program has been approved for 1.5 HRCI and SHRM credits.

When: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
6:00 PM
Where: Innovation Health
9th floor, 3190 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church, Virginia  22042
United States
Presenter: Michael Hutchins and Erin Hutchins

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Chapter Program: Applying Coaching Skills to Difficult Conversations

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM



  • Member Rate: $25
  • Non-Member Rate: $35



‼️ This program has been approved for 1.5 HRCI and SHRM credits.

Program Details:

The session focuses on how to have difficult conversations using coaching skills. We introduce the objectives of the session, with brief introductions. 10 minutes. 

Co-creating The Relationship: The session starts out by the group “Co-Creating the Relationship”, a term used by the International Coaching Federation to design the right relationship for the objective of the session. We will practice this with the group, with the facilitators requesting from the audience what they want for the session to be a success. 15 minutes. 

Listening: We then introduce “Levels of Listening”, with 3 levels, 1=focus on self, 2=focus on other (facts, data, what they are saying) and 3=focus on other (emotions, unstated assumptions, body language, how they say it). The goal is for them to focus more on levels 2 and 3. We do an exercise where the facilitator tells a story, 1/3 of the room responds from L1, 1/3 from L2 and the other 1/3 from L3. They then practice in pairs. 15 minutes. 

Active Listening: Then we emphasise that listening is necessary for any conversation, however not sufficient. You have to demonstrate to the other person that you listened, either through paraphrasing (L2) or “empathic statements: (L3), for example, “I’m sensing, noticing, what I’m hearing is…”. 10 minutes. 

Questioning Styles: Building on the listening skills, we then demonstrate how to use a range of different question styles, particularly Open, “Powerful” questions that open the conversation to more curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. 15 minutes, including short exercise. 

Difficult Conversations: We start to integrate the concepts above into different contexts where difficult conversations may need to happen. Examples include developmental feedback and telling clients a deadline will not be met. We provide guidance on how to structure such a conversation, exploring from a neuroscience perspective what happens in the brain when someone hears unexpected news. We emphasize the importance of “co-creating”, so the other person knows the feedback is “in service of their development” rather than being critical or judgmental. We incorporate the coaching skills above into this. Presentation / discussion / exercise in pairs: 25 minutes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Co-create The Relationship with another person 
  2. Listen for and respond to the emotional aspects as well as the rational 
  3. Feel confident in delivering difficult messages 
  4. Co-creating solutions with other person



Michael Hutchins and Erin Hutchins
ACT,ACT Leadership,

Mike, a UK and US citizen, is an ICF-PCC level Executive Coach and CPA. He has over 1,500 hours of professional coaching experience, working with managers, leaders, team coaching and coach training. He trains executives in leadership development and has designed a range of customized and off-the-shelf programs, including an ICF-ACC Leadership Coach Certification Program. Mike qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2000 with PwC in the UK and also working with KPMG as a consultant for 13 years across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Erin is an executive coach, trainer and organizational consultant who support’s leaders and organizations to act with greater purpose, authenticity, and impact. Through coaching, consulting, and leadership development, Erin helps organizations achieve alignment, clarity, and organizational health. Prior to entering the field of coaching and development, Erin was a change and organizational consultant for Pricewaterhouse Coopers and for the U.S. Government. She has worked in North America, Europe and Asia.