Learning and Development Solutions for Your Team

Our Learning & Development Solutions address the most complex client situations, both internal and external:

Programs

  • Excellence in Client Encounters
  • Effectiveness in Difficult Client Conversations
  • Excellence in Professional Encounters
  • Effectiveness in Difficult Professional Conversations

Team Events

  • Short events with a training-teambuilding mix
  • Many tried and tested activities to choose from
  • Integrate with company meetings, sales kickoffs, etc.

Workshops

  • Professional practise sharing
  • Consider everyone to be a potential leader
  • Develop multiple skills while solving today’s problems

Deep Knowledge, Simple Tools

Difficult Conversations of the Professional Kind helps professionals with one of the most important aspects of their work: dealing with critical situations promtly and effectively. It combines a simple flow with profound concepts.

Imagine how much time and energy you could save by improving your capabilities in this area! The conversation may be with your boss, with a peer, with team-members or with a client.  Whichever it is, being able to say what's really on your mind is an invaluable skill. The tools and techniques described provide a safe way to start, allowing you to develop your own repertoire and style.

 

Client Encounters of the Technical Kind demystifies communication for field teams and, in doing so, renders a great service to high-tech companies. Its simple tools and processes promote productivity and effective business results. It's the ONLY product I have seen that is effective in developing the "technical sales team".

Jack Dunnigan

Senior Director of Worldwide Technical Sales, Xilinx

What we’ve learnt

Many of our training experiences are captured in articles, together with testimony from our customers. Here is the latest post …

Difficult Conversations, Bridges and Trolls

Trolls are trouble when you want to cross a bridge. Especially when the bridge in question is slippery and swaying.  They can takes ages to deal with and, of course, trolls present a health and safety hazard.

A Difficult Conversation is like crossing a troll bridge.  The bridge itself represents the underlying, “normal” conversation, with one or two challenges and an objective of attaining something on the other side. The troll is a particularly difficult issue and our options are, broadly speaking, to run away (avoid the issue) or resort to force (escalate the issue?) or tame the troll.

... read more

Other Recent Posts

Mon Carnet de Notes pour les Conversations Difficiles

Ce carnet (en anglais) offre un aperçu rapide de cette série et un point de départ pour votre propre carnet, comme support pour la pratique des compétences de Conversations Difficiles. Le carnet peut être téléchargé en plusieurs formats, y compris Excel. Bonne lecture ! Commentaires, suggestions et demandes de renseignements : contact@icondasolutions.com  

My Difficult Conversations Notebook

This notebook provides a quick overview of this series and a starting point for your own notebook, as a support for practicing Difficult Conversation skills. The notebook can be download in multiple formats, including Excel. Enjoy ! Comments, suggestions and enquires: contact@icondasolutions.com

Fermer la Boucle d’un Échange Difficile

Si vous dévalez une pente, sur des rochers et des racines d'arbres, sur un vélo de cross-country, sur quoi vous concentrez-vous ? Si vous conduisez sur une autoroute bondée, avec des voitures qui s'entrecroisent devant vous, sur quoi vous concentrez-vous ? Si vous êtes dans une réunion, avec des arguments contradictoires qui vous arrivent de gauche à droite, sur quoi vous concentrez-vous ? Maintenant, repérez la mauvaise réponse : Les rochers et les racines Les autres voitures Ce que je vais...

Closing the Loop on a Difficult Exchange

If you're hurtling downhill, over rocks and tree roots, on a cross-country bike, what do you concentrate on? If you're driving on a crowded motorway, with cars criss-crossing in front of you, what do you concentrate on? If you're in a meeting, with clever arguments coming at you from left and right, what do you concentrate on? Now, spot the wrong answer: The rocks and the roots The other cars What I'm going to say next Of course, I should be listening, not composing my next contribution. What...

Comprendre et Exprimer ses Besoins dans un Échange Difficile

Il y a quelques semaines, dans un univers parallèle, un client m'a appelé pour me dire : "Andy, nous avons essayé d'utiliser le logiciel que vous nous avez vendu et nous avons rencontré des difficultés. En fait, nous avons manqué une livraison critique la semaine dernière et la direction me dit qu'il n'est pas question d'échouer cette semaine. Je suis très nerveux, mais aussi frustré et fatigué. J'ai besoin de me sentir en sécurité dans mon travail et confiant dans ma propre capacité à gérer...

Understanding and Expressing Needs in a Difficult Exchange

A few weeks ago, in a parallel universe, a customer called and said, “Andy, we’ve been trying to use the software you sold us and have run into difficulties. In fact, we missed a critical delivery last week and management is telling me that failure this week is not an option. I’m very nervous, as well as frustrated and fed up. I need to feel secure in my job and confident of my own ability to manage this project. I also want to have real partnerships with our suppliers. However, working with...

Expliquer ses Sentiments avec Précision et Sensibilité dans un Échange Difficile

Imaginez les Conversations Difficiles suivantes : Je me suis trompé dans mon agenda et je dois expliquer à mon partenaire qu'au lieu de sortir avec lui ce soir, je dois travailler tard. J'ai raté ma feuille de route et je dois expliquer à mon patron qu'au lieu de pouvoir fournir un vaccin juste à temps pour sauver le monde d'une pandémie, nous devons retourner à la planche à dessin pendant que nos concurrents font fortune... Comme pour toute Conversation Difficile, des émotions seront...

Explaining Feelings Accurately and Sensitively in a Difficult Exchange

Imagine the following Difficult Conversations: I’ve messed up my calendar and have to explain to my partner that, instead of going out with them this evening, I must work late I’ve messed up my roadmap and have to explain to my boss that, instead of being able to supply a vaccine just in time to save the world from a pandemic, we have to go back to the drawing board while our competitors make a fortune As for any Difficult Conversation, emotions will be involved and we have been representing...

Postures possibles pour « managing up »

Voici une bonne nouvelle concernant les diverses compétences en matière de communication, applicable à n'importe quel contexte : si vous interrogez des professionnels sur ce sujet aujourd'hui, vous obtiendrez d'excellentes réponses - nettement meilleures, je crois, que ce que vous auriez pu attendre il y a une génération. D'une certaine manière, quelque chose s'améliore. J'en veux pour preuve une enquête flash réalisée par mon collègue, Suraj Ethirajan, dans le cadre de la préparation d'un...

Commencer un Échange Difficile en Toute Sécurité en étant Bref et Factuel

Suraj et moi avons diffusé un podcast sur les Conversations Difficiles il y a quelques jours et nous avons demandé aux participants des idées sur les meilleures pratiques. La personne qui a suggéré "Se concentrer sur le problème" a expliqué : lorsque vous confrontez quelqu'un, parlez du problème et évitez toute critique, même indirecte ou discrète, de la personne. À notre avis, cette phrase résume bien l'un des principes les plus importants de la gestion des conversations difficiles. Il n'y a...

Starting a Difficult Exchange Safely by being Brief and Factual

Suraj and I broadcast a podcast on Difficult Conversations a few days ago and we asked participants for ideas on best practices. “Focus on the problem” was suggested and the person who’d suggested this explained: when confronting someone , talk about the issue and avoid any criticism, however indirect or discreet, of the person. In our view, this nicely captures one of the most important principles of dealing with difficult conversations. There's only one slight problem: how do we avoid being...

Ajuster ses Intentions lorsqu’on Mène une Conversation Difficile

Mon client aborde à nouveau la question de la chaîne d'approvisionnement, comme il l'a fait lors de la dernière réunion et de la précédente, et depuis aussi longtemps que je me souvienne. Comme d'habitude, il le fait juste au moment où j'aborde des sujets qui me tiennent à cœur et la question est accompagnée d'une expression d'angoisse, comme si l'apocalypse était proche. Ayant été dans cette position auparavant, j'ai des données et des arguments pertinents à portée de main et ma réaction...

Une Boucle d’Apaisement de Trolls pour Réconcilier un Échange Difficile

"Toutes les familles heureuses se ressemblent, mais chaque famille malheureuse l'est à sa façon" (Léon Tolstoï, Anna Karénine, 1878). Nous partons du principe que l'un des principaux attributs des familles heureuses, et des personnes efficaces en général, est leur capacité à mener à bien les conversations difficiles. Ces conversations se ressemblent toutes - elles se terminent par une discussion calme sur ce qu'il faut faire ensuite. En revanche, si une conversation difficile ne peut être...

Conversations Difficiles, Ponts et Trolls

Les trolls sont un problème quand on veut traverser un pont. Surtout lorsque le pont en question est glissant et vacillant.  Il faut parfois des heures pour s'en occuper et, bien sûr, les trolls représentent un danger pour la santé et la sécurité. Une conversation difficile, c'est comme traverser un pont de trolls.  Le pont lui-même représente la conversation sous-jacente, "normale", avec un ou deux défis et l'objectif d'atteindre quelque chose de l'autre côté. Le troll est un problème...

Adjusting Intentions when Leading a Difficult Conversation

My customer brings up supply chain issues again, just as they did last meeting and the one before, and for as long as I can remember now. As usual, this is done just when I’m getting to topics that are important to me and the question is accompanied by an agonized, apocalypse-is-nigh expression. Having been in this position before, I have relevant data and arguments to hand and my instinctive reaction is be to bring these out, prefixed with an inflammatory, “As I have explained several times...

A Troll-Taming Loop for Reconciling a Difficult Exchange

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 1878). We posit that a key attribute of happy families, and effective people in general, is that they can bring Difficult Conversations to a satisfactory conclusion. Such conversations are all alike  - they finish with a calm discussion about what to do next. If a Difficult Conversation cannot be resolved, however, the results are varied and often disastrous. For evidence, just look in...

Difficult Conversations, Bridges and Trolls

Trolls are trouble when you want to cross a bridge. Especially when the bridge in question is slippery and swaying.  They can takes ages to deal with and, of course, trolls present a health and safety hazard. A Difficult Conversation is like crossing a troll bridge.  The bridge itself represents the underlying, “normal” conversation [1], with one or two challenges and an objective of attaining something on the other side. The troll is a particularly difficult issue and our options are, broadly...

Possible Postures for Managing Up

Possible Postures for Managing Up Here’s some good news about diverse communication skills, applicable to any context: if you question professional people about this topic today, you’ll get some excellent answers – significantly better, I believe, than what you could have expected a generation ago. Somehow, something’s improving. As evidence of this, I cite a flash survey performed by my colleague, Suraj Ethirajan, as part of our preparation for a podcast on “managing up”. In brief, the...

Learning Objectives Enable Flexibility in STMicroelectronics Training

It may seem, when searching for training solutions, that the options are either Do It Yourself, represented here as Bleriot crossing the Channel in his own machine, or a low-risk, catalog-based solution - the P&O Ferry. Mega exciting on the one hand , but will it get you to where you want to go? As predictable as the tides on the other, but can such a standardized package take you to the leading edge of the subject? Fortunately, there are alternatives. Training can be created using mature...

Why it’s hardest to communicate when it matters most

See also this video. Communication has special challenges when it comes to science and technology. Have you ever noticed that when you are burning to explain …when it seems really important to convince other people that you know what you’re talking about …then this is precisely when it’s hardest to have impact? Why?  It’s because the very thing that you want to share – your hard-won expertise – is actually an obstacle to communication. Your knowledge and technical instincts are like baggage...

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