Making Difficult Conversations Work

EGN Cross Functional Virtual Event: Making Difficult Conversations Work: Transforming the Dread of Difficult Conversations into Positive Strength by Cathy Johnson

Date/Time: Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021. 8am networking. 8.30am – 09.55am interactive workshop.

Making Difficult Conversations Work: Transforming the Dread of Difficult Conversations into Positive Strength

Most of us find some conversations difficult to have, especially when we believe the other person will not want to hear, won’t go along with or will be upset about what is being said. Whether it’s giving corrective feedback, doing appraisals, laying off or firing people, it’s not a discussion most leaders look forward to. We’re not so comfortable being present with conflict and other people’s emotions, and that means we often avoid difficult conversations or mis-handle them, with the result that – we don’t get the outcomes we want.

During 28 years as a corporate leader and 12 years as a professional executive coach, I’ve discovered that there are specific ways to think about and approach difficult conversations that are likely to result in far less stress for ourselves and the other person, and a far greater likelihood that the other person will not only listen and understand us, but be more open to what we’re saying.

Attend this session if you want to learn how to get around the mental barriers that keep us from stepping into difficult conversations, and how to transform these talks into positive events. All work gets done through conversations, and being able to have excellent discussions where there is conflict is invaluable.

Takeaways from this session include clarity on:

  • What makes conversations difficult
  • Preparing for a difficult discussion
  • Handling the other person’s reactions
  • Holding the space without collapsing or exploding


About the speaker:

Cathy Johnson Professional Certified Coach, Speaker

As a coach, Cathy works with hundreds of leaders on having much more effective conversations with their teams, and difficult conversations are right up at the top of the challenges.

Cathy is an ICF-Certified Professional Coach, a facilitator and a global speaker working with organizations to support the development of authentic individuals and leaders. She has 28 years of international corporate experience, which brings a depth of understanding around the challenges of being authentic in a rapidly changing world that’s demanding more and more of us. With a healthy dose of honesty and humor, Cathy focuses on helping people take charge of their lives by connecting with themselves and having authentic conversations.

As an experienced leadership development facilitator, Cathy is passionate about supporting meaningful conversations to address organizational goals while simultaneously managing group process to foster individual growth. She impacts a range of businesses in arenas including executive presence, challenging conversations, leadership development, compelling presentations, high performing teams, performance management, conflict and collaboration and assertiveness.

Prior to entering the field of speaking, facilitation and coaching, Cathy was Head of Marketing at Global Sources (NASDAQ: GSOL), a business-to-business media company. In this role she focused on coaching highly effective teams while gaining experience in e-commerce, project management, IT and publishing. Notably, Cathy led a change initiative to create greater collaboration between business functions and IT, significantly improving their ability to work together and contribute to the business at a higher level.

Cathy has lived in Singapore for more than 21 years. She has worked to support development for organizations throughout Asia, including:

Adidas, ADM, Allergan, Areva, Autodesk, Axiata, Barclays, BBH, Bristol-Myers Squibb, British Petroleum, BYK, Cigna, Citibank, Covidien, Credit Suisse, Criteo, Paypal, Energy Market Company, Edrington, Exxon-Mobil, Foolproof, GlaxoSmithKline, Groupon, Honeywell, HSBC, Infineum, MasterCard, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Microsoft, Nagra-Kudelski, National Australian Bank, NTUC Income, Parexel, Perodua Kancil, Publicis, Qiagen, RBS, Roche, Rockwell Automation, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore MICA, Singapore Tourism Board, SingTel, Sitaonair, Sony, Standard Chartered Bank, Telekom Malaysia, TMF Group, TripAdvisor, UBS, United Engineering Malaysia, United Technologies, Unilever, Veson Nautical, Visa, Vitrex, Xpoint0

As an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Cathy has coached clients from organizations throughout Asia, including: Aon, Areva, Arup, Attorney-General’s Chambers, BASF, BBH, Cardinal Health, Citibank, Aon, Areva, Arup, Attorney-General’s Chambers, BASF, BBH, Cardinal Health, Citibank, Commerzbank, Daimler/Mercedes-Benz, Economic Development Board (EDB), Energy Market Company, Ericsson, Google, Infineum, ING, Innosight, Julia Gabriel Group, Kabam, Linde Gas, McAfee, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Novartis, Prudential, Rio Tinto, Rolls-Royce, Royal Bank of Scotland, Singapore Institute of Management, MICA, Singapore Expo, Singapore Police Force, UCT, Unilever, UOB, Villeroy & Boch, VMware

Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa, Dean’s List every semester) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the KenanFlagler Business School of UNC Chapel Hill, USA. She is a Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation, New Ventures West) and a Certified Leadership Transition Coach (Fischer Group International). Cathy is an Associate Facilitator with the Civil Service College of Singapore, and Immediate Past President of Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS). She is a certified Chally Talent Analyst, and in addition to BlessingWhite, Facet5, Big 5 Personality Traits and Thiagi Game & Simulation Facilitation certifications, she has MBTI Step I and II and Firo-B accreditations, and substantial experience implementing DISC™


8:00 am: Networking/ Registration

8:30 am: Webinar start. EGN introductions and speaker introduction

8:35 am: Making Difficult Conversations Work: Transforming the Dread of Difficult Conversations into Positive Strength

9:35 am: Q & A and key takeaways

9:55 am: Meeting end

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