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and Techniques

to Overcome it

Your Coachee avoids directly confronting the issue at hand, changing subject, putting off the discussion until later, or not bringing up the subject of contention.

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair Technique helps the coachee verbalise what’s going on, the abstract becomes more concrete. As the coachee takes on the other person’s role, he/she gains insight into his/her own perspective as well as the other person's. 

The Coachee faces two empty chairs, picturing in one chair, the person the Coachee is pleasing and an Observer in the other chair. First, the Coachee speaks to the person he/she is pleasing about the situation, feelings and thoughts. Then, he/she moves to the other chair, responding to what has been said from the other person's perspective, taking on their role. The Coachee can move back and forth several times to continue the dialogue. Meanwhile, you can explore with questions and insights. Then the Coachee moves to the Observer chair and expresses what the Observer thinks.

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Visualisation is a simple yet powerful technique during which your Coachee sits in a comfortable position, close his/her eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as possible the outcome.

Ask your Coachee to relax and close his/her eyes. "Imagine yourself in one year. How will you be because of this matter you are not facing? Implications on your family and friends? How will you feel? Now in 5 years.. [similar questions] .. now in 10 years [similar questions]. You see yourself in the mirror. What will you tell yourself?

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Non-Violent Communication

The Technique of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) involves expressing thoughts with clarity, compassion, self-responsibility, empathy, and the common good in mind, which is the exact opposite of what violent communication is.

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Ask your Coachee to focus his/her attention on four components when communicating:

  1. Observation: focusing on facts, no interpretation or generalisation

  2. Feelings: expressing feelings without judgment

  3. Human needs: empathise with the other person's needs

  4. Requesting with Empathy vs Demanding

Nonviolent Communication and Self Awareness | Maria Engels | TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool

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Common Symptoms

  • Swallowing his/her feelings

  • Smiling even if the situation is causing him/her pain and distress

  • Considering the approval of other people important and feeling that it would be dangerous to affront them by revealing his/her true feelings

  • Changing subject as find the real issue too difficult to handle

  • Going out of their way to avoid conflict

4 Techniques

to Help Overcome Avoiding Conflict


The 360 will help your Coachee acknowledge the difference between the perception of self and how others see the person. The 360 may help bridge that gap. 

Ask your Coachee to think of 5 people whose opinion he respects and trusts. Ask them for a 360 feedback. For example: what are the coachee's key strengths, achievements, what they value the most about your coachee and one area of improvement. After that, ask the Coachee to feel out the Johari window:

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  • The Impostor Syndrome: Becoming an Authentic Leader, by Harold Hillman, Chris Abernathy, et al

  • The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook), by Rebecca E. Williams PhD and Julie S. Kraft MA

  • Coach's Casebook, by Kim Morgan

  • Compassion for All Creatures, by Janice Gray Kolb

  • Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing "Never Good Enough", by Lisa Van Gemert

  • The Fulfillment of All Desire, by Ralph Martin

  • Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar

  • The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome, by Harriet B. Braiker

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