After almost two years of distance and differences keeping people apart, it’s not surprising to hear stories of fractured families, strained friendships and interpersonal conflicts brewing at work. The pandemic has hurt a lot of professional and personal relationships in deep ways.

As businesses and organizations prepare (again) for re-opening and returning to work, who is helping work place teams reconnect and rebuild their relationships?

Many leaders I work with are feeling frustrated and ill equipped for the task. They are expected to step up, re-engage with teams and prepare for a return to a new “normal”, but there is no playbook and the old rules don’t apply. People are seriously out of practise relating to each other in person. While they are keen to reconnect, some are feeling anxious about differences in values and perspectives that emerged over the last year or two.

The unpredictability and pressure to be agile and adaptable is wearing some leaders down.

It takes courage for a leader to acknowledge how they are feeling, and often that’s the best starting place for reconnecting and rebuilding trust. A coach I know likes to say feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are.

If you are wondering how to motivate your team when you are feeling so tired yourself, start with a courageous conversation.

Courage comes from the Old French corage”, meaning “heart”. A courageous conversation, then, is about speaking what’s in your heart and creating space for someone else to express what’s in theirs.

Courageous conversations don’t happen on Facebook or Instagram or text. They are best in person or on the phone, but in real time, when you can convey meaning beyond the words.

A courageous conversation is one you know you should have and you are likely avoiding because it seems too risky. You may worry about getting emotionally triggered or triggering the other person. You may be nervous about the consequences and imagine the worst-case outcome.

  • Are you struggling to connect with a  colleague?
  • Have your relationships suffered because of differences in work style or point of view?
  • Are you avoiding a conversation with someone who is important to you?

To initiate a courageous conversation at work takes skill, practice and the right sense of timing. A professional communication coach can help you assess when the time is right and to prepare for how you show up in the conversation.

If you are interested in learning more about how coaching can help you to communicate and connect more effectively, contact us. Our roster of professional coaches includes coaches with special expertise in communication and interpersonal relationships. Read more about our coaching team here.


Courageous Conversations: Coaching with Claudia Aronowitz

Coach Claudia Aronowitz is an experienced leadership and communication coach who recently joined our coaching team. Claudia will help you to prepare for your next courageous conversation, and strengthen your relationships as a result.

In February only, we are offering a special introductory package. Sign up now to take advantage of the reduced fee. Here’s what’s included:

  • 30-minute intake call to understand the problem and clarify what you want to communicate
  • 90-minute coaching session with practical communication tools, a chance to practice and obtain feedback, and prepare for your next conversation
  • 60-minute follow-up to debrief conversation and plan for next steps

Stop avoiding an important conversation you’ve been putting often and get ready for a courageous one!

Special offer in February only: $795 + HST

Book here to set up a complimentary introductory call and determine if this is the right program for you.

Or contact to learn about other coaching programs and services.

Recommended Reading

If you want to learn more about leading and communicating with courage, here are a few of my favourite books:

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Timeby Susan Scott

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Heartsby Brené Brown

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are Highby Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson et al

If you have a story to share about a courageous conversation, or just want to get in touch, contact me at

I look forward to hearing from you!