Coaching, professional development and training

Coaching and training build on leaders’ and employees’ strengths and capability, enabling them to form and nurture strong workplace relationships – key to a happy, positive work culture.

How we can help

We develop and facilitate customised programs for all kinds of organisations, for front-line employees as well as middle and senior managers. Programs are tailored specifically to your needs, focusing on the most important issues for your workplace, and ensuring that skills and knowledge are transferable when the program is over.

Professional development

Our focus is on skills training. Raising awareness and developing emotional intelligence come along the way, but the goal is always using the learning practically. Programs cover:

  • having difficult conversations,
  • relationship management,
  • conflict resolution and conflict coaching,
  • mediation and facilitated conversations training,
  • Communication style (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and emotional intelligence assessments,
  • respectful workplace behaviours including anti-bullying and diversity,
  • unconscious bias,
  • bystander intervention training,
  • mental health and wellbeing,
  • leadership and management development.

Compliance training

We bring theory to life by using experiential learning to drive deeper reflections on behaviour. Workshops on equal employment opportunity, discrimination, bullying, mobbing (upward bullying), harassment and sexual harassment, make use of real-life stories to help employees understand the key concepts, outline behaviour non-negotiables and design ways to put it all into practice.


They’re sometimes called ‘soft skills’, but in fact they’re vital to moving ahead in life both professionally and personally. For people who want to grow and develop in self-knowledge, communication and interpersonal skills, we provide coaching in:

  • holding difficult and challenging conversations,
  • addressing a blockage that impacts the person’s ability to move forward,
  • strengthening confidence to participate fully in individual and team conversations,
  • enhancing interpersonal skills as a leader,
  • building emotional intelligence and understanding how communication style impacts leadership and management.

Conflict coaching

We use coaching as a conflict resolution technique, where it helps people shift their thinking to proactively resolve the immediate situation.

But conflict coaching is also valuable when a lack of conflict confidence is holding someone back in their position or career. By raising self-awareness of the triggers and assumptions around conflict, I can help people feel comfortable in knowing they can deal with it confidently and manage it in a controlled way. It’s a vital skill for team leaders and others in management or leadership positions.

Debbie is warm, friendly and helpful and always makes challenges manageable.
Kurt Porflit, Managing Director, Busch Australia
Debbie is approachable, professional and practical. She provides consistent quality support and is a great sounding board. Dealing with Debbie is like an extension of our own organisation. She understands the business and moulds her style around us.
Brant Doyle, Manager Organisational Development, Moira Shire Council
Debbie is sensitive, engaging, warm… She is able to see the challenges and opportunities and find solutions in quick and practical way.
Greg Embleton, CEO, Byte
I will be forever indebted to the person who recommended DK Sonin & Associates to me… Debbie just did not write a report and leave. She worked with the organisation at all levels to bring the recommendations alive.
Andrea O'Neill, General Manager, Berrigan & District Aged Care Association
Deb's professional, warm and sincere approach is evident in her engagement with individuals and management alike through difficult and sensitive matters, with her ability to gain respect from all parties that facilitates successful outcomes.
Linda South, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
I recommend Debbie Sonin to any employer who wants to provide their staff with opportunities to turn workplace behaviours around, improve their teamwork or learn new ways of interacting with others.
Robyn Shilton, Executive Officer, Community West Inc
Debbie has always demonstrated an appreciation of the industrial and personal impacts of her work, and has achieved results beyond what might have been expected given the complexity of the matter.
Estelle Fyffe, CEO, annecto
With her clinical and human resources background, Debbie offers a unique value proposition for businesses that want to implement change… Debbie always goes above and beyond for her clients and thinks deeply about providing solutions that will work for all parties.
Catherine Brooks, Practice Leader, Moores
Deb Sonin's breadth of experience across change management, industrial relations and conflict resolution is evident in her unique ability to address complex and intractable issues to synthesise the complexity into workable, tangible, successful results.
Linda South, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Debbie is highly skilled and engaging, making interactions professional and fun. Personally, Debbie is great to work with and is always able to have a chat about a situation that might arise outside of the regular engagements.
Sue Rolland, General Manager, Deakin University Student Association
Debbie is an astute observer, facilitator and communicator. She is a highly skilled mediator and excels in coaching team leaders to effectively manage and improve team dynamics, behaviours and interactions.
Leigh Rhode, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Health
Debbie provides a sense of calmness and direction during difficult situations to help me remain in control. The experience and knowledge that Debbie brings is incredibly useful and helps me to get the most out of the team I work with.
Liz Moore CPA, Practice Manager, Bluebird Accounting
Deb Sonin is an acknowledged expert in workplace conflict resolution and has extensive experience advising on discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. Deb’s professional background makes her an obvious choice to assist with difficult cultural and interpersonal issues in the workplace.
Michael Gorton AM, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers
Debbie is an extremely talented and resourceful practitioner, demonstrating a deep and extensive understanding, knowledge and expertise in mediation, coaching and facilitation. Whenever I need support from an external provider in facilitating a conversation, I engage Debbie.
Brant Doyle, Manager Organisational Development, Moira Shire Council
Debbie operated with integrity, sensitivity and empathy for all within our team and encouraged staff to find their voice in sharing their experiences of the dynamics of the workplace.
Peter Nancarrow, Chairperson of the Board, Jacaranda Village
I have a high level of trust in Debbie’s ability to read the dynamics of a work environment and to co-design and implement respectful and thoughtful approaches to solving problems and improving team functioning.
Leigh Rhode, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Health
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