Most people have been “coached” before: in sports, academic, or recreational activities. An effective coach is often known to be the difference between the individuals or teams that win or lose!
Coaching is increasingly accepted as a necessity for peak effectiveness in sports, executive management, politics, and more.
Conflict Coaches work with private individuals and organizations that are ready and willing to remove barriers to change, improve productivity and harmony in the workplace or to renew commitment to personal objectives and interests.
By means of focused, short and regular one-on-one conversations, the coaching approach quickly and measurably contributes to improved work and life environments and relationships. Conflict Coaching for organizations focuses on key people in the organization who are charged with the role of change agent – usually senior staff.
Conflict coaches are experienced, well-educated people, trained to observe, analyze, strategize and support new behaviors and thinking that will drive change in relationships, in business, in work or life. Many have come from backgrounds in mediation.
The key results of this specialized and confidential process are to listen, coach, consult with and train people to:
- Create and clarify goals for managing everything more effectively;
- Determine and take the required steps to achieve those goals;
- Consider how to change habitual behaviours that contribute to, or get in the way of, resolving issues or achieving goals;
- Shift unhelpful reactions to constructive responses;
- Improve language and communication skills in order to interact and address situations more constructively and with confidence;
- Become better problem solvers through personal insight, clarity and structure relating to one’s thought processes.
Helping With Work Place Conflict
Conflict Coaching is ideal for organizations dealing with significant changes (eg. restructuring, new management, new mandate, mergers, etc.) A value based approach ensures that the core values of the organization truly become the operating principles driving the creation and maintenance of the desired workplace culture. Conflict Coaching is a method by which the Mission, Vision and Values of a corporation can become more than a poster on the wall – they become reality.
Conflict Coaching is a small, highly effective investment that saves time, money and energy. The return on the investment is rarely questioned: best of all, the results of coaching are yours forever: increased focus, clarity, strategies, options – even in the face of conflicts.
The Coaching Process
Coaching is nothing like therapy, nor is it like a friend offering advice that you may not want or need. A coaching discussion, usually 30- 45 minutes in length, will focus your thinking on your key, or most important and pressing goals and interests. The process will unlock your thinking and new more effective strategies. Single coaching sessions (should you need only one, focused on a key issue) are an option; however, after a slightly longer initial session, a coaching relationship is typically built and maintained over a series of scheduled, fast-paced and focused dialogues, often done over the phone.
Coaching is scheduled at the mutual convenience of the coach and the client. The day and time for the next call will be confirmed at the close of each coaching session. Coaching is often a great relief for people who are ready for change, and most people find coaching sessions to be relaxing, reassuring, fun, and frequently energizing. Your coach is skilled in asking powerful, future-focused questions that accelerate and expand your exploration, discovery and definition of challenges, options, and choices for action. Coaches normally assume or recommend a commitment to the coaching relationship: whether it lasts for several weeks, or months – or even years – regular coaching check-ins help people become more responsive to themselves, ensuring that one stays consistently resolved to achieve one’s goals and the things that are most important. Coaching is intended to be a sustained, change-oriented process. Therefore the coach must be flexible around a client’s regular work schedules in delivering the coaching.
Conflict Coaching as an Alternative to Mediation
In most cases Conflict Coaching is undertaken to deal with conflict that has not reached a boiling point but is bubbling under the surface and reducing productivity in an organization or even poisoning the work environment. There are however circumstances in which Conflict Coaching can be used to provide support to individuals in conflict when one or both are not willing to meet face to face in a conventional style mediation. This can often be the case where management is unable to remove one or more of the individuals due to the existence of a union but the conflict remains essentially intolerable for one or both of the parties. Conflict Coaching supports the employees by helping them discover tools, alternative approaches and insights that can eliminate the negative patterns inherent in all cycles of dysfunctional interaction. It takes two to fight, so even in cases in which only one party receives coaching, the underlying sources of conflict may be eliminated and the conflict resolved or conflict more effectively managed due to enhanced skills acquired by the person receiving coaching.
Conflict Coaching as Preparation for Mediation or Facilitation
Recognizing the negative patterns of behaviour that are keeping a conflict going can be extremely challenging. We are frequently unaware of how certain behaviour, words and assumptions are contributing to a conflict. Conflict Coaching can be used as a way of gaining insight into a conflict and preparing responses to avoid slipping into negative patterns or to figure out what is triggering a certain response from another person. A Conflict Coach can help you anticipate what might go wrong in a mediation or facilitation and what needs to happen to avoid those pitfalls. In this way a Conflict Coach can help enhance the effectiveness of a mediation or facilitation session.
The discussions between the coach and person being coached are absolutely confidential, even when the client is an organization providing coaching for its staff. This is fundamental to the integrity and value of the coaching process. Without complete confidentiality, there can be no trust – an essential ingredient in the coaching relationship.