Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conflict Coaching - What the Heck Is It and How Is It Used? Part 1 of 2

Conflict coaches help individuals, pairs, and groups effectively navigate disagreements at work and home. A specialty within the broader coaching field, highly skilled conflict coaches typically have extensive experience as mediators or dispute resolution professionals, as well as coach training and practice. Think of conflict coaches as your own private guides to better dialogue, better decisions, and healthier work and home relationships.

Conflict Coaching at Work

In the workplace, conflict coaches work with executives, managers, team leaders, project managers, employees, and teams. Individuals or their employers hire conflict coaches in order to:

  • Navigate difficult conversations with grace and confidence.
  • Shift patterns of conflict behavior that arent serving them well at work.
  • Negotiate and advocate more effectively for themselves or their departments.
  • Communicate well under pressure and during disagreements.
  • Learn how to balance good directness with approaches that preserve or strengthen professional relationships.
  • Resolve a dispute with a co-worker before it escalates further.
  • Transform workplace team conflict into efficient and effective decision making.
  • Manage conflict associated with organizational change.
  • Enhance these leadership skills for professional advancement and success.
Some conflict coaches also serve in advisory roles with business owners, supervisors, project managers and HR managers who want the benefit of a conflict resolution professionals insight into workplace problems. In these kinds of situations, businesses and organizations work in tandem with conflict coaches to:

  • Determine the most effective way to manage a conflict situation.
  • Craft the right language and approach for responding to a conflict thats becoming more public.
  • Identify how best to intervene in a conflict and what timing is right.
  • Figure out if theres a way to prevent a conflict from escalating into a grievance.
  • Craft organizational systems for better responding to future conflict situations.
Conflict Coaching at Home

Conflict coaches also work with couples, families and extended families. Couples and families hire conflict coaches in order to:

  • Change the interpersonal dynamics of their conflicts, in order to revive or strengthen a marriage or long-term life partnership.
  • Jointly manage and make decisions about an elders assisted living, personal care, or finances while keeping important family bonds strong.
  • Figure out the most effective approach for working through a parent-teen dispute.Learn how to manage anger more effectively, particularly anger thats sparked from conflict situations.
In the next article of this two-part series, I'll describe what happens in conflict coaching and how to know if conflict coaching is right for you, your family or your workplace.

Get your complimentary copy of Talking It Out in Ten, a worksheet and guide to help you think and prepare for your difficult conversations at work and home.

Dr. Tammy Lenski is a dialogue jump-starter, an expert at helping people talk out their differences and build stronger work and home relationships in the process. Tammy has helped individuals, work teams and entire organizations make their peace with conflict for almost two decades. Known for approaching sticky situations with an educators heart, professional mediators skill, and a creatives instinct, she taps her background as an organizational leader, college professor, executive coach and mediator to serve clients who dont just want to settle conflict but use it to transform their organization or themselves.

Tammy writes extensively about workplace conflict, coaching, and resolution at, where you can find over 400 articles to jump-start your own dialogues.

Mao Zedong

No comments: