A Deeper Dive: What is Conflict Coaching?

Every conflict is a story. And the best way to write the next chapter is to fully understand what had transpired: history, context, individual experience, and the dynamics at play.

“Conflict Coaching is a process in which a coach and client communicate one-on-one for the purpose of developing the client’s conflict-related understanding, interaction strategies, and interaction skills.” Conflict Coaching; Conflict Management Strategies and Skills for the Individual, Jones and Brinkert, 2008, p4-5.

1. The process uncovers new details and dynamics. We not only discuss the history of the conflict from yours and others’ perspectives, we also delve into identity, emotion, and power dynamics. You may come in with a snapshot of what’s going on, but you’ll leave with a 3-D model.

2. Emphasis on tailored skills development. The individual attention creates custom solutions for handling important interpersonal communication.

3. Conflict Coaching is a wonderful pre-mediation tool. Mediation is wonderful for facilitating group communication, but sometimes walking into a hostility-filled room isn’t the best first step. A one-on-one discussion can help an individual explore the impact of the conflict and crystallize what they want to get from the mediation.  

4. It’s not just for wealthy CEOs anymore. For decades, organizations have been investing in executive coaching to facilitate better interpersonal, team, and organizational communication. But you don’t have to manage a multi-million dollar company to reap the benefits. Individuals like you and me grapple with issues that have tremendous impact on our lives. And we can use the same process to discover our best options and get to where we want to be.

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