Workplace conflict can lead to extensive costs of different kinds, for organisations, teams and individuals. Yet conflict is also potentially useful. If well handled, conflict can lead to new understandings, clearer working relationships and improved interpersonal skills.
Conflict coaching is a structured, solution-oriented process which assists individuals to develop new insights, behaviours and strategies for managing difficult situations and conflicts. I utilise conflict coaching as part of an integrated conflict management approach that minimises the impacts and risks associated with conflict, while allowing us to work constructively to explore the situation for its potential helpfulness. This approach often includes conflict coaching for any or all parties, facilitated discussions, and debriefings with all stakeholders to ensure any organisational-wide learnings and implications are captured.
I utilise the CINERGY® model for conflict coaching. This seven-step process is highly effective in building peoples competencies in:
- engaging and managing interpersonal conflict
- managing challenging relationships
- resolving or coping with a challenging situation, and
- preparing for difficult conversations, such as mediation or performance management of staff.
Conflict coaching helps people to explore conflict triggers and dynamics, think through options, and develop strategies for better managing difficult situations. It is a voluntary and confidential process usually done on a one-on-one basis. It is also very helpful for team conflict, or for individuals with repeated conflict patterns or relationship management issues. The process is practical and user friendly, and focuses on clarifying and working toward specific goals.