Employees at all levels of an organization regularly face conflict in the course of their work. A recent study commissioned by Consulting Psychologist Press (CPP) found that 85% of all employees at all levels experience conflict to some degree and that, on average, US employees spend 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict, equating to approximately $359 billion in paid hours in 2008. Other studies have estimated that 30% of a typical manager’s time is spent dealing with conflict. These statistics illustrate the importance of possessing and using conflict management skills in the workplace.
Much of the time, employees can navigate through garden-variety conflicts on their own. Either the employees have had conflict management training, or have developed skills to resolve conflict through ‘the school of life’. There are times, however, when due to the difficulty or complexity of the issues involved, employees could benefit from 1-1 conflict coaching. Conflict coaching can help a party in conflict consider how to approach the conflict situation in terms of both process and approach and can be used both for assisted and unassisted negotiations. Conflict coaching can be especially useful when one or more of the parties are not open to mediation and the parties must still maintain an ongoing relationship.
Ways in which a conflict coach can assist include:
1. Help the client decide whether and how to approach a discussion with the other party to the conflict.
2. Help the client prepare for the discussion logistically and psychologically.
3. Help the client to view the issue and problem from multiple perspectives.
4. Help the client define options for resolution of the conflict situation.
5. Help the client formulate the words that will be used to convey the message.
6. Role play with the client to enable the client to practice his/her approach.
It is important to emphasize that the coach’s role is to support the client in the manner most helpful to the client as defined by the client. The client is empowered to bring forth his or her best self to the conflict situation. The coach remains on the sideline as a helpful resource.
See also the following article: Conflict Coaching: A Powerful ADR Tool
Please contact Robin Amadei at 303-604-1960 or RAmadei@aol.com to find out more about conflict coaching.