Ugh. Another day at the office.
How many of your workers feel like this before coming to work? Many leaders and their employees go to work daily worrying about unresolved conflict. One study found that 85% of employees have to deal with conflict to some degree and 36% also spend a significant amount of time managing disputes.
The costs of unresolved conflict in the workplace are innumerable. From lower employee engagement and productivity and higher absenteeism, to loss of customers, as outward-facing employees experiencing stress and conflict often are not capable of representing your business in its best light.
Often it’s leaders who bear the brunt and carry the burden of conflict.
According to a recent Globe and Mail article, “Leaders who lack conflict management skills and avoid conflict often end up being less effective at achieving their defined business objectives, have more trouble managing people and being fulfilled by their job.”
Conflict Coaching to the rescue!
What is “Conflict Coaching”?
Conflict coaching emerged from the executive coaching and conflict resolution fields, as practitioners explored ways to support individual clients who were troubled by a specific conflict or seeking enhanced “conflict competency” – the ability to communicate and manage conflict. Pioneers like Cinnie Noble, Tricia Jones and Ross Binkert led the way, merging their expertise in conflict resolution – including third-party led methods like mediation – with individual-focused executive coaching that supports individuals in expanding their workplace competencies.
Conflict coaching is typically a one-on-one process, focused on individual goals and conflict management needs. Client goals might include enhancing conflict competency, integrating learning from conflict resolution training, or preparing for a difficult conflict conversation, or a more formal conflict resolution process such as mediation.
Effective leaders have high conflict competency, respond to pressures and change more constructively, build more productive teams and help create a positive work environment.
Top 5 Reasons to Work with a Conflict Coach
1. Hone your conflict competency and be a more effective leader.
Develop positive and productive conflict management skills. Increase your understanding of conflict dynamics and your awareness of your own conflict style. Learn how to mitigate the impact of conflict and manage conflict in more constructive and collaborative ways. Your coach will guide you through competency development.
2. You have unresolved conflict.
Your coach will help you analyze the conflict situation and develop a strategy for resolving or managing the conflict and build your problem-solving skills. Clients report increased confidence when supported by a conflict coach.
3. You are going to mediation.
Conflict coaching can help you prepare for mediation, during the mediation from behind-the-scenes, and after the mediation. Your coach will help you identify your goals for the mediation, and how to achieve them.
4. You want to integrate conflict resolution training.
Research shows that ROI on training is increased by up to 500% when training is coupled with or followed by one-on-one or group coaching.
5. Conflict Coaching benefits everyone.
Learning how to manage conflict effectively – rather than reacting to conflict in negative or potentially destructive ways – benefits the coaching client, and everyone the client deals with! Organizations benefit when their employees and leaders enhance their conflict competency.
Conflict coaching is dynamic and flexible, and is available to individuals one-on-one, and to groups and teams.
Carrie Gallant is a lawyer, Executive Coach and certified in Conversational Intelligence®. She is also a Mediate BC Civil Roster mediator, teacher and trainer. Carrie’s expertise in negotiation, conflict management and career counselling provides a rich foundation to her passion for helping others uncover what really matters and solve problems creatively. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.