Articles on Conflict Management Coaching
All articles by Cinnie Noble.
This article co-written with Ben Drory summarizes the content of Cinnie’s presentation to members of the ADR Institute of Ontario on June 19, 2012. Cinnie outlines the stages of the CINERGY® model of conflict management coaching and describes a number of its applications.
Coaches from the wide range of contexts regularly help clients to work through their interpersonal conflicts. Related goals may have to do with ways to better manage an ongoing conflict, to prepare for one that is anticipated or to resolve a past dispute that is lingering. Not surprisingly, one important requirement to do this sort of work well is to examine the strength of our own personal and professional foundation in conflict engagement.
In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration, (TSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, initiated the development of an Integrated Conflict Management System (ICMS), as part of an innovative Model Workplace Program. A Conflict Management Coaching Program (CMCP) emerged early on as one of the many unique service delivery components of this ICMS. This article discusses how this innovative program was designed, and will also address how the CMCP has emerged as an integral component of TSA’s ICMS.
Learning how to better engage in interpersonal conflict is just one of many goals of people who seek conflict coaching. Managing the aftermath of conflict is often fraught with challenges for many people and lingering unresolved feelings and issues can preclude internal resolution and reconciliation.
Specializing is certainly not for everyone. Unlike life, business, organizational and other more general categories of coaching, there are some limitations in selecting one area to focus on. On the other hand, there are many advantages to specializing. It is not a straightforward decision, of course and hopefully, some of the considerations in this article will be of help to coaches contemplating a specialty.
Conflict Coaching: A New ADR Technique – Ontario Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Volume 17, No.1 December, 2008
Currently, conflict coaching as a distinct technique appears to be growing mostly in workplaces as an additional option for employees and tool for mediators, whether or not there is an Integrated (Informal) Conflict Management System. This technique may be used instead of, or in tandem with, mediation and other ADR processes. In addition to helping individuals improve their conflict management skills in any context, there are other applications of conflict coaching.
Key competencies go beyond how leaders themselves engage in disputes and conflict in which they are directly involved. Being conflict competent includes skills that equip leaders to facilitate effective conflict conversations, among their reports and between the work unit and others.
As it becomes a more defined technique in the ADR field, those who provide conflict coaching will be increasingly discussing its many applications and also, the ways to increase its legitimacy, as a distinct mechanism. This article suggests that to successfully increase conflict coaching’s credibility, it is important that practitioners together with the organization for which they work (or for which they provide external services), consider how this process may be measured as a mechanism that increases conflict competence and short circuits the unnecessary escalation of conflict.