Conflict Management Coaching and How It Can Help You
by Gina Simmons, Ph.D.
Conflict makes us uncomfortable. Conflict at work can frustrate us, triggering anxiety, anger and stress. Differences between people can block progress, drain valuable time, and demand a lot of our brain power. It can negatively impact our productivity. In the thick of a conflict with an employee, supervisor or coworker, we can’t see that any good can come from the conflict. Most of us just want it to stop so we can get to business.
Top managers know that how they manage people, directly contributes to their bottom line success. You want your teams to function smoothly and efficiently. You don’t want arguments and personality conflicts to gum up the works. Many executives feel overwhelmed with the pace of technological change, increased demands from rapid growth, and little time to pause, reflect and plan. Sometimes the conflicts between employees seem simple to resolve, yet they persist and demand your attention.
Conflicts Between Two High Performers
Perhaps you find yourself managing a dispute between two high performing employees. One employee, lets call her Karen, has a big, bold, loud and blunt style of communicating. She frequently makes comments that offend and insult. Your other high performing employee, Ed, takes offense to Karen’s sarcasm and bluntness. He feels put down, dismissed, and unappreciated. He describes the stress he feels every time Karen enters the office, wondering when she will loudly lash out at him.
Most managers complain about this type of conflict quite often. Two personalities, with two different norms for communication, make it necessary to create a conflict management strategy. Many of our clients give us a call at this point, to get some conflict management coaching. It’s also the reason why many Fortune 500 companies hire coaches for their executives.
What Does a Conflict Management Coach Do?
A conflict management coach can help you set up a smart strategy for addressing the complaints of employees like Karen and Ed. Your coach will take a complete history of the problem and any other factors that could influence the outcome, such as: stresses, health problems, company changes, cultural factors or other complications. Your coach will ask what you’ve already tried to do, and find out how your employees responded to those actions. After getting a thorough history of the problem, your coach will help you set goals, and come up with a strategy and a time line for acting on that strategy.
Your coach can help you address your own feelings of frustration and concerns about the problem, so that you can bolster your own strengths and feel more confident. In addition, your coach will help you define your bottom line limits and expectations of your employees. It’s necessary for you to clearly know your own expectations before you can make them clear to your employees.
Conflict Management Tools
Your coach will help you cultivate and master skills and methods that will help you feel capable of managing even the most challenging of workplace conflicts. Our coaches use proven research-based strategies that can help you better influence your employees to achieve the best outcomes. Tools include:
- Persuasive communication techniques
- Framing and reframing
- Empathy training
- Team building strategies
- Mindful self-management
When your coach helps you role-play several strategies, you can go into meetings with a sense of confidence and the flexibility necessary to adapt to changing circumstances. Psychological studies show that when you face your difficulties and develop a strategy for coping with them, your anxiety, anger and stress go down. That reduction in anxiety can help you manage difficulties with greater skill and flexibility.
How Do I Begin?
You can get started with your coach by sending an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or giving us a call (858-538-5587). A coach will call you back and chat briefly with you to determine your coaching needs. Then you and your coach will set an appointment time for a coaching session. You can meet with your coach at our San Diego office, or via Skype.
We work with international business executives as well as local small business professionals. We know that your time is valuable, so there is no minimum or maximum number of sessions required. Some clients get what they need from one session, and other clients like to continue with coaching on and off as issues come up. We keep our fees reasonable and competitive so that we can serve a wide range of managers, employees and executives. Our certified coaches offer a depth of experience in conflict management wisdom to share with you.
Give us a call or send an email and let your coach help you get the results you need to feel more confident and effective.