“As a conflict coach, I help people look for the narrow path through the dispute”
Conflict coaching offers a way for the coachee to understand the conflict and gain perspective on it that they did not previously have.
Working through the conflict without the presence of the other party in the conflict can often help lead to a better understanding of both the conflict and the coachee’s role in it. Since conflicts are often emotionally charged, being able to discuss the conflict without dealing with the other person at the same time can aid greatly in understanding and thinking through the conflict. It makes it possible to approach the other person in a much more clear-eyed way.
The goal of conflict coaching is to evaluate, discuss and plan one party’s approach to working through a dispute. In this way, the ‘coachee’ can make sure that their needs are met, and can simultaneously decide whether or not to change their tack in the dispute to reach their goals.
While many people involved in a dispute are interested in a collaborative, mediation-based approach to resolving disputes, frequently the other party in the dispute is less interested or is unwilling to engage in such an approach.
Enter conflict coaching.
In many cases, it helps for a person to work it out for themselves first, so that they can more effectively communicate in mediation or in other venues where you discuss the conflict.
Prior to mediation (or litigation), it can be very useful to work with a conflict coach to understand the issue better and to help solidify your perspective as well as approach the other perspective.
In my capacity as a mediator, I will often meet with each party independently of the other, to work through the issue and help them organize their understanding of the matter at hand and to review ways in which their needs can be met. Then, once the mediation begins in earnest, both parties are primed to have a successful mediation.
Similarly, even if I am not your mediator, working with you in advance of mediation or negotiation can greatly improve your odds of arriving at a satisfactory settlement.
Goal before mediation:
Understand your best case scenario, your worst case scenario and what is most likely to happen.
Understand what really matters to you
Discuss the conflict without the emotional angle of having the other party around.
Talk through the conflict with someone sympathetic and interested.
"Coaching involves asking questions, offering perspectives and identifying options that may have been overlooked."
Conflict coaching is not:
It is a chance to talk through the conflict, get a better perspective on it, and figure out a strategy with which to approach the conflict and meet your goals.