Conflicts can kill an organization’s productivity and personal relationships. In the corporate environment employees work in teams and different teams work on a common project. Many assignments and initiatives suffer because of conflicts between HOD’s and team members. If we look at personal life, conflicts in a relationship can result in divorce, family disagreements and business conflicts.
Coaching can help to support people to resolve conflicts by putting forward and understanding others perspective. Conflict coaching allows the coachee to talk about the conflict with the coach who is neutral and assists the coachee to discover solutions and identify ways to discuss the conflict with the other person. The onus of the resolution lies with the coachee and not the coach.
The coach asks powerful questions which allow that opens up the thought process of the coachee which enables him to evaluate solutions not thought of before. Another important area where the coach helps is to prepare the coachee for the conversation, this helps the coachee to gain confidence about his approach and the identified solution.
The following steps are can be part of a typical coaching session and can be tuned as per situation at hand:
- Build Rapport – The coach focuses on building rapport with the coachee which allows the coachee to feel comfortable, open up and share. Rapport building ensures a light and friendly coaching environment which is good as sometimes situation can become intense. Subtle humor can also play a role.
- Establish a Coaching Process – The coach takes the coachee through the steps involved in the process by explaining elements around confidentiality, asking questions, how the coachee can end the coaching sessions at his option and most importantly having an agreement on the exact issue being faced and goals to be achieved
- Understanding Perspective – The session moves on to a stage where the coachee can put forward his perspective relating to the conflict. The coach then make the coachee sees the perspective of the other person by asking open ended questions and using coaching techniques. This makes coachee realize that there can be a different perspective which paves way for a productive solution
- Identify Actions to Achieve Goals – At this stage a list of action items is prepared by the coachee including what he will say to the person as part of the conversation. Ideas can be discussed with the coach; the coach can also help in a rehearsal.
- Follow Up – The coach follows up on the outcome. At this stage the coach can also help the coachee further by working with him on the specific outcomes of the conversation.