The Postmodern Executive

By Chris Hoff

The Postmodern Executive

Conflict Coaching in The Workplace

In the contemporary business climate, conflict management has become an unavoidable part of any manager’s job description. Conflict management and/or conflict coaching is now considered an important part of any supervisors role, sometimes taking more than 30-40% of his or her time. Acquiring conflict management and conflict coaching skills is vitally important for the contemporary manager because in the workplace, conflict and style of conflict management substantially influences individual, group, and organizational effectiveness. It has also been shown in recent studies that the effect of different conflict management styles can relate either positively or negatively to team functioning and team effectiveness. So how do today’s leaders acquire these increasingly valuable conflict coaching skills?

Conflict Coaching

According to the seminal book on conflict coaching by Tricia Jones and Russ Brinkert, conflict coaching is a relatively new technique that holds great promise in the field of conflict management and dispute resolution. Conflict coaching is a process in which a coach and a client communicate one-on one for the purpose of developing the client’s conflict-related understanding, relationship strategies, and communication skills. According to Jones & Brinkert conflict coaching is primarily understood as a face-to-face but can also be done via the telephone, internet, or other visual media. With the ongoing emphasis on interpersonal, team, and organizational communication in today’s complex global service economy, more and more organizations are making investments in one-on-one assistance as well as other types of professional development for their leaders, managers, and front-line workers.

Organizations can no longer keep their heads in the sand. Conflict in the workplace is on the rise and will continue to grow. Leaders need to develop strategies for equipping today’s managers and employees with conflict management and conflict coaching skills. Leaders would be well served to read Tricia Jones and Ross Brinkert’s great book and work toward providing their people with the necessary skills to dissolve conflict.

More questions about conflict coaching? Contact the Hoff Consulting Group.


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