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How to Become a Conflict Coach?

How to Become a Conflict Coach? conflict coach /  30th March 2022

Conflict coaching is a set of skills and tactics that help people engage in, manage, or resolve conflict productively. The conflict coach works one-on-one with a client who is having a disagreement with another person in this process. Dispute coaching allows the client to talk about the conflict with a neutral third party (the conflict coach), examine conflict management choices, and devise a strategy for dealing with the other person.

How to Become a Conflict Coach? conflict coach

Conflict coaching can be utilized as a stand-alone process or as part of a mediation session with each of the parties in separate meetings.

The family room, office, or boardroom are not the only places where conflict can occur. Even though we spend a lot of time debating and arguing, many of us are ill-equipped to deal with conflict productively and confidently. According to a North American private and public company executive coaching study, 43 percent of the 200 CEOs, board directors, and senior executives questioned regarded conflict resolution as their most pressing coaching requirement. Conflict coaching can help in this situation.

Conflict coaching can be beneficial in a range of scenarios, including workplace conflicts, divorce, post-decree issues, community disputes, family problems, and commercial disputes. In such cases, the conflict coach can act as a confidential listener, assisting the client in seeing the situation from all angles, assisting the client in weighing choices, and assisting the client in developing a plan of action to resolve the dispute. The client, not the conflict coach, is in charge of the outcome in conflict coaching. The conflict coach employs process skills to help the client gain more clarity about the situation, allowing the client to make high-quality judgments to manage the conflict more effectively and confidently.In this article, we’ll go into conflict coaching in detail. Before we get into the core of our topic, let’s look at what conflict coaching is.

What is Conflict Coaching?

Conflict coaching is defined as a one-on-one process in which a trained coach assists individuals in gaining increased competence and confidence to manage their interpersonal conflicts on their own.

The concept is broad since it includes several types of communication between the coach and the client. Conflict coaching, as defined, is largely a face-to-face engagement with the occasional use of print-based activities and resources; but, it can also be conducted over the phone, via the Internet, or through other oral, written, and/or visual media. The term is also broad, allowing for a variety of conflict-related discussions, including, but not limited to, ways of making sense of conflict, general plans for actively managing conflict, and specific communication habits for the client to adopt.

Consider the following workplace conflict as an example of how conflict coaching could be used: Because Harry and Jasmine work in the same department, they frequently have to collaborate on assignments. Their professional relationship has been tumultuous over the past couple of months. Clarke, Harry and Jasmine’s boss, warned them both that they needed to work out their differences because the conflict was affecting the entire team. Clarke advised them to seek assistance from HR if they needed assistance settling the conflict, as he had heard that HR provides conflict coaching and mediation tools. However, for several weeks, neither Harry nor Jasmine took any steps toward settling the disagreement. Meanwhile, the conflict remained dormant and deteriorated over time. Harry had reached a point of irritation and chose to meet with Angelina, an HR generalist at the company who has taken conflict counseling training. Harry consented to participate in conflict coaching with Angeline as the facilitator.

What Does a Conflict Coach Do?

Conflict is an unavoidable aspect of our lives; a conflict coach can assist you in resolving it in a way that is beneficial to you. Conflict can make us doubt ourselves and leave us unclear about how to respond in certain situations. We can feel out of control as a crisis escalates and emotions run high, or we can feel out of control when there is very little communication about what is going on. The conclusion is the same. The disagreement persists and finding a way out can be difficult.

Individuals can use Conflict Coach to talk about the conflict in which they are currently involved. It’s an opportunity to examine the conflict in a new light. The coach assists the client in comprehending the dynamics of what is going on for them and the individual with whom they are at odds. They assist them in identifying fresh options and tactics for coping with the circumstance more confidently.

Individuals who want to gain confidence in managing conflict in general, rather than only in relation to a specific disagreement or individual, may find Conflict Coach useful. They may believe that they do not manage conflict as well as they would like in their daily lives, but they are unsure what to do about it. This can jeopardize prospects in the job, in business, in our families, and in our communities. Individuals can benefit from this type of coaching by developing conflict competency, which gives them more confidence and peace of mind when dealing with conflict.

The unresolved conflict has the potential to be crippling. It can cause anxiety and stress to rise, and it can take over your thoughts, resulting in sleep deprivation and disease. Conflict can arise from a variety of sources, both at work and in our personal life.

At work, a conflict coach can sabotage your self-esteem and performance.

At work, do you feel bullied or harassed?

Are you worried about your performance reviews?

Do you find the grievance process to be aggravating?

Do you have a hard time getting along with your coworkers?

Are you under the stress of an employment-related lawsuit?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might benefit from working with a conflict coach.

What are the Benefits of a Conflict Coach?

Conflict is unavoidable in many businesses that encourage dynamic collaboration across teams and departments. Disagreements can emerge about what goals should be pursued or how specific tasks should be completed in certain cases; in other cases, disagreements arise as a result of a struggle over an (often perceived) lack of resources. Conflict, regardless of its origin, has the potential to produce major issues if it is not successfully managed. Conflict, fortunately, also gives an opportunity. When conflict is handled correctly, it can aid in the elimination of harmful thinking, the stimulation of creativity and innovation, and the eventual bringing of people closer together. Leaders play a critical role in settling these conflicts, and their actions typically decide whether the confrontation was constructive or bad.

Here are some helpful benefits of a conflict coach:

1. Helps people resolve conflicts in a healthy and constructive way 

Maintaining a courteous tone, active listening, and a collaborative approach are all important aspects of healthy conflict resolution. Unhealthy conflict resolution resembles “a struggle to be won,” according to clinical psychologist Noel Hunter, and is marked by raised voices, accusations, and emotional exhaustion. Conflict Coaching helps you better grasp how to deal with a conflict or situation. It allows you to consider many viewpoints and prepares you to devise the ideal strategy for you. Coaching helps you improve your capacity to resolve conflicts in a given situation or other areas of your life.

2. Provides impartial support and guidance to all parties involved

One of the more widely recognized features of the Conflict coach’s function is impartiality. This does not imply that the Coach should become inhuman and have no feelings of bias toward one party or the other, but rather that they should practice in such a way that any bias is minimized. This is a crucial point to understand. No one can truly claim to be objective, but they can examine their own sentiments and thoughts about someone or a situation regularly in order to recognize them, and then monitor and alter their practice as a facilitator as a result of this awareness. As a result, whether or not we are negotiators, impartiality serves a purpose in assisting dispute resolution.

3. Improves communication, reduce stress, and prevents escalation

When it comes to dispute resolution, communication is crucial. Poor communication, it has been noticed, always leads to misunderstandings and, finally, disputes. To avoid disagreements, we must communicate clearly and precisely. To begin, be extremely clear about what you want to say to the other person. Rather than allowing frustration to build up, address the matter as soon as it arises. People’s confidence in their communication abilities and the quality of their relationships may grow over time if they handle issues positively and constructively.

4. Able to find creative solutions that others may not have thought of

Conflict resolution necessitates ingenuity. Openness, listening, acceptance, mutuality, risk-taking, trust, awareness, collaboration, and practice are all required for creativity. All of these abilities are available to a qualified conflict coach. These are the same abilities that an improviser needs. Improvisation necessitates being open to other people’s ideas and accepting what they have to offer. You go into the situation with no previous notions. This is the foundation of problem-solving creativity. Instead of focusing on your stance or pre-planned approach, this openness helps you to listen and “get out of your brain.” This frame of reference is rarely used by disputants in mediation or negotiation. As a result, it’s even more critical that the mediator goes into the meeting with an open mind.

5. Coaches are trained to remain neutral and unbiased, even in the most difficult situations

The end objective is crucial to any dispute settlement. The conflict cannot be settled if it is selfish. Even if force is employed, it will only be for a limited time. The eventual result must be advantageous to all parties. There must be a balance of giving and taking. When opinions diverge, conflict resolution is the process of achieving the desired outcome. No conflict can be settled as long as the ego is in charge. Dropping the ego necessitates the development of awareness. Exploration of what is holding you back is required for awareness. Exploration necessitates a goal to strive for. This is the reversal of the coaching procedure. A skilled coach can mediate, negotiate, and resolve conflicts.

How to Become a Conflict Coach?

Setting Objectives, Developing and Examining Alternatives, and Making Decisions helps you become a Conflict Coach.

(Depending on the challenges and complexity, any one or more steps may recur or cycle.)

1. SET OBJECTIVES: 

Clarify your personal objectives following your values. Examine where you’ve been (life experiences) and where you want to go. The steps that follow will help you focus on whether your goals are achievable.

2. COMPILE A LIST OF FACTS:

  • Create a timeline of important events;
  • Gather financial documents and records
  • Make a list of your earnings and expenses: Make a budget for your monthly living costs 
  • Make a list of all of your assets and liabilities.
  • Make a list of what has to be done and what measures you need to take to reach your goals.

3. LIST DIFFICULTIES:

Identify the issues that must be handled, through mediation or otherwise, in order to meet your objectives. (They should be in line with what you value in life and your long-term goals.)

4. OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Brainstorm—write down and note all of the possibilities, options, and choices that each situation entails.
  • Maintain a free flow of negative and good sentiments and thoughts regarding each of the options. At this point, don’t dismiss any of them. Are your emotions getting in the way? Are you able to speak about them?

5. CONTRADICTIONS:

  • Keep track of your thoughts and feelings about each of the choices and address them openly in a joint mediation session.
  • Relate options and choices to prioritizations.
  • To narrow the list, do some reality checking.
  • Make a list of roadblocks and begin eliminating unrealistic and unattractive options/options.
  • Give the better options/options precedence.
  • Seek legal advice

6. INVESTMENT:

 Choose your finest option and begin to put your feelings, thoughts, time, and energy into it. Observe whether the other side appears to be at the same level of decision-making during talks.

7. DESIGNATE: 

Make a tentative disclosure of your best alternative and finish eliminating the other options. In discussions, the other party should make it known that they are at the same stage as you.

8. STATE YOUR OPINION:

Register your decision as a tentative commitment based on the other party’s intentions, favorable, disclosed gestures and comments, concurrences, and, if necessary, concessions.

9. COMMIT: 

depending on the other party’s compatible commitments.

10. REACH AN AGREEMENT: 

  • make a list of the issues on which you agree;
  •  figure out the details and clarify the language:
  • ACTION STEPS TO BE TAKEN: What should be done, who should do it, how should it be done, and when should it be done?
  • MONITORING: How will you know that each of the agreement’s conditions is being followed? How can the action be kept track of?
  • IMPLICATIONS: Select suitable penalties for each sort of failure or breach.
  • Make a settlement agreement and sign it.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP: Implement the terms, monitor compliance, and issue penalties if they are not followed.

What Qualifications are Needed to Become a Conflict Coach?

Even the most entry-level conflict resolution occupations require a master’s degree. As a result, people interested in pursuing a career in this interesting industry should seriously consider earning an advanced degree from an institution that will provide them with the necessary skills and experiences. With only 14% of colleges reporting mandatory courses in this subject and managers spending up to 25% of their time dealing with conflict, education has to reevaluate the value of this subject. The importance of enabling pupils to deal with conflict management should be emphasized in this course.

Students must possess a strong set of social abilities. The manager’s communication skills enable him or her to deal with interpersonal issues and conflicts. Instead of focusing on conflict as a behavioral issue, concentrate on how it is communicated. With a grasp of the necessary communications, the student will be able to distinguish between the nature and types of conflicts. These abilities also teach that the resolution of relational and procedural conflict requires a high level of immediacy. An employee will become disgruntled or perform poorly if two disputes are not resolved soon.

What Skills are Required to be Successful as a Conflict Coach?

Conflict Coaching can be approached in several different ways. While these methods differ in style, they all rely on the same managerial skills. To effectively handle conflict, you’ll need to hone each of these talents and understand when to use them. If you want to effectively manage workplace disagreements, you’ll need to embrace some of the basic abilities and qualities listed below.

1. Active Listening 

The goal of active listening is to pay attention to what the other person is saying. This is a universal competency that any consummate professional should master. It’s typically employed by salesmen to better connect with customers during a pitch.

The most important thing you can do to learn active listening is to keep an open mind (and open ears!) Take attention to the other person’s phrase to do so. Then, using the same language, respond. This shows that you were paying attention and helps to clear up any misunderstandings about the topics being discussed. Also, if you’re unsure about something, ask questions and concentrate on determining the other person’s objectives.

2. Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize and understand other people’s emotions, as well as your own, is referred to as emotional intelligence. When dealing with disagreement, this ability is crucial since it keeps the issue from escalating. It will be easier to converse with your opponents without provoking them if you can correctly interpret their feelings. Recognizing and reducing the conflict’s confusion, rage, and frustration allows everyone involved to think creatively and logically about a solution.

3. Patience

Conflicts are rarely straightforward to resolve. If they were, there would be no need for 22,000 people to search the internet each month for “conflict resolution.” Conflict resolution is tough because people dislike being wrong and will often stick to their positions on issues as a result. You’ll need patience if you want to resolve a problem with someone like this. It’s crucial to remember that even if the remedy is evident, the problem may not be fixed straight away. Ideally, you should take the time to listen to each participant and give equal weight to each argument. Even though the answer is obvious, rushing to a conclusion can make people feel excluded from the decision-making process.

4. Impartiality

Another reason disagreements are difficult to resolve is that people aren’t constantly focused on the issue at hand. The conflict can also be used to air earlier grievances that have built up over time between the parties involved. The current situation cannot be handled unless the past ones are overcome. It’s best to keep the conflict separate from the persons involved in it in this case. Don’t get caught up in the personalities of the people. Instead, concentrate your efforts on the problem itself and find a solution. While it’s vital to get through those previous difficulties at some point, don’t put off dealing with the current circumstance in order to deal with the old ones.

5. Positivity

It’s difficult to reach an agreement on a solution if no one is happy with it. Even if you do agree, a half-hearted compromise will not encourage you to fulfill your end of the contract. This can even be used as an excuse for a participant to avoid dealing with the conflict entirely. Keeping the dialogue going forward by being positive with your conflict management tactics is a fantastic method to do so. Roadblocks abound in conflicts, and if you want to resolve them, you must be willing to overcome them. Going into the conflict with a pleasant attitude will help other participants who are scared about the interaction feel more at ease.

6. Open Communication

When a dispute is resolved, relationships between those engaged in the disagreement may not necessarily return to normal. This relationship must be cultivated once a solution has been established in order to avoid future problems. The greatest way for fostering a good, long-term relationship post-conflict is to establish an open channel of communication between the parties. This permits both parties to check in on one other and ensure that the agreement’s terms are being followed. If new issues occur, a history of open communication should make it easier for participants to address them without jeopardizing earlier progress.

While knowing these skills can help you and your team handle conflicts and prevent them from getting out of hand, it’s also crucial to know how to put them into practice when one arises.

What are the Certifications to Become a Conflict Coach?

If helping another person through the process outlined above seems interesting to you, or if you find yourself in a position where you must deal with conflict regularly, becoming a certified conflict coach and assisting others with your knowledge may be advantageous. Although certification is not required to be a conflict coach, many customers value the expertise that comes with it. While each organization that certifies conflict coaches has a distinct method, the most frequent procedures involve a combination of conflict coaching training and experience. Typically, the process begins with a coach completing a course that teaches the applicant conflict coaching skills as well as how to effectively communicate with clients to ensure that the client’s needs are met.

The process normally starts with a coach taking a course that teaches the candidate conflict coaching skills and how to effectively connect with clients so that by the end of the session, the client feels empowered to settle their issues. Following training, the applicant will normally complete one or more coaching sessions with a customer and record them for evaluation by a trainer. This will include a review of the session and suggestions for how it could be improved. Finally, after the evaluator passes the recorded session, the candidate must demonstrate excellent character before being certified.

How Much Does a Conflict Coach Earn?

In the United States, the estimated total pay for a Conflict Specialist is $73,094 per year, with an average salary of $58,296 per year. These figures indicate the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges calculated using our proprietary Total Pay Estimate methodology and data from our customers. The extra salary is anticipated to be $14,798 per year. Cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit-sharing could all be options for further compensation. The “Most Likely Range” represents numbers that fall between the 25th and 75th percentiles of all available salary data for this position.

What are Conflict Coaching Methods?

Negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation are all options for settling conflicts. In general, it’s better to start with less-expensive, less-formal conflict resolution techniques like discussion and mediation before committing to the higher financial and time commitments that arbitration and litigation often require. Conflict-resolution training will help you improve your capacity to reach satisfying agreements in your disagreements.

Negotiation:

You may and should apply the same collaborative negotiation principles to dispute resolution as you do to deal-making. For instance, you should try to uncover the motivations behind the parties’ stances, such as a desire to settle a dispute without causing unwanted press or to heal a strained business relationship. Determine your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA—what you’ll do if you can’t agree, such as seeking a new partner or filing a lawsuit. You might be able to negotiate a satisfying outcome to your disagreement without the help of outside counsel if you explore possibilities and look for trade-offs across problems.

Mediation: 

During mediation, disputants employ the assistance of a professional, neutral third party to help them reach an agreement. A competent mediator encourages disputants to understand the interests that underpin their perspectives rather than imposing a solution. Mediators aim to assist parties in reaching a lasting, voluntary, and nonbinding resolution by working with them both together and independently.

Arbitration: 

A neutral third party serves as a judge in arbitration, which is similar to a court trial in that it makes decisions to resolve the disagreement. After hearing each side’s arguments and evidence, the arbitrator makes a binding and frequently confidential ruling. While disputants cannot usually appeal an arbitrator’s ruling, they can negotiate most aspects of the arbitration process, such as whether lawyers will be present and what evidence standards will be utilized.

Litigation:

A defendant and a plaintiff compete in civil litigation before a judge or a judge and jury, who weigh the evidence and make a decision. The public record usually includes information provided in hearings and trials. Lawyers usually have the upper hand in litigation, which frequently results in a negotiated settlement during the pre-trial stage.

Tips for Becoming a Conflict Coach

Sticking to the following tips will ensure that the process of managing and resolving conflict is as beneficial as possible:

Pay attention to both what is spoken and what is felt. 

You connect more deeply to your own needs and feelings, as well as those of others when you truly listen. When it’s your moment to speak, listening strengthens, informs, and makes it simpler for others to hear you.

Make resolving conflicts a priority over winning or “being right.” 

Maintaining and developing the connection should always take precedence over “winning” the debate. Respect the other person and their point of view.

Concentrate on the present moment.

 If you’re holding grudges from previous fights, you’ll be unable to perceive the reality of the current situation. Rather than looking back in time and assigning blame, concentrate on what you can do today to remedy the problem.

Choose your battles carefully. 

Conflicts can be exhausting, so think about if the issue is truly worth your time and effort. You may not want to give up a parking spot if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but fussing over a single spot isn’t worth it if there are dozens of available spots.

Be ready to forgive. 

If you’re unwilling or unable to forgive people, you’ll never be able to resolve a problem. The key to finding a resolution is to let go of the desire to punish, which can only serve to deplete and drain your existence.

Recognize when it’s time to let things go.

Agree to disagree if you can’t agree. A dispute requires two people to keep going. You can choose to disengage and move on if a conflict isn’t going anywhere.

What is the Difference Between a Conflict Coach and a Mediator?

Both mediation and conflict coaching are dispute resolution services that can help people deal with conflict. Each procedure is defined by elements that determine whether mediation or conflict coaching is the better option for assisting people with their specific issues.

Conflict coaching has its roots in executive coaching and is now utilized for training and professional development. Dealing with human conflict is an important part of any manager’s job, and it’s also important for developing leadership skills. Jones and Brinkert claim that the ability to handle conflict is critical for an organization’s competitiveness because conflict-related communication skills are critical for managing others, coordinating with peers, and influencing further up in the organizational hierarchy.

Conflict coaching can also be used as a tool for training people to coach other people who are in conflict. Being a successful coach, for example, in an organizational environment may be especially useful for employees dealing with workplace conflicts, such as managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel.

Facilitative mediation, on the other hand, is largely an organized type of dispute resolution.  Mediation in the workplace is a technique that allows employees to resolve their own conflicts and form long-term agreements with the help of a third party. Participants are encouraged to talk about and explore their problems, as well as describe and define their underlying needs and interests. Facilitative mediation, according to Moore, offers an ideal climate for negotiations, allowing for the creation of a mutually acceptable solution. “Mediation is frequently initiated when parties can no longer handle the problem on their own and the only way of the resolution appears to include unbiased third-party intervention,” Moore continues. 

As a result, if the goal is to reach a resolution to an existing problem, mediation will be the preferred method. Conflict coaching, on the other hand, is the more appropriate course of action if the client and sponsor have a strong interest in conflict prevention and want to improve the client’s general conflict management and communication skills.

Conclusion

In conclusion, conflict coaching is a powerful and successful conflict resolution method that has been utilized in a range of settings to resolve a variety of deep-seated and harmful conflicts. Clients benefit from the coaching technique because it helps them gain insight and self-awareness. It can be used on its own or as a prelude to more advanced individual or group resolution techniques. It is practical and successful, and it works to empower the client and provide long-term benefits by helping them understand the nature and reasons for conflict inside themselves and with others (s).

Frequently asked questions

What is a conflict coach and what do they do?

Conflict coaching is a one-on-one procedure that improves a client’s disagreement resolution skills or assists them in resolving a particularly tough or complex conflict.

How can a conflict coach help me?

Coaching an employee through a conflict entails assisting the individual in analyzing the facts and circumstances surrounding the conflict, examining the relationship and communication dynamics involved, determining the employee’s current competence and confidence in dealing with the conflict on his own, and developing strategies and approaches for managing the conflict when returning to work.

What are the benefits of working with a conflict coach?

Conflict Coaching helps you better grasp how to deal with a conflict or situation. It allows you to consider many viewpoints and prepares you to devise the ideal strategy for you. Coaching helps you improve your capacity to resolve conflicts in a given situation or other areas of your life.

Do you have to be in a relationship to work with a conflict coach?

Healthy work connections take effort to maintain, whether it’s with a business partner, a supervisor, a direct report, or an associate… and some of them have more than others. Consider having access to a confidential, expert-level relationship coach whenever you need help navigating and improving your professional relationships. Workplace relationship coaching and interpersonal conflict management consultants can help with everything from communication issues to differences of opinion to basic personality clashes.

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