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8obln n. Amadel, Common Cround MedlaLlon CenLer, LLC, 303-604-1960,


www.commongroundmedlaLlon.com. (2010) All rlghLs reserved.

Conf||ct Coach|ng: A owerfu| ADk 1oo|
kob|n N. Amade|
Common Ground Med|at|on Center, LLC
www.commongroundmed|at|on.com
303-604-1960
ramade|Qao|.com

Introduct|on

ConfllcL coachlng ls deflned as a seL of skllls and sLraLegles used Lo supporL peoples' ablllLy Lo
engage ln, manage, or producLlvely resolve confllcL. ln Lhls process, Lhe confllcL coach works
one-on-one wlLh a coachee experlenclng confllcL wlLh anoLher person. ConfllcL coachlng
enables Lhe coachee Lo Lalk abouL Lhe confllcL wlLh a neuLral Lhlrd parLy (Lhe confllcL coach),
conslder opLlons for managlng Lhe confllcL, and deslgn an approach Lo dlscuss Lhe confllcL wlLh
Lhe oLher person. ConfllcL coachlng can be used as a sLand-alone process, or can be pracLlced
wlLh each of Lhe parLles ln separaLe meeLlngs durlng medlaLlon.

ConfllcL coachlng can be useful ln a varleLy of clrcumsLances, lncludlng confllcLs ln Lhe
workplace, dlvorce and posL-decree slLuaLlons, communlLy dlspuLes, famlly dlsagreemenLs, or
buslness confllcLs ln such slLuaLlons, Lhe confllcL coach can serve as a confldenLlal llsLener, help
Lhe coachee Lo see Lhe slLuaLlon from all perspecLlves, supporL Lhe coachee ln conslderlng
opLlons, and help Lhe coachee Lo come up wlLh a plan of acLlon Lo deal wlLh Lhe confllcL. ln
confllcL coachlng, Lhe coachee, noL Lhe confllcL coach, ls responslble for Lhe ouLcome. 1he
confllcL coach uses process skllls Lo help Lhe coachee develop more clarlLy abouL Lhe slLuaLlon,
enabllng Lhe coachee Lo effecLlvely and confldenLly make hlgh-quallLy declslons Lo manage Lhe
confllcL. Also, Lhe confllcL coach can help Lhe coachee rehearse a conversaLlon so LhaL Lhe
coachee ls prepared Lo more confldenLly enLer lnLo Lhe confllcL resoluLlon dlscusslon.

1o demonsLraLe how confllcL coachlng mlghL be lmplemenLed, leL's examlne Lhe followlng
workplace dlspuLe: 8lll and !ane are ln Lhe same deparLmenL and ofLen need Lo work on
pro[ecLs [olnLly. lor Lhe lasL couple of monLhs, Lhelr worklng relaLlonshlp has been fraughL wlLh
confllcL. 8lll and !ane's supervlsor, Charlle, Lold boLh of Lhem LhaL Lhey need Lo work Lhelr
dlfferences ouL as Lhe confllcL was lmpacLlng Lhe enLlre work Leam. Charlle Lold Lhem LhaL lf
Lhey needed help resolvlng Lhe confllcL, Lhey should consulL wlLh P8, as he had heard LhaL P8
has confllcL coachlng and medlaLlon resources aL Lhelr dlsposal. lor several weeks, however,
nelLher !ane, nor 8lll Look any lnlLlaLlve ln resolvlng Lhe confllcL. 1he confllcL, meanwhlle,
conLlnued Lo slmmer and worsened over Llme. 1he oLher day, 8lll reached a frusLraLlon
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8obln n. Amadel, Common Cround MedlaLlon CenLer, LLC, 303-604-1960,
www.commongroundmedlaLlon.com. (2010) All rlghLs reserved.

Lhreshold and declded Lo vlslL wlLh Llsa, an P8 generallsL ln Lhe organlzaLlon, who has recelved
confllcL coachlng Lralnlng. 8lll agreed Lo engage ln confllcL coachlng wlLh Llsa servlng as coach.
1hese are Lhe sLeps LhaL Look place over a perlod of Lwo confllcL coachlng sesslons of 1-1/2
hours each.

Step 1: 8u||d kapport

Llsa and 8lll engaged ln a blL of small Lalk, exchanged background lnformaLlon, and capLured a
sense of one anoLher's communlcaLlon sLyle. Llsa noLed LhaL 8lll was falrly conclse and Lo Lhe
polnL, and perhaps needed Lo be drawn ouL Lhrough powerful quesLlons. Llsa acknowledged
8lll for asklng Llsa Lo help hlm proacLlvely work Lhrough confllcLs wlLh !ane.

Step 2: Cverv|ew of Coach|ng rocess

Llsa descrlbed her role as confllcL coach and asked 8lll for hls expecLaLlons regardlng her role Lo
make sure LhaL Lhese expecLaLlons were allgned. She descrlbed Lhe sLeps of Lhe coachlng
model and Lhe Lypes of quesLlons she mlghL ask 8lll aL each sLage. Llsa suggesLed Lo 8lll LhaL
coachlng wlll be especlally effecLlve lf 8lll enLers lnLo coachlng wlLh an open mlnd, a wllllngness
Lo look aL Lhe lssue from all perspecLlves, focus, and an orlenLaLlon Lo meeL boLh hls !"# !ane's
needs. Also, Llsa revlewed confldenLlallLy parameLers, remlnded 8lll LhaL he can dlsconLlnue
coachlng aL any Llme, and dlscussed loglsLlcs. She Lhen obLalned 8lll's commlLmenL Lo enLer lnLo
Lhe coachlng process.

Step 3: |dent|fy C||ent's Goa|s

Llsa asked 8lll Lo sLaLe hls goals for confllcL coachlng generally and hls goals for Lhls parLlcular
meeLlng. 8lll sLaLed LhaL hls general goal was Lo lmprove hls worklng relaLlonshlp wlLh !ane.
Pls speclflc goals for Lhls coachlng meeLlng lncluded Lalklng Lhrough Lhe slLuaLlon wlLh Llsa and
looklng aL process opLlons LhaL would meeL hls general goal. Llsa remlnded 8lll LhaL he could
change hls goal, or add addlLlonal goals aL any Llme durlng Lhe coachlng process

Step 4: C||ent's Shar|ng of erspect|ves

ln Lhls sLage of Lhe process, 8lll was lnvlLed Lo share hls perspecLlve on Lhe lncldenL or lncldenLs
LhaL led Lo Lhe exlsLlng confllcL. AL Llmes, 8lll reflecLed some emoLlonal lnLenslLy and Llsa
acknowledged hls feellngs. Llsa also asked 8lll abouL hls needs golng forward. AfLer asklng 8lll
Lo descrlbe Lhe slLuaLlon from hls own perspecLlve, Llsa asked 8lll Lo explore !ane's perspecLlve.
She asked 8lll Lo arLlculaLe whaL !ane's feellngs mlghL be, and posLulaLe on !ane's needs golng
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8obln n. Amadel, Common Cround MedlaLlon CenLer, LLC, 303-604-1960,
www.commongroundmedlaLlon.com. (2010) All rlghLs reserved.

forward. As Llsa asked powerful quesLlons Lo help 8lll deeply conslder !ane's perspecLlve, Lhere
was a percepLlble shlfL ln 8lll's orlenLaLlon. lor Lhe flrsL Llme, 8lll reallzed LhaL Lhere %&'(# )* a
dlfferenL perspecLlve, whlch was exLremely enllghLenlng Lo hlm and lald Lhe foundaLlon for
producLlve confllcL resoluLlon.

Step S: Lxp|ore and 1est Cpt|ons

AfLer fully examlnlng perspecLlves, 8lll was ready Lo explore and LesL opLlons. CpLlons LhaL 8lll
consldered lncluded: Laklng !ane Lo lunch Lo Lry Lo Lalk Lhrough Lhe confllcL, meeLlng ln a
buslness seLLlng, havlng someone medlaLe a dlscusslon, and sendlng !ane an e-mall. Llsa asked
8lll Lo conslder crlLerla Lo evaluaLe Lhe opLlons. Pls crlLerla lncluded: slmpllclLy, comforL,
mlnlmlze chances of re[ecLlon, and enable a personal connecLlon. uslng Lhese crlLerla as a
backdrop, Llsa asked 8lll Lo evaluaLe Lhe pros and cons of each opLlon. AfLer dolng so, 8lll felL
LhaL meeLlng wlLh !ane ln a buslness seLLlng was Lhe besL opLlon.

Inter|m Step: Def|ne Next Steps (for next coach|ng sess|on)

Slnce Llsa and 8lll were aL Lhe end of Lhe 1-1/2 hour Llme perlod allocaLed for Lhls confllcL
coachlng sesslon, Llsa asked 8lll Lo reflecL on any lnslghLs LhaL he gleaned from Lhe dlscusslon
Lhus far. She suggesLed LhaL he wrlLe Lhese lnslghLs down so LhaL he would noL forgeL Lhem.

1hen, Llsa asked 8lll Lo do some 'homework' Lo prepare for Lhe nexL meeLlng. She asked hlm Lo
make a llsL of Lhe speclflc Lhlngs LhaL he would wanL Lo say Lo !ane ln Lhelr dlscusslon. Llsa
lndlcaLed LhaL 8lll would have Lhe chance Lo dlscuss hls ldeas wlLh Llsa aL Lhe nexL coachlng
meeLlng and pracLlce Lhe conversaLlon. 8lll and Llsa scheduled Lhe nexL meeLlng, Lo be held
Lwo days laLer and 8lll wenL back Lo hls offlce.

Step S: Lxp|ore and 1est Cpt|ons, Cont|nued

Llsa welcomed 8lll back Lo coachlng Lwo days afLer Lhe prlor sesslon. She checked ln wlLh hlm
Lo see lf Lhere were any new lnslghLs, new developmenLs, or lf anyLhlng shlfLed ln 8lll's Lhlnklng
slnce Lhe lasL meeLlng. 8lll was saLlsfled LhaL Lhlngs were sLlll on Lhe Lrack LhaL was esLabllshed
aL Lhe lasL coachlng meeLlng. 8lll had done a loL of Lhlnklng abouL whaL he wanLed Lo say Lo
!ane and how he wanLed Lo say lL. 8lll revlewed hls plan wlLh Llsa. Llsa proposed LhaL 8lll
pracLlce hls conversaLlon, wlLh Llsa role playlng as !ane. Llsa asked 8lll how she should play Lhe
role and lnvlLed 8lll Lo recallbraLe aL any Llme durlng Lhe pracLlce conversaLlon. 8lll gave Llsa
permlsslon Lo lnLerrupL Lo provlde feedback on how hls message was dellvered and, lf
appllcable, Lo suggesL LhaL he conslder a dlfferenL approach.
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8obln n. Amadel, Common Cround MedlaLlon CenLer, LLC, 303-604-1960,
www.commongroundmedlaLlon.com. (2010) All rlghLs reserved.


8lll and Llsa Lhen wenL lnLo Lhe role play. 8lll conveyed hls perspecLlve, carefully framlng hls
message and monlLorlng hls Lone of volce and body language. Llsa made every efforL Lo play
Lhe role of !ane accuraLely. AL loglcal [uncLure polnLs, Llsa sLopped Lhe role play for dlscusslon
and feedback. She asked 8lll how Lhe conversaLlon felL Lo hlm so far and gave hlm feedback on
how some of hls sLaLemenLs 'landed' on her. She Lhen gave 8lll an opporLunlLy Lo 'replay' some
sLaLemenLs Lo lncrease Lhe llkellhood LhaL !ane would respond poslLlvely. Llsa also asked 8lll
whaL roadblocks could arlse ln Lhe dlscusslon and how he mlghL handle Lhem. 1he role playlng
lasLed approxlmaLely 43 mlnuLes. 8y Lhe end of Lhe pracLlce dlscusslon, 8lll felL confldenL abouL
havlng a conversaLlon wlLh !ane.

Step 6: Def|ne Next Steps

AfLer Lhe role play was compleLed, 8lll reafflrmed LhaL he would llke Lo proceed wlLh Lhe
conversaLlon wlLh !ane. Llsa Lhen lnvlLed 8lll Lo map ouL an acLlon plan golng forward. Culded
by Llsa's quesLlons, 8lll speclfled loglsLlcs and Llmlng for lnlLlaLlng a conversaLlon wlLh !ane. Pe
agreed Lo send !ane an e-mall when he reLurned Lo hls offlce LhaL day asklng her lf she would
be wllllng Lo meeL wlLh hlm Lo dlscuss Lhelr communlcaLlon and worklng relaLlonshlp. Assumlng
!ane agreed, he would schedule Lhe conference room on Lhe flrsL floor for Lhelr dlscusslon. lf
!ane dld noL agree Lo meeL, 8lll would vlslL wlLh Llsa agaln Lo deLermlne posslble nexL sLeps Lo
manage LhaL seLback. Llsa asked 8lll lf he would send her an e-mall or vlslL wlLh her ln person
afLer hls dlscusslon wlLh !ane Lo leL her know how Lhlngs wenL. 8lll agreed Lo do so. Llsa
relLeraLed her avallablllLy Lo supporL 8lll ln worklng Lo resolve Lhe confllcL. 8lll lefL, empowered
Lo go forward wlLh hls plan.

Conc|us|on

As lllusLraLed above, confllcL coachlng can be a powerful Lool Lo help manage confllcL. 1he
confllcL coach helps Lhe coachee Lhlnk Lhrough mulLlple aspecLs of a confllcL and conslder
opLlons Lo lmprove Lhe slLuaLlon. 1he confllcL coach serves an lmporLanL role by asklng
quesLlons, provldlng feedback, offerlng lnslghLs, and especlally by acLlve llsLenlng. ConfllcL
coachlng can be useful aL any sLage of a confllcL, boLh formally and lnformally and should be
consldered when Lhere ls an ongolng worklng relaLlonshlp or need Lo communlcaLe.