Friday, April 10, 2015

Coaching Services and Conflict Resolution

Coaching Services and Conflict Resolution 

“Coaching is not about teaching the caterpillar how to fly, it’s about creating an opening for it to see the possibility.” – Paul Lefebvre

The fields of coaching and conflict coaching are developing rapidly across the world. As part of this collaboration, we would like to tell our readers more about Coaching Services, what’s involved and why you should try it to make changes in your life and resolve conflict.

Mediate2go: Coaching Services and Conflict Resolution

What is coaching?

Coaching is a process where a professional coach works with an individual on a one-on-one basis, helping them work towards a goal of their choosing. Coaching can help someone see things about themselves in a new light, in addition to the people around them.[1] Coaching is challenging, and encourages inner reflection and future orientation. Instead of staying stuck in the past, a coach can help individuals move forward in their lives – however that might look like. Interestingly, coaching is often about realizing insights and skills that someone already possessed, but have just not yet honed in. Coaching is not therapy, as the parties do not delve into deep emotional and psychological problems, nor is it mediation, as only one party is involved.

What are some situations that I should seek coaching for?

  • Difficulty dealing with a challenging workplace situation as a manager or employee;
  • Difficulty asserting yourself with those around you;
  • Difficulty giving and receiving feedback to and from others;
  • Desire to move on and/or escape from a situation, such as a toxic workplace to find a new job;
  • Difficulty feeling motivated at work;
  • Feeling stuck in a relationship;
  • Desire to fix a relationship;
  • Desire to change careers;
  • Desire to set boundaries with negative family members or friends;
  • Desire to improve oneself in a particular area, such as building confidence;

What does coaching offer?

“The coaching process is both transformational and experimental—a voyage of personal and professional discovery and growth.[2]

Coaching can do the following:

  • Help someone become self-aware and build skills to meet challenges; [3]
  • Help someone become flexible and highly adaptable to manage difficult decisions; [4]
  • Help someone improve problem solving skills;
  • Help someone prepare for and effectively resolve conflicts; [5]
  • Help someone identify challenges or motivational issues to better achieve their goals;
  • Help someone enhance their leadership skills and improve their management style;[6]
  • Help someone achieve success with advice and feedback;

 How do coaching and conflict resolution work hand-in-hand?

Conflict often becomes unhealthy, negative and escalatory if parties do not know how to identify issues and resolve conflict effectively. Conflict escalation complicates interactions to make things much harder to address. One might not be able to identify the real problems in the situation, and might even contribute further to tensions by not addressing these concerns effectively.

Coaching can help individuals address issues that might lead to conflict escalation. It might even help people prevent the conflict altogether, or simply provide them with tools to better address it. 

Examples of coaching helping parties resolve conflict

  • A manager does not have sufficient training and comfort in giving feedback to employees. During a performance evaluation, the manager gives feedback in a way the leaves the employee feeling unappreciated or insulted. The employee files a complaint with the organization. Coaching might help the manager learn how to provide and listen to feedback so the employee feels motivated and understood, leading to improved performance;
  • An employee seems to complain about colleagues to their manager on a daily basis, leading to increased frustration for the manager. The manager is concerned about gossip in the workplace and increased tensions between team members. The individual becomes angry on a regular basis and disruptive in team meetings. Coaching might help the employee learn how to set appropriate boundaries in the workplace, and how to better adapt to those around him or her, which may improve their integration in the team. In other words, the coach might help them become a self-leader;
  • An employee seems to have lost motivation to do their job. They no longer try as hard to solve problems in their role, leading to the frustration of colleagues who need to shoulder the burden. A coach could help the employee identify challenges in completing their tasks, and work with them to align their personal goals to those of the organization to improve motivation and thus performance;
  • A high level executive believes that the leadership team isn’t doing enough to achieve organizational goals. She starts to express anger disrespectfully at meetings and begins micro-managing those around her. People around start discussing ways to remove them from the team. A coach could help the executive learn how to address this person, or work with them directly. In this situation, the coach would indirectly help prevent unnecessary conflict in the organization.

What is a typical coaching session?

Coaching is customizable, based on the needs of the client and style of the coach. This is the general process, although your coach can explain the process they will use.

  1. Client contacts the coach, who describes the process and discusses fees;
  2. If the client agrees, they meet and discuss the process further, and the coach helps the client set a goal, or several goals, based on their needs;
  3. Client and coach work together to help find ways of achieving that goal, which might be over one or multiple sessions over many days or weeks. Various techniques might be used, such as brainstorming, goal-setting, homework, visioning and role-playing;
  4. After the goal has been achieved, or the coach and/or client otherwise agree, the process is ended.

European Mentoring and Coaching Council

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