Conflict coaching skills are much more essential than most people realize. Conflict doesn’t go just go away like a disagreement. Conflict occurs when someone perceives that one or more of his survival needs is being threatened. As tough as it sounds, conflict coaching can turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth.
Conflict Coaching Essentials
1. Prepare or die. Make sure your client isn’t too hungry, angry, tired or lonely before going into the meeting.
2. Ambience is everything. Make sure that your client sets the stage so that all parties are prepared for the meeting and that the meeting is located in a comfortable place where interruptions are minimized.
3. Begin with the end in mind. Make sure your client is clear on his outcome.
4. Seek first to understand. Make sure your client remembers to ask clarifying questions so that he understands the other’s view. Understanding is not the same as agreeing, but until you can come alongside someone and see their view you are only setting the stage for a fist fight.
5. Use “I” statements. Make sure your client keeps an open mind, expresses himself clearly and concisely, and is able to remain open to all possibilities placed on the table.
Check Your Guns At the Bar
In some states you can bring a gun into a bar, but you need to check it with the bartender first. In conflict coaching, make sure your conflict coach clients stay calm and listen more than they speak. You don’t want a loaded mouth going off in the middle of a meeting and shedding blood. Help your clients understand the power of their words, either to build relationships and trust or to destroy. Although these skills don’t come easily for most people, practice makes better. As long as no one really shoots off their mouth too much there is always the opportunity to table the discussion until tempers cool off and try again after a break.
JTS Advisors Designated Accountability Coach