Conflict Coaching FAQ

What is Conflict Coaching?

  • “Conflict coaching is defined as a set of skills and strategies used to support peoples’ ability to engage in, manage, or productively resolve conflict.  In this process, the conflict coach works one-on-one with a coachee experiencing conflict with another person.” (citation)

How can Conflict Coaching help your organization

  • Helps in handling difficult behaviors.
  • Addresses problems in relationships.
  • Helps in responding to unrealistic or unmet expectations.
  • Helps in developing democratic organizational structures.
  • Helps clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Helps find ways to cope with scarce resources.
  • Eases fear or anxiety over change.
  • Helps with externalization of internal conflicts.
  • Addresses contradictory self-interests.

Why should you consider Conflict Resolution Consulting?

Because it works.  According to the 2008 survey report “Leadership and the Management of Conflict at Work” (2008), almost half of the respondents have to manage conflict at work frequently or continually, many experience absence at work due to escalating conflict, and HR professionals are spending almost 4 hours a week resolving conflict.

After conflict coaching they saw a reduction in disciplinary grievances, an improvement in employee morale and team performance and productivity, a reduction in absence levels, and employee turnover.

The analysis is based on replies from 660 HR practitioners in organization’s employing nearly 2.3 million employees.

The impact of conflict at work

Almost half (44%) of respondents report that they have to manage disputes at work frequently or continually.(citation)

The survey finds that on average HR professionals spend 3.4 hours every week managing conflict at work. This rises to 3.8 hours for public sector respondents.

Six in ten respondents say that they had to manage conflict at work in the previous seven days, with more than half of these saying that the dispute in question remained ongoing.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents report that conflict at work that escalated has resulted in
the absence from work of one or more of the parties involved.

Half of respondents say that conflict has resulted in people leaving the organization and a similar proportion report that disputes that escalated resulted in bullying or harassment.

Nearly one in three (28%) respondents admit to having left a job as a result of conflict at work, illustrating clearly one of the most negative aspects of conflict at work in terms of business impact.

The causes of conflict at work

Again, according to the study the most commonly cited cause of conflict as far as HR practitioners are concerned is warring egos and personality clashes, mentioned by 44% of respondents as being the number one source of interpersonal strain.

This is followed by poor leadership from the top (30%), inadequate line management (21%) and weak performance management (17%).

Heavy workload and bullying and/or harassment are also identified as significant causes of disputes in the workplace.

Managing and preventing conflict

More than eight in ten HR professionals cite identifying and addressing underlying tensions more effectively before things start going wrong as key to helping managers become more effective in managing conflict at work.

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents identify the need for managers to have more interaction with their reports, provide more clarity about what’s expected and model the right behaviors.

Improved consultation in day-to-day management activities is also regarded highly as a means of helping line managers prevent and manage disputes in the workplace.

More than 60% of HR practitioners report they have been trained in conflict management as part of their professional development, while 38% state that they have received training in the context of leadership development.

When asked what training their organizations had provided for line managers in conflict management, 40% of respondents say that it is offered as part
of leadership development.

Just under a third of HR practitioners report that training in conflict management skills for line managers is provided through coaching from their manager.

More than a quarter (27%) say that line managers receive no training of any description in conflict management.

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