Managing conflict resolution at work with life coaching
Conflict is part of our human experience and may arise when two or more people are together over a period of time.
Unlike a dispute, which may only occur once, a conflict is almost like the scenes of a Tom and Jerry cartoon with its tense on-going quarrels, all consuming quality and tendency to spiral out of control when there is no immediate intervention.
In the workplace, where individuals with different values, personalities and opinions meet, conflict can sometimes be unavoidable.
As a life coach I am aware that without ways to effectively manage and minimise conflict it could prove to be highly disruptive in a workplace environment. Without a resolution, conflict, can dismantle any sense of cohesiveness within teams, fuel heated arguments and garner serious complaints amongst colleagues.
Like many of my life coaching clients who have encountered conflict at work it may seem easier to avoid it at all costs. And yet tackling conflicts straight away can stop them from escalating into formal grievance complaints or disciplinary actions which may leave long lasting negative effects.
When conflict resolution at work is managed skillfully with the use of life coaching tools the outcome can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved and then surprisingly conflict can be a very positive force.
Richard Walton, a professor at the University of Harvard’s Graduate School of Business, explains that through interpersonal conflict a number of benefits can be expected in organisations and businesses –
- The motivation and energy required to undertake necessary tasks in the workplace are increased.
- Individuals and businesses can become more innovative due to the variety of perspectives on offer.
- People can have a deeper understanding of their positions as the conflict forces them to articulate their views.
- A greater awareness of personal identity can be gained by each party.
The initial steps to resolving conflict begin by establishing clear lines of communication between the aggrieved parties and dealing directly with any feelings attached to the conflict such as anger, resentment and frustration.
By removing emotional tensions first through listening reflectively, and then assertively expressing boundaries, the real disagreement and conflicting needs can be addressed.
With the external resource of a life coach a practical conflict resolution strategy can be implemented between those affected, effective communication can be fostered under stressful situations and parties will be equipped with the necessary skills to deal with conflicts if they do occur in the future.
Walton, R (1969). Interpersonal Peacemaking: Confrontations and Third Party Consultation Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley in People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts, p.208
Bolton, R (1986). People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts New York: First Touchstone, pp. 205-231
Mind Tools, 2013. Conflict Resolution: Resolving Conflict Rationally and Effectively.
Available from: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_81.htm
[Accessed 20 July 2013]
Taylor Coulter, 2013. Managing Conflict in the Workplace. Available from: http://www.taylorcoulter.com.au/files/Managing_Conflict_in_the_Workplace.pdf
[Accessed 20 July 2013]
London Life Coach & Business Coach, London UK
Certified High Performance Coach & Master NLP Practitioner
Natalie Dee, London Life Coach works in the area of lifestyle management as a London life coach, using life coaching with confidence coaching and NLP both in London and throughout the UK, applying techniques such as NLP, EFT and Hypnotherapy to improve levels of self-confidence as well as relationships, personal health, finance and career. Life coaching London, UK and worldwide available.