How could a 3-step coaching model help executives handle workplace conflict?
Relationship conflict at work is common and can have substantial negative effects for individual wellbeing and organisational productivity. A literature review identified a lack of empirically-evidenced conflict coaching models. This Action Research study developed a 3step coaching model and evaluated its usefulness to three private sector executives. The model helped executives develop self-awareness, other-awareness, conflict communication skills and emotional management skills, which were
... ills, which were found to be necessary to manage conflict effectively. Organisational restructuring and email communication were identified as conflict triggers. These findings have value for executives, organisations, executive coaches and their supervisors. As an Executive Coach, workplace conflict came up frequently during sessions with my coachees. This led me to explore what tools were available to coaches. There is a large body of scholarly and practitioner literature on mediation as a means of dealing with workplace disputes. However, in up to 50% of mediation cases, only one disputant is present (Tidwell, 1997) . Few mediation strategies help when only one is present, and little has been written about how coaching helps executives handle conflict (Brinkert, 2006) . Literature is predominantly theoretical, lacks empirical evidence and offers little practical guidance for coaches. This study tackles the lack of practical guidance by offering a 3-step model that coaches can use with executives experiencing workplace conflict. The study addresses the lack of empirical evidence by evaluating the model's helpfulness to three executives who were experiencing workplace conflict.