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Articles on Conflict Management Coaching

All articles by Cinnie Noble, or as may otherwise be indicated

Coaching Skills I have Come to Question

When I was trained as a mediator – 10 years before embarking on my coach training in 1999 – we were also taught the importance of paraphrasing, reframing, and summarizing and that these competencies demonstrate good listening and empathy. I was happy they were considered core competencies by the International Coaching Federation when I started my coaching journey and had already developed strong skills in this regard. Then, a series of things occurred, and I began to question the extent to which these skills are always truly effective. This article outlines some of my surprising research findings.

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Preparing Parties to Participate in Mediation – The Evolution of a Coaching Model

Mediators are skilled at managing a range of concerns that participants have when entering mediation –  anxieties and fears that can interfere with their ability to effectively engage in the process. In fact, many people are actually ill-prepared to participate and are initially reluctant to engage in a face-to-face conversation with the other person. When I discussed the matter of mediation preparedness with other practitioners, I found that they shared my concerns, so I researched and developed a method for conducting a pre-mediation process that supports and prepares people to effectively take part in a mediation conversation. This article details the evolution of my thinking and that process.

Préparer les parties à participer à la médiation — Un modèle de coaching en évolution

Peu importe l’habileté des médiateurs à gérer les préoccupations des parties à l’aube d’une nouvelle médiation, chacune d’entre elles risque d’y apporter son lot d’anxiétés, de questionnements et de craintes. Tout cela peut nuire à leur faculté de s’engager dans le processus avec efficacité. La plupart des gens sont en fait mal préparés à la médiation et ils sont réticents à s’engager dans une conversation face à face avec l’autre personne. C’est en discutant de cette question de la préparation à la médiation avec d’autres praticiens que j’ai découvert ne pas être la seule. J’ai donc entrepris des recherches et j’ai élaboré une méthode destinée à mener le processus préalable à la médiation afin de soutenir et de préparer les gens à participer de manière efficace à la conversation qui a lieu dans le cadre de la médiation. Cet article détaille l’évolution de ma réflexion et de cette méthode.

Conflict Management Coaching: The Back Story

In this article Cinnie provided the backstory about what lead her to develop a conflict management coaching model- the impetus, the research, the creation and the development of this field of practice and study.

Accompagnement en gestion des conflits : les origines

L’accompagnement en gestion des conflits est un processus de résolution des différends dans lequel on travaille avec une personne qui désire que ses interactions dans le cadre de conflits interpersonnels soient plus efficaces. Grâce au soutien d’un allié (l’accompagnateur), les clients désignent leurs buts en ce qui a trait aux conflits les plus importants pour eux, par exemple des problèmes liés à l’environnement de travail, à une entreprise familiale, à un mariage ou à d’autres contextes. Le processus peut être employé de façon proactive ou à des fins de remédiation, avant, durant ou après l’émergence claire d’un différend, et peut aussi servir à préparer une personne à participer à une médiation.

Cutting Edge … Cutting the Cost: The Business Case for Conflict Coaching in a Government Workplace – by Noelene Salmon

This article is written by one of CINERGY’s Accredited Trainers based in Australia- Noelene Salmon. You will read about the research she conducted within an organization on the usefulness and applications of the CINERGY model. This article is extracted from a larger one on the subject of the benefits of ADR techniques including conflict management coaching. Many thanks Noelene!

Building Your Conflict Mastery Muscle – canfitpro Magazine March/April 2019 (pages 24-25)

In this article, Cinnie talks about building our conflict mastery muscle(s) and what people in the fitness industry may consider when it comes to managing the types of conflict situations that come their way. As a fitness instructor Cinnie is aware through her experience and that of colleagues in the sports industry about the types of conflicts that can impact our work.

What I Learned About Conflict From Cheetahs – April 2018

This article is about a conflict Cinnie became aware of during a wonderful trip to South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. It will come as no surprise that she would be attuned to the word conflict – even in her travels! This one is between cheetahs and farmers in Namibia.

Coaching Conflict Intelligent Leaders – International Coaching News, 20th Edition (February 2018)

Poorly managed conflict can have an adverse impact on productivity, working relationships, morale and the bottom line of organizations. Therefore, coaching leaders and others to develop conflict intelligence is critical to their ability to gain competence in this crucial area and to positively contribute to the health and well-being of the workplace.

Questions that Focus on a Way Forward – Coaching World

Fear is often one of the debilitating variables that gets in the way of developing and achieving our professional dreams. We know there are no easy answers about ways to make our dreams a reality and overcome the barriers we perceive and experience. This article, published in the International Coach Federation’s newsletter Coaching World, outlines how this journey may be facilitated when we use the coaching skill of powerful questioning to open the think tank that inspires action.

Overcoming Clients’ Road Blocks in Conflict Management Coaching

As conflict management coaches it is common that we witness our clients encounter blocks during coaching. This article published on outlines how to use questions and other techniques to break down these blocks.

Realizing Our Professional Goals

A little different from her usual articles, in this one, published on (October 2017), Cinnie outlines four pertinent areas to consider regarding the journey of exploring career dreams – along with coaching-type questions aimed at deepening reflections.

The Expansive Growth of Conflict Coaching

This article is extracted in part from one Cinnie wrote for the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section’s 19th Annual Conference in April 2017. She was part of a panel which discussed “The Future of Conflict Coaching in the [U.S.] Federal Sector”.

Do You Sometimes Become Irritated by a Client? – First published in Peer Bulletin No. 253 (October 6, 2015)

This article discusses a method for engaging in self-reflection if we become irritated by a client or others. The method is based on research Cinnie did when developing the CINERGY® conflict management coaching model.

Conflict Management Coaching in the Workplace – ADR Update, Fall 2015 (newsletter of the ADR Institute of Ontario)

This article is by Rachel Frydman about a presentation on “Conflict Management Coaching in the Workplace” that Cinnie did for the ADR Institute of Ontario on May 12, 2015. Cinnie spoke about how conflict management coaching has evolved within the ADR field, specifically with respect to its growth in workplaces. She talked about her research regarding ‘conflict cycles’ and the various applications that may be used – before, during and after conflict.

The Growth of Conflict Management Coaching in the Workplace – ACResolution Magazine, Summer 2014

Not so long ago “coaching in organizations” referred to a remedial measure required of staff members. The vestiges of this punitive approach to coaching continues to some extent today for those who are not aware of the growth of professional coaching. However, the field of coaching that developed in the early 1990s has steadily evolved to be more about assisting people to achieve their professional best.

In this article Cinnie discusses the growth of conflict management coaching in the workplace and a number of its applications.

Conflict Resolution in the Workplace: What Will the Future Bring? – Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Volume 31, Number 4, Summer 2014

This peer-reviewed article co-written with David Brubaker, Richard Fincher, Susan Kee-Young Park, Sharon Press, and Cinnie summarizes trends that are emerging in four critical areas in conflict resolution in the workplace. They are conflict management coaching, mediation and arbitration, organizations ombudsry, and graduate education (particularly in law schools). Cinnie wrote on the trends in conflict management coaching and emphasized leadership coaching as a growth area.

Please click on the title above to access the abstract. This link will also provide options for obtaining the full article. Members of the Association for Conflict Resolution may obtain the full article by signing in on and accessing the Conflict Resolution Quarterly link under Publications.

The “Fear Factor” and Conflict – August 2013

As with the participants who performed stunts on the reality show called “Fear Factor”, many of us are outside of our comfort zones when we are in conflict.  Unlike the contestants though when we are in conflict many of us do not experience conflict as sport, and we also lack their apparent boldness. This article expands on the notion of ‘fear factor’ when it comes to engaging in relational conflict and processes designed to facilitate the way through them.

Bridging the Gap: Conflict Management Coaching for ADR Practitioners – ADR Update, Summer 2012

This article co-written with Ben Drory summarizes the content of Cinnie’s presentation to members of the ADR Institute of Ontario on June 19, 2012. Cinnie outlines the stages of the CINERGY® model of conflict management coaching and describes a number of its applications.

Conflict Management Coaching – International Coach Federation Blog, March 7, 2011

Coaches from the wide range of contexts regularly help clients to work through their interpersonal conflicts. Related goals may have to do with ways to better manage an ongoing conflict, to prepare for one that is anticipated or to resolve a past dispute that is lingering. Not surprisingly, one important requirement to do this sort of work well is to examine the strength of our own personal and professional foundation in conflict engagement.

Conflict Management Coaching at the Transportation Security Administration, October 2009

In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration, (TSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, initiated the development of an Integrated Conflict Management System (ICMS), as part of an innovative Model Workplace Program. A Conflict Management Coaching Program (CMCP) emerged early on as one of the many unique service delivery components of this ICMS. This article discusses how this innovative program was designed, and will also address how the CMCP has emerged as an integral component of TSA’s ICMS.

Check Your Conflict Resilience – Peer Bulletin #174, March 3, 2009

Learning how to better engage in interpersonal conflict is just one of many goals of people who seek conflict coaching. Managing the aftermath of conflict is often fraught with challenges for many people and lingering unresolved feelings and issues can preclude internal resolution and reconciliation.

Picking a Coaching Specialty – Coaching World (International Coach Federation), February 2009 (page 10)

Specializing is certainly not for everyone. Unlike life, business, organizational and other more general categories of coaching, there are some limitations in selecting one area to focus on. On the other hand, there are many advantages to specializing. It is not a straightforward decision, of course and hopefully, some of the considerations in this article will be of help to coaches contemplating a specialty.

Conflict Coaching: A New ADR Technique – Ontario Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Volume 17, No.1 December, 2008

Currently, conflict coaching as a distinct technique appears to be growing mostly in workplaces as an additional option for employees and tool for mediators, whether or not there is an Integrated (Informal) Conflict Management System. This technique may be used instead of, or in tandem with, mediation and other ADR processes. In addition to helping individuals improve their conflict management skills in any context, there are other applications of conflict coaching.

Online Extra: The Conflict Competent Leader – Canadian Government Executive Magazine, November 2008

Key competencies go beyond how leaders themselves engage in disputes and conflict in which they are directly involved. Being conflict competent includes skills that equip leaders to facilitate effective conflict conversations, among their reports and between the work unit and others.

Keeping One’s Cool: The Coach’s Role in Conflict – The Bulletin of the Association for Coaching, Summer 2008 (Issue 15, Pages 10-12)

Conflict issues present coaches with a particular challenge. To achieve mastery in this area it is important to acknowledge our own areas of shortfall and build a strong foundation to effectively help clients find their way through conflict. This article invites coaches to reflect on what is needed to strengthen your own conflict management skills to be able to “walk the talk”.

Conflict Coaching: An Emerging Trend in the ADR World

The technique known as conflict management coaching (also known as conflict coaching), unites the main principles of the fields of executive coaching and conflict management, to provide a one on one forum for helping individuals address interpersonal conflict. This paper provides an overview of conflict coaching as an ADR technique and how the process fits within organizations as a conflict management option, with or without an ICMS.

Measuring Conflict Coaching, May 2008

As it becomes a more defined technique in the ADR field, those who provide conflict coaching will be increasingly discussing its many applications and also, the ways to increase its legitimacy, as a distinct mechanism. This article suggests that to successfully increase conflict coaching’s credibility, it is important that practitioners together with the organization for which they work (or for which they provide external services), consider how this process may be measured as a mechanism that increases conflict competence and short circuits the unnecessary escalation of conflict.

It Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Learning from Conflict – Choice Magazine, Vol.5, No.1, Spring 2007

Mastering conflict so that it doesn’t master us requires introspective work. Current language in the conflict management field is about conflict engagement and viewing conflict as an opportunity to grow, to strengthen relationships and to find mutually satisfactory resolutions. Download article: It doesn’t have to hurt – Choice

Mindfulness in Conflict Coaching, August 2006

Conflict coaching is a fast emerging technique in the field of ADR. As a specialized process for helping individuals effectively engage in conflict, coaches assist individuals to determine what will best enable them to reach their objectives, when it comes to how they manage a specific dispute, or conflict in general. To provide coaching in a way that is client-centered and transformative, it is important that coaches develop the capacity to be mindful.

Conflict Coaching – When It Works and When It Doesn’t, February 2006

Conflict coaching is a dynamic process that has many applications and may be used instead of or, in conjunction with training, mediation and other conflict management processes. This may also include group facilitated processes and simply, to help people prepare to lead a meeting that has the potential for being fractious. Coaching may also be used to help people to effectively participate in rights-based processes. In short, coaching has application anywhere in the spectrum of conflict management processes, within or without an informal or integrated conflict management system.

A Coach Approach for Conflict Management Training, January 2005

There are many interesting challenges that organizations encounter when considering training in the area of conflict management. Not considered a core competency of many organizations, effective conflict management is still a major requirement of executives, managers, human resource professionals and all managerial and non-managerial staff. When it comes to training, organizations objectives vary, although their goals undoubtedly boil down to wanting to reduce the consequences of poorly handled conflict.

Peer Conflict Coaching: Another Dispute Resolution Option, August 2004

Within some organizations, there is an increased use of one-on-one coaching by internal staff trained to provide coaching. Ombuds have been providing coaching assistance for many years and to varying extents, so have some other internals, e.g. human resource professionals. The thrust of this article is about peers coaching peers, within the workplace. The concept is consistent with the notion of building internal capacity and resolving disputes as close to the source as possible, without incorporating third parties.

Post Mediation Coaching, July 2004

As the field of coaching takes a foothold in the conflict management world, best practices and procedures will increasingly develop. Some dispute resolution professionals have been providing various forms of coaching in their work, for many years. However, there appears to be a growth in the development of a one-to-one coach approach for among other things, helping people improve their conflict management skills, prevent unnecessary disputes and to effectively resolve those that do arise. This article is about post-mediation coaching, one of the applications of coaching.

Conflict Coaching for the Workplace, Spring 2004

Conflict is costly to organizations. Low morale and productivity, stress, illness, absenteeism, litigation due to unnecessary disputes and so on, all contribute to workplaces that breed destructive interactions. Besides the adverse impact conflict has on the bottom line, it also reflects poorly on the organization’s reputation, its place in the community, its leaders and the pride of everyone else who works within its doors. Many organizations tend to react to conflict, rather than consider preventative measures and other ways to shift their culture to be conflict competent. In this regard, conflict coaching is emerging as a viable and proactive mechanism.

Conflict Coaching for Leaders, May 2003

Many people in senior roles are increasingly turning to executive coaching to improve their skills in a range of areas. Conflict management coaching is one specialty that leaders choose to strengthen their skills and ability to effectively engage in conflict.

Though those in managerial positions view conflict as inevitable, they do not always realize how the workplace and organization itself may be improved with increased proficiency in this area. Nor may they fully understand how effective conflict management saves money.

Options in Conflict Management System Design, July 2002

As a consequence of the pervasiveness and cost of conflict, effective conflict management has increasingly become a major objective for private and public sectors alike. Some organizations name conflict management as a competency, assessing managers’ proficiency in developing working relationships that prevent and resolve disputes in the workplace. How to help managers (and other staff) become proficient may be accomplished in a number of ways, including through conflict management systems that provide multiple options and access points for users.

Conflict Coaching: A Preventative Form of Dispute Resolution, May 2002

A unique tool to add to the box of methods for preventing and addressing conflict may be found in the flourishing field of coaching. At a minimum, coaching may be defined as an alliance between a trained coach and a client who wants to improve and enrich one or more aspects of his or her life. The role of the coach is a combination of personal consultant, supporter, advisor, motivator and trainer.

Conflict Management Through Coaching, 2001

Conflict is an inevitable consequence of interacting with others. Typically, we don’t think of conflict in positive ways. If asked what comes to mind when the word conflict is said, people often respond with terms such as upset, struggle, turmoil, anger, distracted and so on. As a consequence, many people prefer to avoid the issues. However, as complex as it may be, conflict is an opportunity for both growth and learning. Workplaces that understand and accept this premise are in a position to provide their human resources with tools that effectively influence the organization’s bottom line by reducing conflict and stress, thus improving the work environment and staff wellness.

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