What is Conflict Management for?
Are conflicts, disagreements and arguments - or the thought of these at some future point - creating stress and anxiety in your life? Do you wish that you knew how to deal with (manage), or remove these conflicts from your social, personal or family life, from within your sexual interactions and relating, or from your interactions with colleagues/co-workers in your career or workplace? Are you feeling worn out, sick and tired of suffering the stress, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem and self-doubt that conflict can fill your life with? Then conflict management coaching is an excellent starting point for you to explore how to cope with conflict, argument and disagreement.
Like all coaching, conflict management is largely a talk-based, goal-focused process, which emphasises changing your thinking and behaviour patterns in order to help you learn how to engage with others in your life in a manner which assists you in better managing conflict, or even resolving it altogether. I coach in this context with you as an individual (one-on-one), or with you both as a sexual relationship couple, or on a small group basis.
What kind of conflicts can my coaching help you with?
In essence, during conflict coaching, my aim is to help you understand your conflict and its underlying issues, then help you develop and put into practice strategies to make virtually any conflict situation in your life feel more acceptable, calmer, more under your own control, less conflict-ridden, and less stressful or anxious for you. This can be absolutely any area of conflict that is creating stress and anxiety for you in any aspect of your personal, social or family life, your sexual relating, your workplace, your career/profession, etcetera, arising from any cause whatsoever. It can be a conflict that has been long-standing, or a relatively new conflict, or one that hasn't yet emerged but which you have a feeling will arise at some time in the future and wish to proactively prepare yourself for before it flares up in your face (or behind your back).
How does Conflict Management work?
Over a number of sessions, conflict management coaching will involve us exploring together your areas of conflict, who you are in conflict with, the nature of your conflicts, what triggers them, etcetera. Then I will use with you, and teach you, one or more problem-solving and consensus-finding strategies, including psychologically-informed coaching approaches (also used in counselling and psychotherapy, which is where I learned them) such as aspects of humanistic coaching and/or cognitive behavioural coaching.
There are, in fact, many different ways - many different models and approaches - of working through problems and issues between people to arrive at a compromise that’s workable and face-saving for all concerned. The process that I mostly use in various stressful and anxious conflict contexts, including sexuality and relationships - and have done so with great client success for more than twenty years - is outlined below.
This approach can be used for virtually any area of interpersonal dispute, areas of friction and misunderstanding, or conflicts of interest between people. It can - with just a little modification here or there - quite literally, cover everything from sexual relationship issues, to workplace conflict between individuals or groups, family disputes, property or neighbour disputes, international disputes and territorial aggression, etcetera. That’s right; everything from defining sexual boundaries in a relationship to defining international frontier boundaries and ending a war.
It might seem a bit long-winded and time-consuming when you read through it on this webpage, but how long it takes to work through in a real-life context varies greatly. Sometimes the stages are worked through in just a few sessions. More usually, it can take a group of sessions spread out over two or three months. In very rare situations, and in very complex circumstances, it may take several months to reach a point where the understanding, skills and confidence reach a satisfactory point to feel more in control. It all depends on the situation/context of the conflict; the degree of complexity involved; and the degree of co-operation and goodwill between the parties involved.
What process do I use to work with you on managing or resolving your conflict?
If you decide to work with me as your coach on a stressful and anxiety-creating area of conflict, argument and disagreement in your life, then what follows below is an outline of the actual conflict management process that we will use together. The process is modifiable to encompass the individualities of each and every set of circumstances and contexts, of course, and not all stages of the model below will be applicable with all clients.
1. The first step is to identify, clearly, what the conflict(s) or issues really are: What is actually going on between yourself and the other party(ies)? What are the dynamics of the interactions between one person and the other(s)?
* Let’s be really, really clear about what the exact issues/problems and dynamics are.
2. We need to identify and truly understand everyone's perspective, interests and needs/motivations.
3. List and evaluate the possible solutions.
* Don’t just list the options but evaluate their potential for effectiveness and acceptability as well.
* What are the positives and negatives of each?
4. Select an option for the best possible, workable compromise.
* Is one single option the best acceptable compromise?
* Or, might a combination of options work together as a package, for best overall agreement?
5. Let’s get this down in writing together.
* Putting this in writing will help us remember, and provide written proof of, what we agreed and how the compromises will be intended to work out in practice (be implemented). Having this in writing is a great help in helping you get focused on, and consider, all the relevant details and their implications. We may find unthought-of obstacles whilst involved in this writing process and it may take several rounds of re-negotiating and re-writing to arrive at the final solution and written document.
* Taking this “final document” away from our meeting, working with it, or thinking about it, for a few days may then require a further session together to make minor adjustments to it before the resolution process is complete.
* What about the future? Circumstances may change; they probably will. What do you do if or when something changes, and the strategies, approaches or agreement aren't working as well (or even not at all)?
* Therefore, set a timeline during which this will be implemented, agree to evaluate it at the end of this period, and then we’ll hold a follow-up session to discuss if any further resolution is desirable.
You can maintain contact with me throughout this final stage, of course, and I can always help you to fine-tune as you go, wherever necessary, and for however long this may be required.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me:
Initially it's best to contact me via my website email or by phone, we can then arrange a mutually convenient return phone call (with no expense or fee to yourself). In this way we can talk for as long as it takes about your current needs and requirements, informally, confidentially, and with no obligation whatsoever. To find out more about my life, background and professional philosophy and qualifications, please look here.