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Conflict Coaching In Practice

conflict coaching in practice

Written by Grace Coleman, Mediation Co-ordinator at ADR Mediation


We’ve written a lot about conflict coaching on our blog recently. That’s because it’s such a powerful tool to create positive resolutions that last. Here I’m going to talk from a mediator’s perspective about my experience delivering conflict coaching, including examples, so you can understand how it works and its benefits on a deeper level.

Conflict coaching: setting people up for a fulfilled future

Being a mediator, you witness a lot of emotional moments that resonate with you, especially when you see how much you’ve helped someone. Not only does it set the client up for a brighter long-term future, conflict coaching gives me a real sense of satisfaction knowing I’m making a real difference to people’s lives.

As a service, conflict coaching has a strong focus on solutions, and although it allows clients to discuss problems and get things off their chest, it doesn’t end there. It helps clients move past conflicts, allows them to let go of things that are bothering them, and equips them with the skills to deal with potential conflicts well in the future.

Conflict coaching doesn’t mean that parties need to agree on what has happened in the past. It’s more about understanding each other’s viewpoint and accepting that it’s OK not to agree. In conflict, there are often three truths: one party’s truth, the other party’s truth and the actual truth.

That’s not to say that they’re both wrong, it’s just that everyone sees things differently.

If you were to lay a number 6 on the floor and have one person stand at the base and one person stand at the top, the person standing at the base would see a 6 and would be correct. The person standing at the top would see a 9 and they wouldn’t be wrong, that’s how they see it.

Whether it’s due to personal biases, life experiences or anything else, no two people view the world in an identical light and that is certainly not a negative thing – conflict coaching allows me to demonstrate that.

These skills benefit me personally too. Since becoming a trained conflict coach, I have found myself implementing some of the techniques in my personal life. I have been able to approach conflict in a healthier manner. I no longer avoid conflict, rather I am able to tackle it in a manner that is satisfying to me and others that I may be in conflict with.

Conflict coaching: an example

I recently had a client who was rather reluctant to talk to me. They had the idea that they needed to appear ‘strong’ and thought this meant they couldn’t talk about their issues.

Through patient conversations and some coaxing, the client finally agreed to have a no obligation conversation face to face. During this session, they just spoke for an entire hour uninterrupted. This was during an initial session where I wanted to get to know the client and begin to set goals with them.

Following the hour, the client said, “oh gosh, I have just rambled on for an hour, I am sorry to have wasted your time.”

I assured them that this was not a waste of time as it had really helped me to understand their viewpoint and the current conflicts they are experiencing. Then I saw the client cry. I am not fazed by such emotion as it’s healthy to let things out, especially in the safe environment that conflict coaching provides.

The client then thanked me for listening to them and said that they’ve never been able to just offload and have someone listen.

My job here was relatively easy. All I had to do was listen to the person and understand their viewpoint, yet as we unfortunately live in a world where people often don’t listen to one another, this conversation had a huge positive impact upon that person.

I continued to work with them and this person has opened up much more and has really worked well through the coaching. It’s really rewarding to be able to genuinely help individuals tackle issues and equip them with lifelong skills to handle conflict in a healthy, focused way.

When conflict coaching can help

Anyone can benefit from conflict coaching, but they must be willing to engage.

Even as a professional in the field, I have regular training sessions in which I’m able to pick up new tips and techniques. I’m constantly looking to develop my skill set.

For me, organisations should use conflict coaching more frequently in community and workplace disputes. It’s not merely a temporary fix, it can help people deal with conflicts effectively again and again.

Conflict coaching is a wonderful tool to use. I’m grateful for my experiences as a conflict coach to date, and for the new skills I’m always learning working at ADR Mediation.

If you’re looking to do the same, we have some new training courses available. I have shared the detail of two of them below for you and how you can make an enquiry. They will set you on the path to becoming an accomplished and fulfilled conflict coach.

All the best,


Conflict Coaching Course

Learn the skills to support individuals on a one-to-one basis so that they can learn to resolve conflicts constructively. Help them gain the confidence and competences they need to resolve conflicts be it in the community, their family or workplace.

Course Content

  1. Gain an understanding of conflict theory
  2. Introduce the concept of coaching vs mediation, and its place in helping resolve conflict
  3. Understand and develop the key skills needed to be a coach
  4. Examine and overcome barriers to client progression
  5. Understand how to support yourself whilst supporting others

Find Out More

This 1-day course is delivered online. However, if you would like to book for multiple attendees we can deliver it face-to-face. Make an enquiry for pricing and to book your preferred date.


Opening the Door to Dialogue Course

This course will teach you how to nip issues in the bud and manage difficult conversations constructively. Build your confidence to effectively address difficult issues and maintain positive relationships. Learn new skills that will equip you to handle difficult conversations with colleagues, clients, stakeholders, or anyone else you deal with in your role.

Course Content

  1. Understand what conflict is, its causes and consequences
  2. Recognise when a conflict situation turns destructive
  3. Develop the skills to resolve a conflict situation
  4. Appreciate how to prepare and deliver a difficult conversation
  5. Skills practice in a safe, supportive environment

Find Out More

This 1-day course is delivered online. However, if you would like to book for multiple attendees we can deliver it face-to-face. Make an enquiry for pricing and to book your preferred date.


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