People who work with me are leaders, either by position or naturally.  Often, they are in leadership positions as managers, supervisors or directors and can see the importance of strengthening their conflict competency.

If you are facing conflict at work, you’ve come to the right place! Most leaders receive absolutely no training in how to deal with conflict and yet it is leadership, whether as an individual role model or in a position of authority, that can make the most difference in conflict.

Areas of leaders who I’ve hepled and who benefit from conflict support:

  • municipal or provincial government employees
  • health care professionals in hospital and clinic settings
  • managers and leaders in non-profits and public service organizations
  • staff/academics in higher education institutions and school systems
  • human resource managers

These work settings expect a particular standard of interpersonal sophistication and it’s been my privilege to support leaders to really engage those tough conversations and to watch them grow in their own sense of empowerment and compassion as a result.

Example scenarios clients could be dealing with include:

Performance Management Issues

This is one of the most common minefields in the workplace and in the set of responsibilities a manager has. Unfortunately, most managers leave these tough performance conversations to a yearly grilling – if they happen to take place at all. The most effective types of performance conversations are the ones that happen regularly, informally and honestly and are best on a developmental support model, helping an individual to grow. Without the right mindset and skills to assert oneself respectfully, most managers find themselves either avoiding these kind of conversations or creating unnecessary tension by holding them in a way that isn’t supportive and challenging at the same time. And yet, this is a crucial part of the job: to be both assertive and yet compassionate.

Over-worked Manager

Another common scenario – You are an over-worked manager with an open-door policy which seems to work. Yet, you also find yourself putting out fires, dealing with employees who don’t even report to you or you’re grappling with someone above you who isn’t performing. You’ve tried to solve these problems – yet the problems persist. This can often be a sign of a need to look at boundaries, priorities and limits. This can be hard to see on one’s own. Getting some help through coaching can really help you slow down and reflect on what’s working with your style of leadership and what could improve.

Feuding Co-Workers

You are a competent manager and you didn’t sign on for the revolving door of complaining employees coming into your office. Just when you think you’ve helped one person deal with their vexacious co-worker, that very problem person steps into your office next to fill your ear with the troubles that other person is causing. Most managers choose to become Solomon (and hand down a verdict of who is guilty and who is innocent) or beseech the people to work it out themselves. Both these approaches can leave employees feeling lost, resentful, powerless. Most employees need your help and wouldn’t have come to you if they didn’t need something. The scenario of conflicting truths is very familiar to mediators and there is benefit in learning the flexibility of sometimes wearing a conflict coach hat then perhaps a mediator hat or perhaps bringing in conflict learning for a team. It is tempting to try to solve a conflict for an employee and tempting to ask them to solve it themselves. The opportunity is to facilitate a new learning from the presenting conflict. That takes learning, training, experimenting. If that appeals to you – I may be able to assist you in that vision!