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Executive Coaching: Effective Conflict Resolution

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 10/08/2018

Executive coaching has become an investment that continues to provide a host of benefits for organizations of all sizes, both small and large. By addressing numerous critical elements of successful leadership, executive coaching boosts key leadership qualities and leads to a more productive workplace. Coaching skills acquired by leaders offer multi-level benefits.

In today’s dynamic environment, leaders, managers, and executives are expected to exhibit effective leadership, accountability and team change management skills. When business leaders drive performance from an empowered place in leadership and accountability, they become more confident to make critical decisions, as well as interact with and lead their teams. For example, Retention Coaching skills can help to encourage loyalty to an organization and boost employee retention. At the same time, when leaders are supported and provided with further growth opportunities in their soft skills, they feel a greater sense of connection and commitment to the organization at large. By learning highly effective coaching competencies, leaders become more resourceful and equipped to encourage open communication, setting the stage for a positive work environment.  

Employee development  

By learning proven coaching tools, a general manager, for example, is able to deeply enhance their communication skills, and consequently help the organization to boost its team communication at large. Leaders who practice coaching skills display a better Emotional Intelligence and have positively influential social skills. These leaders can communicate effectively, which means they can lead without coming across as dominating; they are good at negotiating for the benefit of all parties involved: they can significantly boost team performance, combining their negotiation and leadership skills to meet the company’s short and long-term goals.  

Team efficiency  

On top of developing effective leaders and managers, coaching competencies can improve the function of a team, department and entire organization. Leaders with coaching skills are well equipped to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each employee both on an individual and team level. This allows the organization to plan the resources at hand strategically and keep things working as they should.  

Conflict management   

One of the key values that leaders with coaching skills offer is an alternative way of resolving disputes in the workplace. Managers, executives, supervisors, team leaders and CEOs require a range of skills to perform their leadership functions while minimizing tensions resulting from conflict. Avoiding conflict, providing ineffective and perfunctory responses and taking biased measures to resolve disputes are common unsatisfactory ways that leaders without coaching skills commonly use to address workplace conflict.

The consequences of addressing conflict in this way often produce adverse effects on the organization’s bottom line. When dealt with ineffectively, stress, anxiety, anger and other related emotions can negatively impact productivity, employee and team satisfaction.

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As a tool for conflict management and resolution, executive coaching provides leaders with efficient ways to address issues with both short and long-term benefits. More specifically, coaching skills help leaders to enhance or develop:

  • An insight into their habitual dispute resolution style and triggers that may be inefficient or counterproductive
  • Their personal communication skills and preferences for addressing conflict
  • Effective ways to address the root cause of a conflict as opposed to focusing on the symptoms
  • Ways to identify their own needs and those of their team members, with respect to the issue in dispute
  • Their existing skills in resolving conflict in conciliatory and productive ways
  • The confidence and ability to consider a wide range of options to resolve conflicts
  • Alternative ways to replace counterproductive and habitual behaviors
  • A sense of the quality of life at work and overall sense of well-being, resulting from improved relationships and extra skills that can be applied in other problem-solving situations, and reduced stress and anger.
  • Methods of effective and constructive dispute resolution that offer a greater insight into conflict origins

With the right support in skills development, leaders in organizations can create a coaching workplace culture by building greater self-awareness and developing individual interpersonal skills. By utilizing coaching skills, leaders can build conflict resilience and facilitate more satisfactory employee relationships, especially in situations where conflict has been a chronic problem in the team environment. It goes without saying that conflict costs time, money, energy, morale and adversely impact an organization as a whole. When leaders learn how to leverage coaching tools, they are able to formulate effective ways to prevent and resolve conflict, resulting in a healthier and more productive team environment.