Coaching, as partner, in conflict management

Conflict management is quite frequently a coaching goal. Conflict is inevitable in relationships of any sector.

What causes conflict between people?

Conflict occurs when individuals have different opinions, ideas and mental processes and they lack attempt or willingness to understand other persons’ views.

Conflicts and disagreements usually lead to poor communication, negative feelings, loss of focus and decreased sense of belonging. Although a conflict can lead to increased distress, there are tools in place, especially through coaching, that can refine how we handle conflict situations before these conclude to bigger problems. Conflict management skills are essential both in professional and personal life. As such, it’s often required both in business and life coaching.

How can you identify if you have good conflict management skills or you need to develop them further?


• You generally avoid dealing with conflict.
• You don’t stand up for your own interests and point of view.
• You find yourself compromising in order to just get along.
• You take a conflict too personally and you end up upset.
• You try to win the argument and not reach an agreement.
• You keep waiting for the ideal timing or circumstances before making a move.
• You adopt a more passive role.


• You step up when conflicts arise.
• You share your views but you’re respecting what other people say or how they feel.
• You remain calm and you actively listen to others.
• You encounter conflicts as opportunities for making progress and positive changes.
• You can identify common ground easily.
• You focus on solution, communication and connection not on winners and losers.

How can coaching handle conflicts?

Conflict Coaching is a structured process to help people to develop or enhance their skills, knowledge and competencies, to more effectively engage in and manage interpersonal conflict.

The coaching approach is present and future-focused and solution, task and action-oriented and can be broken down in the below tactics:

  1. Understanding the Client – where the client is coming from, why they feel the way they do, and what is the outcome the Client wishes to achieve. The safe and neutral environment of a coaching relationship will defuse the emotions, calm the anxiety/stress and will open a constructive dialogue.
  2. Understanding the conflict case – we assess the elements of conflict from all sides. The Coach helps the Client to self-reflect their behavior, communication style and trigger points. The Coach also encourages the Coachee to evaluate and accept other participants’ communication and dispute styles.
  3. Client’s self-development – The Coach supports the Client to set and develop their conflict resolution goals, identify what steps are needed to reach these goals and hold them responsible and accountable for achieving them. During the self-development phase, the Coachee focuses on proceeding to an honest self-evaluation, un-learning unhelpful behaviors and reactions, building self-confidence in adapting styles and engaging in difficult conversations, developing good communication skills, cultivating the ability to consider viable options to resolve conflicts and improving resilience in order to manage future difficulties.
  4. Client’s interpersonal skills – During this phase, the Client is working on their abilities to manage relationships and potential conflicts with others. This is facilitated by improving understanding, interest on other people’s needs, respect on their perspective, even if they disagree with it, active listening in order to understand their views and not necessarily to respond to them. Finally, the Client can learn how to negotiate better, compromise or even satisfy the other person’s request in a way that the Client is ok with.

Managing conflicts and tolerating the corresponding thoughts and feelings can turn out exhausting. Help yourself to exit the loop and ask assistance so you can learn how to handle conflict properly, develop new resolution skills and resilience mechanisms and transform the experience of a conflict into a new growth challenge and not a stressful and toxic situation.

Contact me to find out more.

Image by upklyak on Freepik

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