Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 1st 2015 Contents SBG14 COMMENTARY
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 1 • 2015
resolution (ADR) is
simply any other
method of resolving
disputes rather than
bringing a matter to
the legal system to
settle. One such
method is mediation, which has been devel-
oping since the enactment of the Mediation
Act 2004 and, by extension, the Mediation
Board of T&T.
Managers and organisation alike detest having to resort to
litigation to resolve disputes and are looking at alternative
methods to implement within their companies. This is due
to the high cost that is associated with the litigation process,
the damages done to relationships, the negative impact to the
company s brand image, the very lengthy process and, of
course, the unhealthy working environment.
Mediation is one alternative method that is available to an
organisation, which attempts to manage and resolve conflicts
whilst saving costs, time, relationships, brand identity and
foster a healthy environment for staff to work.
In my experience as a career coach and mediator, I have
been observing the similarities with coaching and mediation
which led to further research into this subject matter. Coaching,
such as life, executive and career is about a conversation
between the coach and the client (the coachee) whereas the
coach tries to get the coachee to move from where he/she is
currently to where they want to go.
This is done by asking questions, listening and guiding indi-
viduals to taking action on their goals.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defined coaching
as "partnering with clients in a though-provoking and creative
process that inspires them to maximise their personal and
professional potential." Trained coaches are guided by a specific
or general model that guides the process.
Mediation is also a conversation, although more structured,
between a mediator and the parties to the conflict. Mediation
is a process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, meets
with the parties to the conflict and actively assists them in
reaching a settlement.
The mediator facilitates the disputing parties through a
process which will help them reach an agreement to resolve
the conflict. This process is less confrontational than litigation,
saves time, confidential, parties
have more control of the decision
making and preserve business rela-
Cinnie Noble, in her book titled,
Conflict Management Coaching,
defined conflict management
coaching also known as conflict
coaching as a one-on-one process
in which a trained coach helps indi-
viduals gain increased competence
and confidence to manage and
engage in their interpersonal conflicts and disputes. She states
further, that it is a goal oriented and future-focused process
that concentrates on assisting clients to reach their specific
conflict management objectives.
Let us look at a real-life scenario:
Both Brian and Janice asked to be the lead on their company s
new project, and their boss decided to appoint them as co-
leaders. This situation has resulted in much tension between
them. Initially, Janice and Brian both made an effort to work
out their differences to help the project succeed. However,
they are now openly arguing, and their colleagues are beginning
to take sides. Janice is ignoring Brian, who does not want to
go to the boss about this situation.
In a situation like this, do you think it will be better to use
conflict management coaching or mediation to resolve this
conflict? Noble suggests that both methods can be used to
resolve the problem that Brian and Janice is having.
Their boss can recommend that a coach should work with
Brian and Janice to help them manage their emotions that
can escalate when they feel they are not getting their way on
the project. Also, mediation can be used to help the parties
resolve their conflict as long as they agree to have a mediator
work with them.
Noble created the CINERGY model after many spending
many years practicing as a lawyer and mediator.
This model consists of seven steps:
• Clarify the goal: determine what the client wants to achieve
• Inquire about the situation: listen to what caused the
problem by allowing the client to share and clarify who the
client is having a dispute with.
• Name the elements: help the client analyse the elements
of conflicts; increase their self-awareness; consider the other
person s point of view and review their goals.
• Explore choices: help the client explore possibilities for
a plan of action to reach their goals.
• Reconstruct the situation: get the client to confirm a
choice or select the order of choices and develop a plan of
action to take.
• Ground the challenges: to consider any challenges that
may delay the client s plan once he/she has decided on the
• Yes, the commitment: to hear the client s takeaways;
discuss task for moving forward and acknowledge the efforts
of the client.
Conflict management coaching is a skill that is becoming
critical to the success of many organisations.
Daniel Goldman, author of Working with Emotional Intel-
ligence, said: "the rules for work are changing. We are being
judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or
by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle
ourselves and each other."
Managers and key employees must see the importance of
effective conflict management as a career-development skill.
Having excellent technical, financial and job-related skills, is
critical, but if you are not a good managing conflict, you may
have difficulties in advancing beyond your current level.
Managers and executives must be able to motivate people,
to build teams and work with key external and internal cus-
tomers. You must ask yourself these questions: what will you
do when you find yourself in the middle of dispute with you
colleagues? What do you think the outcome will be like? Would
it a win-win or win-lose or lose-lose? Would your relationship
with that person be stronger or would it destroyed?
Let s face it, conflicts will always occur because we must
interact with people not only in our personal, but in our pro-
fessional lives. How we react and handle ourselves in a situation
will determine the outcome. We must learn to take ownership
of our actions and create a workplace that addresses the needs
and concerns of everyone in the organisations.
Nashroon Mohammed, BA (Hons), Dip LC, CCC, CLTMC
is a career coach and mediator with the Mediation Board.
She is also a member with International Coach Federation
(ICF) and board member of HRMATT. Her contact is: coach-
Conflict management coaching
Links Archive February 28th 2015 March 2nd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page