Coaching techniques for resolving conflict and making decisions

Sometimes just talking over an issue with your partner doesn’t resolve anything just gets the pent up emotions more pent up. (Shutterstock)

Sometimes just talking over an issue with your partner doesn’t resolve anything – just gets the pent up emotions more pent up. Sometimes you have a dilemma – how to choose between two alternatives. Both these circumstances can be resolved with the aid of a coach and techniques.

Here is a way, if there is only one of you with a coach, trying to resolve a conflict with another person who could be a partner, colleague or boss.

Clearly set up an agreement with your coach for confidentiality
Imagine a triangle on the floor in the room you are in where you can walk to all three corners
Mark them one, two, three.
Guided by your coach, stand in position one, and imagine your person in conflict is at position two, and tell them your opinion of the conflict. Generally, it’s better to resolve conflict without blame, but as there is only you – you can have a free hand.
Then move with your coach to position two. Here you are imagining you are the person with whom you have the conflict. Look at position one, and imagine you are there. From position two address position one assuming you are that person. What would that person say to you – say it out loud as if you were the person in conflict. Express what you think they would say.

Your coach can help you do this.
Then with your coach move to position three. We call this the third entity and take a helicopter view with your coach. Review the dialogue to identify :
o Areas of commonality and emotion
o Remaining areas of dispute in terms of facts.
o You might find that in terms of facts – some you both agree with others you don’t.
Moving back to position one, as you discuss with your coach the insights you now have and how, given that clarity, you can move forward and commit to both the actions and when you will do them.

You can undertake a similar process with both of you in the room with the coach. In this case you need to first of all come to an agreement about how you are going to behave towards each other. Both under normal communication and when you are angry. This is about behaviors and you will need to park the issue until you have completed this.

Another approach to solving a dilemma when you have to choose between two options is called Parts Integration technique and comes from Neuro Linguistic Programming. You can do this by yourself.

This is a formalized version of the sentence “one the one hand … on the other hand….”
Establish the indecision. Then identify at least two opposing options or Parts – the option one and option two.
Create an image of both Parts, one in each palm of your hands.
Fixate your attention on one of the palms or Parts first. Then ask that Part what its positive intention is – that is what it wants to achieve for doing what it’s doing. (Yes this means talking out loud to yourself – so be careful where you do this!)
Fixate your attention on the other Part next. Then ask that Part what its intention is for doing what it’s doing. Notice that what both Parts want (their highest intention) is either identical or compatible.
Identify which resources each Part has, that would be useful to the other Part in achieving their highest intention. Imagine both Parts now sharing these resources..
Have the hands turn towards each other and see the two internal images begin to merge as the hands progressively move closer together.
As the hands come together, create a third image that symbolizes the integration of the two.

Many coaching techniques are successful because they involve moving about and or talking out loud – either to yourself or the coach. Logically it should make no difference but emotionally it does. These techniques are the ones to use to unblock situations when no amount of talking has fixed it. And you know what – they work!

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:59 - GMT 10:59