|Type of paper:||Book review|
|Categories:||Human resources Organizational behavior Conflict management Leadership style|
Recently, the concept of conflict management coaching (or conflict coaching) has gained experience exponential growth in popularity. Cinnie Noble is a leader in the area of conflict coaching. As a result, her book, Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model, offers a perfect starting point for conflict experts who have no experience in coaching, and coaching specialists who have no experience in conflict management, who wish to incorporate both concepts into their practice.
Noble organizes her book into seven chapters. In Chapter 1, she starts by defining conflict management coaching (also conflict coaching) as "a one-on-one process in which a trained coach helps individuals gain increased competence and confidence to manage and engage in their interpersonal conflicts and disputes." She continues, "It is a goal-oriented and future-focused process that concentrates on assisting clients to reach their specific conflict management objectives." Subsequently, Nobel proceeds and argue that people seek conflict management coaching to alter some facets of their conflict behavior or when they want to manage or resolve a dispute, they have, had, or might have with another individual. This Chapter introduces the three pillars that form the foundation of the CINERGY model, which the author presents as a capable prototype for conflict management coaching. They include explicit theory and principles of coaching and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as integrated with some principles of neuroscience.
Nobel concedes that some practices and principles of mediation are identical to those of the CINERGY model of conflict management coaching, but adds that the processes of mediating and coaching substantially vary. She contrasts mediation and coaching by positing that the results that distinct parties seek from coaching are not the same as what two people in a dispute desire when they sign up for arbitration. Nobel wraps up Chapter 1 by arguing that the concepts she derived the CINERGY model from are verified principles and practices that resonate with diverse professionals and, sometimes, individuals who focus on assisting people in discovering a route to carry to move them past their disputes, either at work or in their private lives.
In Chapter 2, the author explains that an attempt to manage a conflict begins with the analysis of its habits. She posits that conflict habits have their roots on the multifaceted factors that influence one's life, before transmuting into the rules that govern one life. The author proposes that people develop the means through which they typically deal with disputes, including how they experience conflicts relationally, mentally, and socially. She goes on and argues that people usually make the habits that they learn their guidelines. Thus, she posits that coaching allows individuals to alter these guiding principles and modify the narrative of their practices. It does this by giving one a chance to reflect on to respond and counter a conflict as part of a process to increase self-mindfulness and ponder new and changed ways of interacting with others. Nobel discusses the role of emotions in conflict management and posits that relational conflicts result in a myriad of emotions. For example, they result in feelings of fear the unfamiliar and raises doubts regarding relationships and their consequences. Moreover, the author argues that how people respond and deal with disputes also depends on the fear of hurting others with words or actions, seeming threats, and the possibility of losing relationships, as well as the feeling of embarrassment or guilt over their conduct.
Emotions are, thus, critical building blocks of disputes. They act as the measure of how and why people allocate meaning to the different facets of their life, such as values, needs, and personal identities that are significant to them. As such, threats targeting these aspects that make up an individual are substantial drivers of feelings, while challenges to any of them (or all of them) influence the way that person thinks, solves issues, and decides. As a result, those seeking conflict coaching ought to start by subdividing a dispute into the various elements that caused it to evolve. Nobel goes on and presents a template of a scheme for creating mutuality - which she refers to as "(Not So) Merry-Go-Round of Conflict" (p. 51) - and describes the different elements of a dispute. She then argues that following this outline will help individuals analyze relational conflicts from both their viewpoint and that of others.
The author further argues that the extent to which people are keen to divulge their emotional reaction to conflicts affecting them vary from person to person. She adds that suppressing and over-divulging one's emotional responses act as a hurdle to the attempt to aid clients to attain their conflict management objectives. As a result, Nobel assigns the responsibility to assist clients in thinking about their thoughts and acknowledging the role emotions play in helping them reason and decide to the conflict management coaches
Whereas Chapter 1 and 2 offers a theoretical foundation for Nobel's thesis, Chapter 3 discusses several practical and logistical considerations surrounding the CINERGY model. In this chapter, the author outlines the review and intake phases of conflict management coaching, as well as the FAQs. Nobel points out that the intake phase offers information and the forms to use should a client agree to a coaching program.
In Chapter 4, the book discusses the CINERGY model of conflict management coaching in more detail. The author uses this Chapter to present the gist of this model, which she breaks into seven stages. She also describes the purpose that each stage plays and additional notes and considerations that one needs to conduct each phase.
In Chapter 5, Nobel discusses different coaching skills and provides practical examples. Additionally, the author presents a model code of conduct for coaches as ethics are part and parcel of the skills that they need to provide their services competently.
The author uses Chapter 6 to deliver some examples of coaching applications that have evolved. The most common example the author presents is the use of mediation. As such, Chapter 6 describes how conflict coaching applies to pre- and post-mediation settings, and also during the process itself.
In Chapter 7, Nobel discusses various methods that a coach can assess the level of efficacy of a conflict coaching program. In particular, she argues that some of the significant considerations include return on investment, client achievement, and gratification with the coach. The author also provides model questionnaires and numerous evaluation tools explicit to appraising conflict activities and styles. The author then wraps up chapter 7 with a few recommendations for further research concerning conflict management coaching.
In the business world, coaching has been in extensive use as a development concept. However, Noble introduces a novel idea in Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model, Noble introduces a unique novel idea - the application of coaching in the management of conflict. She then assimilates insight from the mounting body of research in neuroscience to elucidate why conflict management is a complicated matter and how coaching can assist people in enhancing their capacity to deal with it. As a result, Noble manages to mold her CINERGY model into a perfect criterion for resolving conflicts, which has the potential of improving dispute resolution as it proposes digging deeper into the dynamics of conflict.
Noble further enhances her proposed model by deliberately obliging different roles to both the conflict management coach as well as the client. On the one hand, it offers professionals who are proficient in the coaching practice but inexperienced in the area of conflict, treasured insight into the dynamics of conflict. Similarly, it introduces conflict experts to the theoretical and practical mechanisms of coaching, which supplements their expertise in dispute and conflict determination. On the other hand, Noble's work presents the gist of conflict management coaching to clients intending to advance their proficiency in dealing with conflict, as well as people seeking support for past, present, or future issues or disputes
Noble, a lawyer before becoming a certified coaching professional, uses her experience to categorize and share the significant elements of coaching, including identifying and conceding that people who seek coaching hold the keys to unlocking the answers, concerning a conflict, that they desire. As a result, she appreciates the role of coaches is to make clients grasp the notion that they are the expert on themselves and they are creative, ingenious, and capable of sensibly deciding and acting on a course of action to achieve their objectives without someone else directing them on what to do. As a result, coaches only act in good faith when they suggest solutions that might work in a given situation affecting their clients. Noble also recognizes that when coaches solve problems for clients, they mitigate their efforts and stifle resourcefulness, aptitude, and ingenuity, which does not help them reason and decide in the long run.
Additionally, she appreciates that professional opinions usually focus on results that a coach has in mind. Conflict coaches, therefore, derive their pieces of advice from their guidebooks. Often, coaches modify these rule books to parallel their views, ethics, verdicts, expectations, and perhaps, wishes regarding what a good result entails. Thus, the opinion coaches offer, typically, hinges on what they would personally advise themselves were they in an identical situation. Therefore, the mastery of the process of conflict management coaching hinges on the ability to suppress the urge to shape an outcome and leading clients to decide what a coach deems to be prudent is what would be the best for them.
Noble emphasizes her arguments that clients know best what solution would work for them by quoting a CINERGY seminar participant who stated, "This model is about helping clients realize that they already know how to fish." The model she proposes derives from research that she has been doing since the1990's, where she worked with volunteers looking to enhance their competence in dealing with workplace conflict. She grounded her model on two core concepts "The (Not So) Merry-Go-Round of Conflict," and CINERGY, which is a play on her first name and the term synergy.
The "(Not So) Merry-Go-Round of Conflict" deals with how disputes fan out. It recognizes the sequence of phases that people in conflict usually endure. These stages are the internal aspects of the experience that hasten events in which a conflict originates, acts that generate annoyance by impeaching an individual's morals, desires or parts of their individuality, the effect that the prompting actions cause, and the expectations or readings that an individual has concerning another person's acts and inspirations. In due course, the sequence spreads to the extent that the dispute evolves from a subjective experience of a specific person to an external one that involves acts that affect other people. At this point, the individual's actions result in consequences.
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