Essay: Conflict Coaching Practices

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Job rotation is often used as a conflict management coaching technique by the middle level managers to resolve disputes among their subordinates (Costello, Clarke, Gravely, D'Agostino-Rose, & Puopolo, 2011).

ii. Job Enrichment:

Unlike job rotation, job enrichment entails the assignment of greater job responsibilities to an employee in order to increase his morale and motivation towards his current job position (Raines, 2013). In job enrichment, the basic purpose of the manager is to give more powers, authority, and responsibilities to an employee. This technique is used when an employee is not satisfied with his current level of job position according to his qualification, skills, and experience. Such employee keep his morale low while working under another employee who is holding a higher level of job position despite having less experience or qualification. Job enrichment often improves the salary and compensation package of the employee which is a great source of extrinsic motivation (Ellinger, Hamlin, Beattie, Wang, & McVicar, 2011).

iii. Job Enlargement:

Job enlargement is quite similar to job enrichment except the promotion which an employee gets as a result of job enlargement. In addition to receiving greater job responsibilities, the employee is also promoted to a higher level job position with higher salary package and greater span of control (LeBlanc, Gilin, Calnan, & Solarz, 2012). Among all these three techniques, job enlargement has proved to be the most effective way of motivating an employee. However, in order to apply this technique for the purpose of dispute resolution or conflict management, it is vital that there is an opportunity available in the organization for the promotion of that employee (Runde, Flanagan, & Center for Creative Leadership, 2010).

Literature Review on Conflict Coaching Theory

One-on-One Conflict Management Coaching:

The theory on conflict coaching suggests that the best way to resolve disputes among coworkers is to use one-on-one conflict management coaching. In this way, the conflict coach arranges a separate meeting with the employee who is facing some issue with his coworker (Shatto, 2013). One-on-one conflict coaching allows the conflict management coach to get deep insights into the root causes of dispute. He listens to the opinion of the employee very deeply and tries to figure out the area where the dispute is the most intensive between the two parties (Stober & Grant, 2006). He asks the employee every relevant question to that dispute and keeps his focus on the finding the ways in which that dispute can be resolved in the most effective way. At the same time, the conflict coach ensures that the company does not bear any more loss due to this conflict (Costello, Clarke, Gravely, D'Agostino-Rose, & Puopolo, 2011).

In one-on-one conflict coaching, the conflict coach performs under the following principles:

i. Resolve interpersonal conflicts in a polite and friendly manner.

ii. Build mutual understanding and trust between the conflicting parties.

iii. Transform the unproductive conflicts to productive conversations.

iv. Improve the interpersonal attributes of the employees so that they avoid such conflicts at workplace or home in the future.

v. Actively engage people in negotiation and mediation process (Jones & Brinkert, 2008).

Conflict Coaching Workshop:

Conflict coaching workshops are conducted in both types of setting, i.e. one-on-one meeting as well as seminars or sessions on conflict management and dispute resolution. In both these settings, the primary purpose of conflict coaching workshops is to assist people in improving their interpersonal and negotiation skills so that they avoid conflicts and disputes in the future (LeBlanc, Gilin, Calnan, & Solarz, 2012). The participants of these workshops learn the principles and techniques of conflict management, different behaviors of people at workplace, ethical and moral values which are essential to be followed in daily life, the qualities and attributes of a good employee, time span of different conflict management techniques, and motivational factors that help managers in motivating their subordinates at the workplace (Goldsmith, Lyons, & McArthur, 2012).

Theoretical Arguments and Critical Analysis

The Role of Manager as a Conflict Coach:

As the supervisor of a work group or team within an organization, a manager has to play his leadership role in order to resolve the issues and conflicts which his team members face in the normal course of their duties. Therefore, the manager performs more like a conflict management coach in addition to the leader of his team or work group. The conflict coaching practices at the workplace enable the managers and their employees in looking at their interpersonal attributes more deeply and critically. In conflict coaching process, the manager also learns the behavior, attitude, values, and habits of his subordinates by working closely with them and building small teams in a very well-organized way (Goldsmith, Lyons, & McArthur, 2012).

Importance of Conflict Coaching Theories:

In order to master the conflict management coaching techniques, a manager has to review the theories, models, and applications of conflict coaching in real life. In this way, he learns what big multinational corporations do for the resolution of their employee disputes and strengthen their own industrial relations (Shatto, 2013). These theories and applications enhance the knowledge and exposure of the managers in different conflict coaching situations which help them in applying the same theories and models in solving their own workplace conflicts (LeBlanc, Gilin, Calnan, & Solarz, 2012).

Strengths:

The biggest strength of conflict coaching is the managers' ability to understand the feelings and attitude of their subordinates which largely helps them in resolving any disputes which arise among them from time to time. For example, if a manager is aware of the behavior, interpersonal attributes, and other qualities of his subordinates, he is better able to understand the reasons behind his anger or dispute with his coworkers. Secondly, conflict coaching enables the managers in strengthening their own conflict management skills which can be helpful for them in building strong relationships with their higher officials (Costello, Clarke, Gravely, D'Agostino-Rose, & Puopolo, 2011).

Weaknesses:

The arguments presented in support of conflict coaching practices are based on conflict coaching theories and models from the most recent research studies, books, and other publications. In addition to these advantages and strengths, the conflict coaching practices have a number of drawbacks which restrict organizations from using these practices to resolve conflicts among their employees (Shatto, 2013). The biggest drawback of doing conflict coaching through employee motivational techniques is the increased administrative costs of the organization. When a manager uses job enrichment or job enlargement strategy to motivate employees who are at conflict with each other, he has to increase their salary and compensation packages in addition to promoting them at a higher level of job position (Ellinger, Hamlin, Beattie, Wang, & McVicar, 2011).

Organizational Politics:

Conflict coaching also entails a big risk of organizational politics. When managers fail to resolve conflicts between their employees, the situation further gets worse. The employees form two opposing parties and ask their coworkers to support them in their point-of-views. Organizational politics is considered a bad sign for business corporations due to its negative impacts on the employees' efficiency and performance at work (Shatto, 2013). Some other drawbacks which organizations face due to poor conflict coaching techniques include dispersed focus of the employees and managers due to disputes and misunderstanding, inefficient working during the conflict period, deteriorating organizational culture, and higher employee turnover and absenteeism (Jones & Brinkert, 2008).

The Need for Future Research

Although the Literature is full of research studies that explain and criticize the conflict coaching practices in the modern business context; there is still a big room for future studies in the areas like Top Management's role in ensuring synergy at the organizational culture; strategies to build a strong organizational culture; the importance of conflict coaching workshops and seminars for the purpose of improving employees' interpersonal skills; the role of immediate supervisors in resolving conflicts in different types of situations, etc. (Shatto, 2013).

Conflict Coaching in a Culturally Diverse Working Environment:

One of the most important and emerging areas of business studies where extensive research can be done is the management conflicts among employees in a culturally diverse organizational culture. Cultural diversity has become one of the most critical issues in the modern business world -- especially in the international business landscape. In a diverse working environment, employees interact and work together with people from different cultural backgrounds, races, ethnicity, nationalities, religious beliefs, communal or societal values (Stober & Grant, 2006). Therefore, the chances of conflicts, disagreements, and disputes are much greater than they are in the local work setting. In order to fill this gap in the available Literature on conflict management coaching, further research studies can be done in the area of resolving conflicts in a culturally diverse working environment (Neault & Mondair, 2011).

Conclusion

In order to avoid serious industrial relations issues at the workplace, business organizations now give great focus on resolving conflicts and disputes between their employees before they turn into critical situation (Stober & Grant, 2006). There are various… [END OF PREVIEW]

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