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Conflict Coaching

Conflict Coaching
Conflict Management Strategies and Skills for the Individual

December 2007 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Recent research shows that between 25-85% of conlfict disputants referred to mediation choose not to participate (i.e., they resist wanting to meet face-to-face). In the field of conflict resolution, conflict coaching is the only process that has emerged which allows resolution methods to work on a one-on-one basis. Conflict Coaching: Conflict Resolution Strategies and Skills for the Individual defines this growing area of conflict resolution and distinguishes conflict coaching as a stand-alone resolution technique. In a service society where human relationships are central to our professional as well as personal lives, individuals value one-on-one attention to get custom solutions for handling important interpersonal communication.

Rooted in research and theory, the text is organized into three sections, Introducing Conflict Coaching, Conducting Conflict Coaching, and Integrating Conflict Coaching, and offers a practical model for coaching. It is a useful volume for students and practicioners in a range of academic disciplines including communication, business, education, law, psychology, sociology, and social work.

I. Introducing Conflict Coaching
1. Conflict Coaching: Conflict Management Strategies and Skills for the Individual
A General Definition of Conflict Coaching

Sources of Development: An Overview of “Conflict” and “Coaching” in

Likely Drivers of Continued Development for Conflict Coaching

Conflict Coaching Principles

Major Reasons for the Conflict Resolution Field to Develop Conflict Coaching

2. The Comprehensive Conflict Coaching Model
An Overview of Coaching Models

The Comprehensive Conflict Coaching (CCC) Model

II. Conducting Conflict Coaching
3. Stage One – Discovering the Story
Narrative Theory

Narrative Theory Applied to Conflict Management

Discovering the Story

General Principles for Discovering the Story

Specific Approaches for Discovering the Story

4. Stage Two – The Identity Perspective
Identity in Relation to Emotion and Power

Overview of Research and Theory on Identity

A Model of Identity in Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace

‘Facework’ as the Primary Means of Managing Identity

General Principles for Identity Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

Specific Approaches for Identity Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

5. The Emotion Perspective
Introduction to Emotion

Theories of Emotion

Emotional Competence

General Principles for Emotion Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

Specific Approaches for Emotion Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

6. Stage Two – The Power Perspective
Power in Relation to Identity and Emotion

Overview of Research and Theory on Power

Sources of Client Power in Conflict

Power Patterns in Conflict Interaction

Power Strategies and Tactics

Power and Culture

Working with Clients Who Feel and/or Act Disempowered

General Principles for Power Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

Specific Approaches for Power Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

7. Stage Three – Crafting the “Best” Story
Relevant Change Theories

The Link to Narrative Theory

General Principles for Crafting the “Best” Story

Specific Approaches for Crafting the “Best” Story

8. Stage Four – Communication Skills: Confrontation, Confirmation and Comprehension
Culture and Communication Skills

Key Conflict Communication Skills

General Principles for Communication Skills Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

General Approaches for Communication Skills Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

Specific Approaches for Confrontation, Confirmation and Comprehension Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

9. Stage Four – The Conflict Styles Opportunity
A Conflict Styles Framework

Focusing on the Me, You and We of Conflict Styles

Conflict Styles and Culture

General Principles for Conflict Styles Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

Specific Approaches to Conflict Styles Work with Conflict Coaching Clients

10. Stage Four – The Negotiation Opportunity
Basics of Negotiation

Two Major Approaches to Negotiation

11. Stage Four – Coordinating Coaching with Other Conflict Processes
Organizational Dispute Systems

The Role of Conflict Coaching in Leveraging Dispute Systems

General Principles for Coordinating Conflict Coaching with Other Conflict Processes

Specific Approaches for Coordinating Conflict Coaching with Other Conflict Processes

12. Learning Assessment in Conflict Coaching: The Parallel Process
Learning Assessment: Did the Conflict Coaching Work?

General Principles for Learning Assessment

Specific Approaches to Learning Assessment

III. Integrating Conflict Coaching Into Your Practice
13. Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation for Conflict Coaching
Needs Assessment: Will Conflict Coaching Meet “My” Needs?

Program Evaluation: Is Conflict Coaching Working for “You?”

Using Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation to Market a Conflict Coaching Practice

14. The Future of Conflict Coaching
A Research Agenda

Training and Delivery Mechanisms

Policy/Implementation Agenda


"In Conflict Coaching, Tricia S. Jones and Ross Brinkert have made a timely contribution to the advancement of the field of conflict analysis and dispute resolution. They simultaneously present a clear vision of the role of a conflict coach as well as a persuasive argument for a new and expanded mind set on who it is we say we are and what it is we say we do. The book makes credible arguments about the need for the conflict coach and then clearly blows open a much needed area of practice that has been unnecessarily restrained by outdated and untestable notions. The authors accomplish this by combining first rate scholarship with an easy to read guide on the practice of conflict coaching to create an evolutionary path within the field. From this book expect to see a flurry of other scholars and practitioners follow their lead in both print and practice."

—Brian Polkinghorn, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Director
Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution
Wilson Elkins Professor, University System of Maryland
Executive Director, Center for Conflict Resolution, Salisbury University

Brian Polkinghorn, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Director

"Conflict Coaching is a book that should be in every corporate library and in every chief human resource officer’s desk so others can see it! Moreover, this book should be provided for every young, high-potential corporate manager and be required reading in business school executive education programs."

Frank P. Brennan, JE.
Former Chief of staff to the postmaster general of the United States

"Jones and Brinkert offer example case studies illustrating the subject of each chapter, scholarly research throughout, a wonderfully approachable text and a companion CD of tools that makes a perfect addition to any Ombudsperson’s library. Not only is this a terrific resource for us LTCOs, but also for Organizational Ombuds and other ADR professionals and practitioners seeking to clarify the whats and hows of empowering those we serve to better respond to the conflicts they face."

Drew Strayer
LTCO and NALLTCO’s Ohio State Coordinator

Very good resource of information and easy to read

Ms Josephine D Morris
Interdiscipline, Winchester University
December 5, 2020

This book was a helpful addition to the seminar I taught this past semester on interpersonal conflict. The book itself is well structured and the included teaching material was a great help when we were dealing with conflict resolution strategies and applied approaches.

Ms Jana Kammerhoff
Fac of Philosophy, Education & Psych, Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg
February 11, 2015

I like the coaching approach. However, the topics and format are so different for my current text, that I'm unsure of how to transition in to using even portions of this text. I may still try to incorporate it next year.

Professor AnnaLaura Jansma
Communication Dept, University of California at Santa Barbara
November 22, 2013

Used for resources; may consider if I create an honors course on this topic.

Professor Kelly Stockstad
Speech, Austin Community College - Cypress
February 7, 2013

There aren't many alternatives available when one party does not want to go to mediation, but conflict coaching provides one.

The introduction provides a clear context and rationale for for its use although the recommended model perhaps lacks the elegant simplicity of some of its forerunners.

When you get to the specific stages of the model, the description is clear, comprehensive, and grounded in theory.

The case study approach detailing client / coach interaction are good at each stage, but only a selection of examples are revisited - the others are left hanging which can be frustrating for those who want to see how the issue is resolved.

It is interesting to see a book that goes beyond the theory and practice to evaluation and ultimately, development of the approach as a whole.

Mr Peter Hammond
business, University of Teesside
September 29, 2012

It is very useful and very practical

Mrs Sylvia Meijers
Management , The Hague University
April 20, 2011

Great book but really focused more on business than on other types of coaching.

Professor Sharon James
Humanities Div, Cincinnati State Technology / Community College
January 10, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Tricia S. Jones

Tricia S. Jones (Ph.D., The Ohio State University; M.S., Purdue University; B.S., University of Wiscon­sin-Oshkosh) has been a conflict scholar, practitioner, and consultant for 25 years. She has written, edited, or co-edited 5 books, published more than 50 articles or book chapters, presented more than 100 presentations at national or international conferences, and received more than $2.1 million in grant fund­ing for her research in the area of conflict processes. She is currently editor of Conflict Resolution Quarterly and serves as a guest reviewer for other conflict management journals. Dr. Jones brings con­siderable... More About Author

Ross Brinkert

Ross Brinkert (Ph.D. & M.A., Temple University; B.A., Concordia University) is experienced as a coach in wide variety of settings, including Fortune 100 organizations. He has three years of experience co-leading a large campus conflict resolution program (with the first known use of institutionalized conflict coaching in the United States) and has more than 10 years of experience as an organizational develop­ment professional with a specialization in conflict resolution.  Courses he teaches at Penn State Abington include those in public relations/corporate communication, organizational communication, conflict resolu­tion... More About Author

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