I had a client call the other day. The client had asked me if we could work on Conflict Management, an important subject and one that I enjoy exploring. As usual I prepared for our coaching session by reviewing notes from our past sessions. I also dove into review of a training that I had done; Thomas Killman Conflict Mode Instrument, also known as the TKI.
I was very enthusiastic about the upcoming coaching session and took extra care in my planning, making copious notes that I had no doubt would prove to be helpful. Sometimes I have a sense of nervous excitement before a coaching session, the energy and anticipation of “something’s about to happen.” I imagine this is similar to the adrenaline that performers feel before they go on or executives have prior to a presentation. The difference, or similarity perhaps, is that in all my preparedness and excited anticipation, I forgot that the most important thing to do, is to be.
Be in the moment, with no agenda or attachment to preparation and meet the client, colleague, and/or situation in the moment. Allow a dance to develop with advocacy and inquiry and show up by asking powerful questions. Strong leaders ask questions. This holds true when managing conflict. Remember to stay in inquiry, to dig deeper into understanding of others and to ask, listen and then tell. One simple and effective start in conflict management is;
- State the Problem
- State the Goal
- What’s Been Done
- What’s Next