Week 1: Virtual Book Club for June, 2012 - Conflict Management Coaching:The CINERGY Model

Welcome to this month's virtual book club! Over the month, my co-facilitator Tammy Lenski and I will be posting questions about the book and topic of conflict management coaching and we invite you to post your own questions and comments too.

We are going to be considering two chapters each week beginning this week with the Introduction and Chapter One. However as a starting point,  we want to know something about you and your interest in conflict management coaching. Please feel free to answer one or both of the following questions:

 

+ What attracted you to the book and topic of conflict management coaching?

 

+ What are you most wanting to learn and gain from our discussions this month? (That is, what will make it really worthwhile for you?)

 

If you have specific questions or comments about the Introduction and Chapter One of the book at this time, please feel free to post those.

 

We look forward to 'talking' with you!

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Greetings Cinnie,Tammi, and all, I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this book with everyone as I dive on in it. I am getting a late start as it just arrived in my mailbox yesterday. I did have the opportunity to read the introduction last night and am already hooked. I do believe this is a very important role we as conflict specialists need to take on to help constructive conflict engagement engagement take root across our society. It is our efforts that will allow these concepts to integrate into the mainstream paradigm to encourage people that find themselves hindered by conflict to call someone that can truly help them determine the most appropriate route to resolving it in a effective, efficient, and sustainable manner.

I am looking forward to reading this book and learning the model you provide. I hope to realize how the model can most effectively integrate into my practice of mediation and dialogue facilitation. I enjoyed the Jones and Brinkert text on conflict coaching and feel the Cinenergy model will build on that foundation and further expand my skills as a key contact for people entrenched in conflict.

I guess what I hope to discuss and to hear others experiences regarding is the ability to convince those facing conflict to feel comfortable reaching out to experts while their conflict is still at a relatively low level. Educating the public is key, but are there any success stories where people started to offer these services and found a shift in their local community by increasing the overall culture of conflict competence?

Thanks! Bryan

Hi Andre:

I will weigh in briefly too Andre....I  have heard these discussions for many years as well and I think they are important ones to have. I however don't have a strong opinion - one way or the other  about  whether ADR is a field, discipline or profession.  

The analogy to the medical field doesn't quite resonate for me and empowering people to gain awareness and skills to moer effectively engage in conflict strikes me as a good idea and I am not getting how that is detrimental to our field.. As for the consultant's dilemma - I would be delighted to work myself out of work. I however, don't think that's about to happen :) 

Cinnie


Tammy Lenski said:

Hi, Andre -

I'm going to keep my reply to your question deliberately brief because I don't want to get off track from the book group discussion. Thanks for understanding our interest in focusing conversation on the book and the practice of conflict coaching.

It is perhaps a quirk of mine that I'm not very interested in questions like, "Are we a field," "Are we a profession, and "Which style of mediation is better/best/more practical/etc." I'm not saying they're unimportant questions, just that I'm disinterested in them. I heard the same questions asked almost 20 years when I entered the field and I'm not clear that they need an answer, that an answer will make a real difference in our work, or that someone else's answer will be particularly relevant for my own work with my own clients. I don't share the concerns you described others like Birkhoff have, either as a practitioner or as a professor. There will always be conflict. There will always be needs around resolving, engaging, and getting better at resolving conflict and negotiating. The forms that help with these needs may take will no doubt shift and change over time, but the underlying need will not...and that's  what I like to spend my energy on.

Warmly,

Tammy


Andre Jackson said:

I have my first question for you, even though I am not sure it pertains to this week's reading. I just watched a few videos that discuss whether or not ADR is a "field". In one of them Juliana Birkhoff ("We Are a Field" -

http://www.mediate.com/articles/keystone_birkhoff.cfm) says that if ADR is a field it must compete with other fields over a publicly accepted hold on conflict. Codifying and routinizing the treatment of conflict might have a negative impact on ADR as a field. In other words, empowering people with conflict diagnosis and treatment skills is detrimental to ADR being a field, just like the medical field might be impacted if people were able to diagnose and treat themselves.

What is your take on that? Is that the consultant's dilemma, working themselves out of work?

Greetings to you Bryan and I agree that conflict management coaches play a very important role in among other things, facilitating conflict engagement and competence.

 

When I started to provide conflict management coaching in the late 90's it was a new mechanism and mostly at that time, I was retained after a dispute -  to help clients reach goals relating to how to independently reconnect, to better manage the ongoing relationship,  to make amends etc. It has taken a long time for organizations to retain my services  before things escalate or for people who are wanting to gain increased conflict competence  - to better engage in conflict in general. I am happy to say that this is occurring more and more.

 

I think part of the change has to do with the growth of the field of coaching and the acceptance of one on one work as a useful and viable  option for personal and professional  development. I have seen many people gain increased conflict competence through coaching and know from follow-up evaluations that there is  a durable impact on them, their co-workers, direct reports etc.  including a shift to a more positive approach to conflict.

 

In response to your specific question though, I do not have data  on organizations  being able to shift to a culture of conflict competence as a consequence of conflict coaching alone- at least not yet :). From an organzational development perspective,  I think that such a shift would take a systemic approach (an integrated or informal conflict management system)   - methodically designed -  that includes benchmarks and variables to be able to measure such a shift. As in the usual course, an ICMS includes among other things, a range of easily accessible DR options  and it would be necessary to distinguish what initiatives/ services contribute to  changes in the culture and what the specific changes are. There are certainly some federal government agencies in Canada and the U.S. and other parts of the world that have systems in place though I am not aware that any have measured cultural changes (a shift to a culture of conflict competence) per se.

  
Bryan Hanson said:

 

 

I guess what I hope to discuss and to hear others experiences regarding is the ability to convince those facing conflict to feel comfortable reaching out to experts while their conflict is still at a relatively low level. Educating the public is key, but are there any success stories where people started to offer these services and found a shift in their local community by increasing the overall culture of conflict competence?

 

Hello Cinnie and Tammy 

 

What attracted you to the book and topic of conflict management coaching?

ANSWER:  I spend most of my time mediating cases.  I am interested in the concept of conflict management to understand how and why people engage in conflict.  Why do they appear before me, particularly when the mediation  sessions usually go smoothly with positive outcomes.  I basically understand based on the CU education, but I find that the experience in the field as a mediator is where I am learning more and maturing.  My mentors have been invaluable.  The people in the field are very smart and wise with varied backgrounds and experiences. 

+ What are you most wanting to learn and gain from our discussions this month? (That is, what will make it really worthwhile for you?)


ANSWER:  I think that my above answer covers this point.  I am hungry to learn more about a growing and fascinating field.

Thank you John for this and please feel free to ask any questions along the way that will help you gain more knowledge  about conflict management coaching.
 
John C. Turley said:

Hello Cinnie and Tammy 

 

What attracted you to the book and topic of conflict management coaching?

ANSWER:  I spend most of my time mediating cases.  I am interested in the concept of conflict management to understand how and why people engage in conflict.  Why do they appear before me, particularly when the mediation  sessions usually go smoothly with positive outcomes.  I basically understand based on the CU education, but I find that the experience in the field as a mediator is where I am learning more and maturing.  My mentors have been invaluable.  The people in the field are very smart and wise with varied backgrounds and experiences. 

+ What are you most wanting to learn and gain from our discussions this month? (That is, what will make it really worthwhile for you?)


ANSWER:  I think that my above answer covers this point.  I am hungry to learn more about a growing and fascinating field.

Hi All,

I just wanted to comment on Chapter 1 -- I loved the explanation of the different types of mediation from which the CINERGY model draws; and the explanation about the related neuroscience. I'm familiar with some of the work cited, but now have more books added to my reading list (not sure when that's going to happen!).

Thanks for a wonderful model, book and discussion!

Patty Stiles (Chicago)

  

And thank you Patty for joining in. Great as always to hear from you. It's true what you say about book lists. My book list has grown and grown  - especially since learning more and more about neuroscience!
 
Patty Stiles said:

Hi All,

I just wanted to comment on Chapter 1 -- I loved the explanation of the different types of mediation from which the CINERGY model draws; and the explanation about the related neuroscience. I'm familiar with some of the work cited, but now have more books added to my reading list (not sure when that's going to happen!).

Thanks for a wonderful model, book and discussion!

Patty Stiles (Chicago)

  

Bryan, welcome to the book group! I'm particularly interested in seeing how you'll conclude the CINERGY model will integrate with your work.

When I began mediating in private practice 15 years ago I started using conflict coaching in some of my pre-mediation work with clients, as hybridized service alongside my mediation services for organizations, and as a follow-up to mediation work. I almost never had anyone contact me for coaching as a stand-alone.

I began noticing a clear shift about 5-6 years ago, when I began getting conflict coaching requests from executives (for themselves or for a member of their team) and HR departments. So, as Cinnie also observed, I think we're starting to see a shift in a good direction. It has helped that executive and performance coaching have become so standard in many corporate environments now.

Tammy



Bryan Hanson said:

I am looking forward to reading this book and learning the model you provide. I hope to realize how the model can most effectively integrate into my practice of mediation and dialogue facilitation. I enjoyed the Jones and Brinkert text on conflict coaching and feel the Cinenergy model will build on that foundation and further expand my skills as a key contact for people entrenched in conflict.

Welcome, John!

I noticed you used the language, "when they appear before me." Are you also an attorney or a judge, in addition to being a mediator?

I ask because I'm interested in your thinking about the potential relationship between conflict coaching and court-associated ADR...not need to answer this last question yet, of course, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as the book group progresses.

Tammy


John C. Turley said:

I spend most of my time mediating cases.  I am interested in the concept of conflict management to understand how and why people engage in conflict.  Why do they appear before me, particularly when the mediation  sessions usually go smoothly with positive outcomes.  I basically understand based on the CU education, but I find that the experience in the field as a mediator is where I am learning more and maturing.  My mentors have been invaluable.  The people in the field are very smart and wise with varied backgrounds and experiences. 

I recently re-read the Promise of Mediation, and was really struck at the time by the similarities between transformative mediation and the CINERGY model.  Your very complete integration of the underlying concepts of the "3 pillars" is really brilliant, Cinnie. I really love learning more about the model at a greater depth.  Great job on all of your research, creativity and inspiration in putting it all together in a cohesive model.    


 
Cinnie Noble said:

And thank you Patty for joining in. Great as always to hear from you. It's true what you say about book lists. My book list has grown and grown  - especially since learning more and more about neuroscience!
 
Patty Stiles said:

Hi All,

I just wanted to comment on Chapter 1 -- I loved the explanation of the different types of mediation from which the CINERGY model draws; and the explanation about the related neuroscience. I'm familiar with some of the work cited, but now have more books added to my reading list (not sure when that's going to happen!).

Thanks for a wonderful model, book and discussion!

Patty Stiles (Chicago)

  

Thank you so much Patty. I greatly appreciate your comments.

Transformative mediation principles are certainly inherent in the model as are those from other processes that facilitate self-awareness and self-determination as major precepts.
 
Patty Stiles said:

I recently re-read the Promise of Mediation, and was really struck at the time by the similarities between transformative mediation and the CINERGY model.  Your very complete integration of the underlying concepts of the "3 pillars" is really brilliant, Cinnie. I really love learning more about the model at a greater depth.  Great job on all of your research, creativity and inspiration in putting it all together in a cohesive model.    


 
Cinnie Noble said:

And thank you Patty for joining in. Great as always to hear from you. It's true what you say about book lists. My book list has grown and grown  - especially since learning more and more about neuroscience!
 
Patty Stiles said:

Hi All,

I just wanted to comment on Chapter 1 -- I loved the explanation of the different types of mediation from which the CINERGY model draws; and the explanation about the related neuroscience. I'm familiar with some of the work cited, but now have more books added to my reading list (not sure when that's going to happen!).

Thanks for a wonderful model, book and discussion!

Patty Stiles (Chicago)

  

I meant metaphysically because I am not sure if some disputants have spent much time on planet earth!  I am neither a judge or lawyer. 

JCT

Tammy Lenski said:

Welcome, John!

I noticed you used the language, "when they appear before me." Are you also an attorney or a judge, in addition to being a mediator?

I ask because I'm interested in your thinking about the potential relationship between conflict coaching and court-associated ADR...not need to answer this last question yet, of course, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as the book group progresses.

Tammy


John C. Turley said:

I spend most of my time mediating cases.  I am interested in the concept of conflict management to understand how and why people engage in conflict.  Why do they appear before me, particularly when the mediation  sessions usually go smoothly with positive outcomes.  I basically understand based on the CU education, but I find that the experience in the field as a mediator is where I am learning more and maturing.  My mentors have been invaluable.  The people in the field are very smart and wise with varied backgrounds and experiences. 

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