WEEK 4: Chapters 6 and 7 of Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model

Well members of the virtual book club - this is our final week discussing Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY Model. It's been so great conversing with you and we are very appreciative of your thoughtful questions and comments.


The focus this week is on the last 2 chapters - Chapters 6 and 7 and anything else you would like to discuss on the topic of coaching people through their conflicts and disputes.


Here are some questions to start off the discussion:


Chapter 6:


Of the various applications suggested in this chapter, which one(s) are new to you?


Which one(s) resonate most as something you would like to add to your practice and why?


Chapter 7:

 

What other ways may there be to measure progress and success in conflict management coaching?


Overall:

What are your biggest 'take aways' (learning, insights, etc.) from the book and/or our discussions here?


What questions do you still have about conflict management coaching that were not answered in the book or in our discussions?

 

Cinnie and Tammy

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Replies to This Discussion

   I'm trained in mediation and collaborative law, and would like to bring the CINERGY model to those two areas. I can see how helpful the model would be in preparing clients for mediation, collaboration, or even litigation, if they have to go that route. 

   I'm not sure if I can successfully bring the model to our local family/divorce collaborative organization (CLII), since it uses licensed mental health professionals as coaches (either a one or two-coach model; or to save money, often a 2-attorney, but no coach model).  But another local collaborative organization (CPPIL) is trying to bring collaborative practice beyond the divorce arena -- which may be a better place to bring this model. But the challenge there is still a lack of clients.

   Re chapter 7 and measuring coaching success -- I think one of my biggest take-aways and surprises from the book is that there are already assessment tools available. I didn't know that, and haven't yet looked further into them.  How complicated is it to become proficient in using CDP and TKI?  How established/reliable are they?

   Any tips about building a coaching practice?  

   On the whole, I really enjoyed the book, and digging deeper into the various aspects of the CINERGY model, for a better understanding. It was a very good refresher from the training (over a year ago).  I'd absolutely highly recommend both the training and the book.

   Thanks for doing this book club, and for a great model, book and discussion!  

Great questions Patty!

I have divided my responses below in the order of your questions.

Applications question:

You make some very good points about introducing coaching into the collaborative law arena. I agree that  when there is already legal intervention the financial considerations for clients is a huge barrier to also retaining coaches. Yet, I have observed the many benefits for those who also engage in coaching. I don't have an easy answer for this economical reality. In my view it  would be great if coaching and its cost is automatically built in as part of the collaborative law (and mediation) process. However, there is still the added cost.


Measurement question:

Both CDP and TKI are very user friendly tools for both the assessor and taker. They are both well established and reliable. You  need to be certified to use the CDP and that certification can be done by telephone. The instrument assesses behavioral responses to conflict and hot buttons and as you read the 360 brings in the perspectives of others in the organization. TKI is about conflict management styles as you will have read and it is another tried and true assessment.

There are other tools - such as Dealing with Conflict Instrument (similar to TKI) , the Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory and Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory. You can just Google these names for more information). I didn't refer to the last two as I haven't yet had experience with them but plan to look into them and others that are available too. If members of the book club would like to recommend conflict-related tools you use, please feel free to do so.

 

Building a coaching practice:

There's so much to say about how to grow a coaching practice and where to begin is the question! :)

I'll start by saying that professional coaching has grown so much and in organizations and among people who know of executive, life, business and other types of coaching, I find it is easier to provide a context for introducing conflict management coaching. Having said that, it is a relatively new niche and like anything new, it takes time to develop and implement a marketing plan that among other things includes lots of ways to educate potential clients.

I think that building a practice starts with being clear on what area(s) you want to promote and your intended audience  such as personal or family relationships, organizations, collaborative law, pre or post mediation etc.. I was focused on organizations when I started (and still am -  though I also coach people in family, estates, and other areas). However, I have always preferred to 'specialize' and find doing so helps inform my marketing plan i.e. to identify my market and the ways to reach them.

 

When I began, I did lots of free 'lunch and learns' for workplaces where I was already known as a mediator  to discuss with referring persons what conflict management coaching is, the role of the client, coach and organization, how the process differs from mediation etc. I also offered coaching blitzes in which I provided hour long coaching during the course of a day (6 altogether in a day) for potential managers who wanted to know more about the process for their own use or to refer people.I have also held informational calls and spoken on HR webinars and chapter meetings. From these and other initiatives where I was present and able to answer questions and do demonstrations, referrals started  to come my way.

I think it's important for marketing purposes/building a practice to create a presence through a website (doesn't have to be fancy) and involvement in social media to whatever degree you are able (it can be time-consuming!). If you are inclined to write, you may consider a blog or doing articles for 'trade' magazines that reach your target audience.

 

For internal ADR practitoners who are adding conflict management coaching within their programs or ICMS, many of the same initiatves described above can be incorporated into a plan to inform staff about what the process is and how it works. When there is already an internal ADR program, I  find it is especially important to explain the differences among the services offered (i.e.coaching and mediation), so that potential 'coachees' can best consider what forum may suit them and their situation.

 

Those are my two cents for now Patty and I anticipate that Tammy will weigh in and share some words of wisdom and  her remarkable expertise in this area.

 

I am so glad you participated in the book club Patty and that the book and workshop have had such a positive impact on you. With much appreciation,

Cinnie

Thanks for your very thoughtful answers, Cinnie.

Sorry about the question about building a practice -- After I hit "reply" I realized that it was probably a  bit much in this setting, but also thought others might be intested in taking the model to that next step -- so thanks for your thoughts and time in answering that.   

In looking back at the last 3 weeks, I think I maybe most appreciate at the beginning of the book when you talked about the 3 pillars. I find it fascinating how you've combined coaching the various mediation/ADR models and the related neuroscience to come up with this model. I think it's really brilliant -- I can't quite wrap my head around how you did that -- but am very grateful that you did!

Patty:

Not a problem and I agree with your comments. I think the subject of how to build a practice is an important consideration and worthy of  more discussion.

Again, many thanks for your kindness, for  participating in the book club and for sharing your positive experience with the book and its principles.

 

Cinnie

Chapters 6 and 7 emphasize the importance of developing a strategy as a coach and as a mediator in collaboration with the client.  The preliminary discussions expand upon the client's positions and uncover areas of concern or uncertainty before the formal coaching or ADR sessions commence.  This is yet another process with a strategic spin that includes specific tactics to explore needs in more detail.  I enjoy the strategic and tactical applications probably because I have used them throughout my previous career in sales.  These applications are unique and different to coaching and mediating;however, there are parallels particularly in CXO level sales and needs analysis and strategic solutions.

To measure and quantify success in coaching and ADR, it is important to gather all of the information that contributes to the costs vs. the alternatives and additional options.  I developed a process for measuring the savings in time and money when using ADR vs. litigation and the associated court costs.  My rationale is to provide a total cost of ownership model when deciding whether to coach, mediate or proceed to court.  Once the precise costs per case are determined, decision makers may make informed decisions based on quantification and hard facts.  This process takes the guess work out of the equation.  Instead of saying that coaching or ADR saves money vs. litigation, the precise question of "How much savings?" is answered to the dollar.  I plan to convert my work to an application for prospective clients with high litigation costs to view the projected savings in time and money between ADR and court costs.  Clients are always looking to save money provided that the data is clear and the ROI is compelling to dictate a change in proceedings.  I was glad to see that the book touched on these points.

My greatest "take aways" from the readings are a greater appreciation of the value of coaching.  I remember back about 7 years ago when a friend tried to explain to me his new role as a coach.  I was completely lost and failed to understand the concept.  I guess partly because he did not strike me as coach material.  I sure would not hire him.  Anyway, my eyes have been opened.  I see coaching within the context of ADR so this point helps me to understand coaching much better.  I believe that the coach must be involved in strategy and consulting for individuals or groups with common goals, interests, and objectives.  I enjoy following well conceived processes, so coaching is a discipline with logical and creative steps.  It is good to know more and more within our field, and I knew very little about coaching until reading this excellent book.  I now regard it as a reference piece that I will refer to often as I refine my ADR interests and mature as a mediator.  I am not entirely sure if I will be a coach.  I tend to take on mentoring roles although I am no longer in a corporate setting to manage sales people and to offer coaching and counseling to them.  I enjoyed the Book Club session immensely.  It is creative to engage the author and a respected subject matter expert in the analysis.  I like this approach and I believe that it is an improvement worthy of applause.  I realize that it is not always possible to do so.  Still it is exciting to speak with the experts and to learn more from them and my fellow participants.  Since graduating from CU in 2010, my life is enriched with new mentors, subject matter experts, practitioners, clients, and generally a more interesting circle of people with creative ways of approaching my new profession and passion.

JCT

I appreciate your comments John and see how committed you are to dveloping your skills and practice.

 

What you mention about undersatnding the differences between coaching and mediation and where/how coaching fits into ADR is very valuable learning in my view. There has been much confusion about that since the beginning and it is evident that others too are now better understanding the process and its many applications.

I share your kudos to ADRHub for creating this unique forum for networking and sharing. It's indeed a great way to connect with colleagues!

 

Cinnie

 

 

Collaborative law is a topic which is new to me, so automatically, using conflict management coaching within it is also novel.  I agree with you, Cinnie, that coaching aligns with the concept of collaborative negotiation.  In your experience have the results been better when the coaching has been conducted by a coach or the parties’ lawyers?  When a coach is used, do parties typically both use the same coach?  I think that a certain amount of pre-negotiation coaching would almost automatically have to take place between a lawyer and client in this type of situation, whether they refer to it as coaching or not.  I imagine they would definitely cover the process and then naturally discuss their priorities and how to communicate effectively.  Is this a misconception?  It sounds like a negotiation with each party having an expert negotiator as their advocate.  

I think the ways to measure progress and success in coaching were covered very thoroughly, so I don’t have a direct answer to that question.  I’ll only say that I’m happy the topic is included as there would be no point to any of it without a strategy to measure how the client’s skills (outlook, relationships, etc.) have changed or improved.  Even with the existing tools, I think this could be challenging as sometimes dynamics in relationships are hard to “put your finger on.”  I’m thinking about the 360 approaches and how the answers could be vague, as in “yes, John Doe appears to be taking feedback more positively,” but beyond the fact that John attended coaching, you won’t know specifically what helped him improve this part of his interpersonal relationships.  This level of information would satisfy the sponsor (if that’s the situation), but not necessarily the coach. 

I appreciate that the book covered both the theory and application of coaching.  As someone who does not work in the ADR field, and has only studied it, it is encouraging to see the whole picture to actually employing these skills.  I don’t know if I’ll ever formally work in it, but in general, this knowledge is applicable to every field I can think of, and of course personal relations!  It was great to hear from other book club participants about their applications of ADR and how they use conflict management coaching or are trying to expand to use it.  I think it’s a very relevant advocate role and I hope that it continues to grow!   Thank you Cinnie, Tammy, and club members!       

Hi Celia - great to hear from you and I appreciate your questions and comments.

In response to your question about whether a coach or the parties'  lawyers coach their client in collaborative law, I am aware that both scenarios exist.

In the usual course, collaborative lawyers definitely prepare their client to engage in the joint meetings and discuss strategies and process, etc. What they do in my experience and observations is different from what coaches  (or lawyers trained in coaching) do  -  in terms of the extent to which they help their client to analyze the conflict dynamic and be able to effectively interact within this types of processes. There are definitely lawyers who practice collaborative law (and other types of law for that matter) who are taking up coaching to be better able to help their clients prepare for this type of forum and other ADR processes (including trials).

 

In response to the question about whether the parties would use the same coach, I do not generally coach both parties. It is ideal if each party has their own coach though,  I acknowledge this is an added expense. One coach is certainly better than none and coaches who coach both/all parties in ADR processes learn the extent to which they can 'coach' clients as to not compromise their impartiality.

 

Thank you again, Celia....I hope the above answers your questions and please  don't hesitate to let me know otherwise.

In addition to Cinnie's work and comments, it is helpful to read the books of Bernard Mayer of Creighton University.  He addresses your questions as well.

Cordially,

John C. Turley

Cinnie Noble said:

Hi Celia - great to hear from you and I appreciate your questions and comments.

In response to your question about whether a coach or the parties'  lawyers coach their client in collaborative law, I am aware that both scenarios exist.

In the usual course, collaborative lawyers definitely prepare their client to engage in the joint meetings and discuss strategies and process, etc. What they do in my experience and observations is different from what coaches  (or lawyers trained in coaching) do  -  in terms of the extent to which they help their client to analyze the conflict dynamic and be able to effectively interact within this types of processes. There are definitely lawyers who practice collaborative law (and other types of law for that matter) who are taking up coaching to be better able to help their clients prepare for this type of forum and other ADR processes (including trials).

 

In response to the question about whether the parties would use the same coach, I do not generally coach both parties. It is ideal if each party has their own coach though,  I acknowledge this is an added expense. One coach is certainly better than none and coaches who coach both/all parties in ADR processes learn the extent to which they can 'coach' clients as to not compromise their impartiality.

 

Thank you again, Celia....I hope the above answers your questions and please  don't hesitate to let me know otherwise.

I think that more people should take advantage of the opportunity to interact with Cinnie and Tammy, true leaders and subject matter experts in important aspects of the ADR profession.  For students and aspiring ADR practitioners, this is how to network and to expand your contacts with people who are leading the field.  This is the break that many are seeking.

John C. Turley

Turley Mediation Group

Thank you John for recommending Bernie Mayer's books and for your lovely comments here. It's been so great 'conversing' with you and others who joined in.

Hi Tammy,

Thanks -- your response is very helpful. 

It makes sense to build a practice with an array of services.  Besides being a CINERGY certified conflict management coach, I'm also a mediator, artibrator, collaborative attorney and have been working in ministry, in a great community.  

I definitely need to step-up the marketing/networking efforts and plans.

Thanks for your participation in the book club!

Patty
 
Tammy Lenski said:

Hi, Patty -

Sorry for the late reply to your question! I'll piggyback on the good advice Cinnie shared with my take on building any kind of conflict management practice, whether it be mediation, coaching, etc.:

  • I think it's more important to build a "conflict management practice" than it is a "conflict management coaching practice." By that I mean that it's good to have an array of services to serve your market rather than a single service such as coaching -- if clients don't want or need coaching, then they'll have to go to someone else. Think about it as "What kinds of help do people in my target market want?" instead of, "How do I persuade them to hire me as their coach?"
  • I'm a believer in having a clear target market - a specific group of people (or groups, if you want more than one) on whom you focus your marketing efforts. It's easier to know exactly where school teachers and administrators hang out online and off, for instance, than it is "adult women."
  • Our field is one where they're hiring YOU as much (or more) than they're hiring "a conflict management coach." So, all the things you can do to get yourself in front of your target market will help -- relationship-building is key. As Cinnie said, speaking, networking, maybe blogging or podcasting, anything where they can meet you or regularly hear from you and get a sense of who you are and how you work.

Hope that helps,

Tammy


Patty Stiles said:

Any tips about building a coaching practice? 

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