Conflict Coaching—Using a Language of Compassion

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Barry Johnson-Fay and Ellen Johnson-Fay provide counseling and training to help individuals, groups, and organizations more effectively anticipate and deal with conflict, using principles of nonviolent communication or the language of compassion. In our culture, conflict usually arises in a context of arguing, blaming, judging, and trying to prove that one’s view is “right” and another’s is “wrong.”  Domination and power over others is the primary cultural model for “successfully” moving through life. Resolving conflict in such a culture can be difficult, because winning the argument or proving oneself “right” is the highest priority.

Seldom do people stop to carefully consider what values are most important to them in a conflict, and how those values are brought to reality in their lives. When those values, which can be characterized as basic “needs,” are unmet, we experience a wide variety of unhappy emotions, from fear and anger, to disappointment and sadness. When our meets are met, we feel positive emotions—satisfaction, joy, contentment, peace, etc. Conflict Coaching can help individuals and members of groups see how the way we speak and listen can either facilitate, or impede, resolution of issues between us by bringing feelings and needs to the surface, and creating strategies to meet those needs and resolve negative feelings.

Using these principles of communication groups, organizations and businesses can develop and implement effective conflict resolution systems, which can provide training and establish effective processes and procedures to anticipate and identify conflict, and to resolve it.