As a coach, how do you show up in emotional conflict? Coaching can be an emotionally taxing profession. And more so in moments of conflict. How we react in times of strain shows us what we’re made of. It can also be indicative of our emotional reactivity which is how we respond in moments of difficulty. As someone with over 8 years’ experience helping clients solve problems and after a lot of observation and study, I have subdivided coaches into five classes based on how they respond when under duress.

1.  Coaches who are conflict rock stars

These are people who are able to diffuse the situation without losing their cool. You may be such a coach, able to handle yourself and navigate the waters without offending others and escalating the situation.

What they do differently:

You’ve taught yourself and mastered the art of communicating in a calm manner despite what you’re feeling on the inside. In addition, your responses are always well-thought-out and seemingly effortless despite the enormous efforts you’re probably making interiorly to remain in control of your emotions. You’re a coach who is careful about the words you use and always paying attention to your audience to see how they are responding to what you’re saying.

2. Coaches who display conflict confidence

Have you ever seen people who despite being in a war of words or have been themselves triggered by the comments of another, find a way to maintain composure? Such coaches are known as being conflict confident. Always looking for ways to resolve the issue at hand without adding fuel to the fire.

What they do differently:

These kinds of coaches lead with a certain confidence and flair that makes them great leaders. Getting to this place of conflict confidence is a journey which involves being aware of your own emotional triggers and not being afraid to address the situation and get help as and when you need it.

3. Coaches that try and avoid any type of emotional conflict

There are coaches who get queasy at the mere lifting of voices. If you’re this type of coach, when you’re faced with an emotionally challenging situation, you might find yourself retreating and becoming passive. You’re not one to lift your voice in an argument or where things are getting heated up for fear of not being able to control your outbursts. However, you often discover that you’re burning on the inside and feeling aggressive.

What they do differently:

Coaches in this category may appear as if they are on two ends of the balance either too aggressive or too passive. Coaches who are conflict queasy may escalate conflicts unintentionally with their responses hence many often come across as passive, preferring to change the topic altogether.

4. Coaches who avoid conflict at all times

Emotional conflict is there to show us that there is something that needs to be addressed. Running away from the triggers and refusing to acknowledge that there is indeed a problem will make healing difficult. You need to know what causes you to become triggered or emotionally charged up. Avoiding confrontation is not the way to resolve matters. By doing this, you fail to engage and heal.

What they do differently:

It’s not difficult to see that failing to acknowledge that there is a problem will undoubtedly lead to an unintended escalation of the situation. By running away the issues at heart that is causing the conflict will subsequently remain unresolved. Coaches like this will remain in an unending cycle of torment. So, know your emotional triggers, acknowledge them, and work towards healing.

5. Coaches who add fuel to the fire

Some coaches don’t shy away from confrontation, who when triggered instead of looking for ways to deescalate the situation, are their knees deep adding fuel to the fire. It’s as if being triggered they react by fighting. 

What they do differently:

They don’t run away, they don’t freeze, they don’t think before they act, they come out guns blazing. Certainly, this inflames the situation. Such coaches think that they can talk others into submission to quell the situation. And such coaches are often those that were bullied as children and now seek to speak up but do so in an exact manner as their bullies.

Healing emotionally will make you a better coach

Which coach are you? How do you show up in emotional conflict? If you’re a coach that runs away from conflict, don’t know how to resolve what’s happening interiorly, and talk to others properly when things get tense, you might want to stop and take a look at what’s really at the root of it all. Are there issues from your childhood that you have buried so deep within you that you’d rather not talk about them? However, you can’t run away from your past. As a coach, most of your material comes from sharing your own life story. If you can’t do this, it might be time to get some help so you can heal.

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We’ve been helping client’s win more clients and build their coaching practices for 8 years. With a long list of clients in Australia and overseas we understand the type of help that coaches need with their business.  Our clients’ service Ministry, Professional Services and C Level Executives around the world. We understand confidentiality and operate only with the utmost integrity, we walk the walk and talk the talk.

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