My Journey through Coaching – Blog 7 of 12, Part 2

Part 2: A Curious Coaching Student by Brandi Alvarez

Currently I am working on a Masters in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.  I finished my first class today and I have already begun to draw the parallels between coaching and alternative dispute resolution: they both use very similar skill sets.  There is just no third party!  As a coach you use active listening skills, good reframing and clarifying questions, and you establish trust and ensure confidentiality.  The process and outcome belongs to the client.

As I dive into this material I find myself looking more into conflict coaching material and working on the two side by side.  I am reflecting back on Bernie Mayer’s work in “Beyond Neutrality” and thanking him for opening my eyes to worlds outside of mediation and third party roles.  I think I may have found my fit in these ally roles.  While personally my focus outside this certification is conflict management, it is interesting to see how far the definition of coach goes.  It means so many things to different people.  There are different kinds of coaches – life, executive, career, business, group, and yes, conflict.  There are many options and opportunities.  For me it was great to hear what a coach is not – an advisor, therapist, mentor, or consultant.  Coaching is always forward focused.  As a coach you are there to listen, ask questions, challenge thinking, and empower the client so they create an action plan.  You are an encourager!

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