Conflict Coaching

Conflict Coaching

It’s inevitable. It’s part of the human experience. It arouses strong emotions.

We’re talking about conflict, of course. As coaches we are good at managing and coaching our clients through conflict (aren’t we??).

There are many ways of dealing with conflict, of course, and we all have our preferences. Some tend to avoid it at all costs, often at their own expense. Others become quite aggressive and can damage relationships in the process. Still others tend to roll over and accommodate, failing to get their own needs met in life.

First, conflict is not bad. It is a natural occurrence. As noted earlier, it is part of the human experience. It’s how it’s managed that makes the difference.

Selecting the best approach to managing conflict depends on the situation, and the capabilities and awareness of the individual. There are times when it is best temporarily avoided, at least until emotions calm down. Other times we need to step up to an aggressive approach. And sometimes it’s best to compromise (give a little, get a little), or accommodate (if we know we are wrong or it really doesn’t matter much). And then, of course, there’s the win-win, Getting-to-Yes, collaborative approach to resolving conflict.

The best among us flex, stretch themselves out of their comfort zone, and adapt the approach to the unique circumstances of the situation. Conflict is addressed effectively, in a healthy balanced manner without damaging relationships and without giving up on our own needs.

Handling the inevitable conflicts that arise in life is a topic that frequently surfaces in coaching. Proactively and consciously identifying a path to managing conflict is a powerful first step, an authentic one. Supporting our clients as they sift through the various ways of dealing with conflict themselves is just one of the key coaching skills so worthy of exploration and growth in your coaching journey.

Dr. Laura Belsten, is Dean of the Graduate School of Coaching, a Master Certified Coach (MCC), and a national leader in the field of Emotional Intelligence. Personal Power is one of the twenty-four key competencies of the Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile ™.

Check Your Fuel Gauge

Check Your Fuel Gauge

As coaches, we understand the effectiveness and value of the authentic connection with a client. This is coaching from center -or- coaching from our “core.” A coach’s own being -the core- is the primary coaching tool. This core is our vehicle to client success.

Our energy is not derived from our clients but must be self-generated. A coach’s core, like that of the sun, requires fuel. One of the most effective creators of energy and empowerment is learning.

When we explore something new, gain new knowledge, develop context, experience education… we fuel our core. We create energy that feeds us and others. Effective coaching requires the fuel of knowledge and experience. A commitment to lifelong learning is a commitment to our core and the constant improvement of our ability to serve the client.

“Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
~Albert Einstein

When we learn, our energy expands and the capabilities of our core are enhanced. It’s a joyful path to higher levels of client service. Check your gauge. When did you last fill your tank for yourself and your clients?

The CTA Graduate School of Coaching offers jet fuel in the form of courses and content around the specific skills and specialty niches. In the coming days and months we are introducing new programs as well as exciting, new intimate coaching practicums.

We invite you to fuel up with us.

Author Chris Osborn is the President of Coach Training Alliance. His lifelong learning includes experience as CEO of a large financial services company and founder of several growth oriented service companies.

Mindful Spending and Money Psychology

Mindful Spending and Money Psychology

You’re in a department store at the end of the month and see a sale of a pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, yet you know that you need to pay essential bills in two days.  Without thinking about why you need the shoes or how you’re going to pay them off and pay your monthly expenses, you go for it. New shoes in hand, walking out of the department store you ask, Why did I just do that?

The money psychology of mindful spending usually comes later.  How to make better decisions?

Some things we know about the workings of the mind and brain applied to money behavior and mindful spending:

  • Our relationship with money is complicated because some important aspects are emotional, unspoken, and unconscious.
  • Our brains unconsciously make financial decisions several seconds before we’re consciously aware.
  • Spending money alters a state of mind, so it can become addictive and go unnoticed, even to become a debt cycle.
  • Money mistakes and financial fallacies are often the default mode; their remedies become crucial to decision-making.
  • The vision of your future self can significantly affect the present bias of money decisions.

Three processes create self-deception in spending:

  1. Segmenting purchases. This can be done by paying with a credit card and regarding it as a segmented purchase, a standalone decision.
  2. Price increments. Focus on the incremental amount of a money transaction can compromise decisions. For example, an item being $10 more can lose perspective of the total cost.
  3. Internal bargaining.  Emphasis on what amount has been saved as a justification for a future purchase. For example, a $500 item is marked down to $300 so “I just saved $200 to spend for something else.”  Actually, if $300 is spent and, despite the justification, another $200 is spent.

Decision science can help us understand how to use the risk and reward systems in the brain for decision-making, and how to program new, adaptive behaviors.  A system of mind, brain, and behavior changes that last can offer preventable and long-term, successful strategies.

DAVID KRUEGER, M.D., Dean of Curriculum and Mentor Coach at Coach Training Alliance, is an Executive Mentor Coach who works with executives and professionals to develop and sustain success strategies. A former Professor, Psychiatrist, and Psychoanalyst, his coaching and writing focus on the art and science of success strategies: mind over matters. He founded and served as CEO for two healthcare corporations, co-founded a third start-up that went from venture capital to merger/acquisition.

Dave is author of 17 books on success, money, wellness and self-development. His latest book, The Secret Language of Money(McGraw Hill), is a Business Bestseller translated into 10 languages.

Announcing: OMEGA INSTITUTE Retreat presented by David Krueger MD on Your New Money Story®: Use Brain Sciences to Rewire Beliefs and Behaviors for Wealth, Health, and Happiness
June 22-24, 2018

Changing the World One Authentic Conversation at a Time

Changing the World One Authentic Conversation at a Time

In coaching more than 5,000 leaders of fast-growing organizations, I sit beside corporate leaders as they have major breakthroughs – and major breakdowns. As a former executive myself, I’ve also been in their shoes. Here’s what I’ve learned about coaching executives.

Know this:
It’s lonely at the top. Execs and leaders are held to a high standard – their pay grade and title demand it – so it’s hard to admit when they don’t “know it all.” If they don’t get real with their team – and be part of the team, not “above” it – all could be lost.

Executives often get very little feedback, since they have few peers. Their blind spots can inadvertently go unchecked. A coach’s impartial, new perspective can help them see what they’ve never seen before.

When a leader is committed to the process, there’s no limit to their achievements. But it takes real commitment, honesty, and the willingness to see the process through, no matter what. That’s the key to a great coaching relationship.

Feel this:
When a coach comes in and helps organizations have authentic, real conversations – often for the first time – magic happens.

Coaching leaders to success is the ultimate helper’s high, because they often go on to make a real impact – on their team members, shareholders and customers. A great coach shows a client that the road to heaven does go through hell… and it’s worth it.

Do this:
Use your experiences to see trends and create systems that help bring clients out of the darkness, while helping them build the muscles they’ll need after the crisis has passed. Bring your own experience – and empathy – to the table in your coaching.

If you want to grow as a coach, get a coach. The new perspective will help you grow in ways you never imagined.

Author, Kirk Dando, is a highly sought-after and well-respected leadership and growth expert who has been called “The Company Whisperer.” Author of the book, Predictive Leadership: Avoiding the 12 Critical Mistakes that Derail Growth-Hungry Companies, he has coached over 5,000 growth-hungry leaders, including the eight Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winners and several “Best CEO” winners. Kirk is also a CTA Human Capital Coach.

“But I don’t have time to coach them!”

“But I don’t have time to coach them!”

It’s time to put the biggest obstacle to coaching your team to rest. During a study to determine how — or even IF — managers matter, Google’s people analytics team identified eight key behaviors demonstrated by the company’s most effective managers. Can you guess which leadership skill is right at the top of the list?

“A good manager is a good COACH.” (Project Oxygen)

(See “An Open Letter to All Leaders” for the rest of the eight key behaviors)

In fact, many more businesses are getting the message that coaching skills can boost both a manager’s effectiveness and their employees’ engagement, and are including ‘coaching’ in managerial and supervisory job descriptions.

That’s a giant step in the right direction because coaching is a unique set of communication skills that, when mastered, deliver a double benefit: these powerful skills both build positive, respectful relationships AND empower teams to get the work done. When employees are coached well, and then feel valued and inspired, they’re much more likely to show up every day willing to do their best work.

If you oversee the work of others, you’re probably already familiar with coaching as a powerful relationship management skill. And if you’re a busy leader, careening from deadlines to crises and back again, you’re probably thinking one of the most common Yeah, buts:

Yeah, that’s all well and good, but I don’t have time to coach my team members!

It’s a general misconception that coaching a direct report has to be a scheduled, sit-down, lengthy, in-depth meeting. If that were the only way you could coach an employee, of course it would be difficult to work that into your already packed schedule every time an employee had an issue, question, or needed clarification.

The good news is that coaching your team members to be more engaged, self-sufficient, and responsible doesn’t have to take any more time than you spend with them right now — if you do it right.

Here are just a few of the many ways you can get more done in less time — and save your company money — when you integrate powerful coaching skills into the regular conversations you have with your team members every day:

  • You can eliminate a lot of the back-story, the emotions, and the “noise” that typically clutters and sidetracks effective communication at work
  • They will feel more inspired to collaborate with you and the team when they feel heard and valued
  • You can “cut to the chase” and get to the heart of an issue or goal faster, so you can get to the solution and the action sooner
  • They will listen to you more openly and be less resistant to your guidance when you share your own thoughts and expectations respectfully
  • You can reduce costly delays and mistakes caused by miscommunication, personal agendas, and assumptions
  • You can leverage “corridor coaching” to build deeper connection, rapport, and trust with your team members
  • You can stop micro-managing your team and start focusing on your own work more when they feel empowered to be more self-sufficient

When you model respectful and professional communication skills, your team can bond more quickly as a drama-free, cohesive, co-creative, and collaborative unit.

If you truly want a high performance team that gets along and gets the work done, you don’t have time NOT to coach them!

Author LAURIE CAMERON, founder of WakeUp! Enterprises, is lovingly dedicated to spreading massive amounts of respect, kindness, and compassion as far and wide as she can. Her path to accomplish this is to teach the power of coaching to as many people as possible because it’s a unique communication tool that both builds positive, co-creative relationships AND gets stuff done.

In her 18+ years of coaching hundreds of clients and training over 1000 professional coaches, she firmly believes that everyone can benefit from learning and mastering coaching skills. She is available for individual and small group coaching skills training, and mentor coaching for leaders who coach their teams.

Laurie is a senior faculty member at Coach Training Alliance, and is a Certified CTA Coach. She is also a Master Certified Opposite Strengths® Executive Coach, a Master Certified Relationship Coach with Relationship Coaching Institute, and a Certified Master Mind Facilitator.

She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Mentor Me, a youth mentoring organization in Northern California, and treasures the time she spends with her 15-year-old mentee. Laurie is very active in the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, regularly volunteers her time at numerous non-profit organizations in the community, and she loves living in the Petaluma Gap.

Self-Talk: The Silent Story of Optimal Performance

Self-Talk: The Silent Story of Optimal Performance

A study of Olympian gold medalists found two traits, in addition to deliberate practice, that set super achievers apart:  complete confidence, combined with self-talk to create that total confidence.

We always engage in self-talk, always ask questions, whether or not we are actually conscious of this process.  More often we focus on a problem to fix rather than attune to self-reflection.

Many studies show that self-talk can enhance performance.  To be most effective, self-talk must be brief, specific, and focused.  A simple phrase or mantra can be wired to instantly evoke a state of mind ideally matched for a task at hand.  One All-Pro cornerback I worked with uses a single word after every play to reboot a focused, performance mindset: “Reset.”  This simple word cues an entire process preprogrammed to ground and center himself in an optimum state, to focus energy entirely on the next play.  Football is episodic, a play followed by a time interval, rather than a flow such as basketball and tennis.  The most common reason that someone moves from the flow of an optimum state is a really good play or a really bad play, both of which are state altering.

We are just beginning to study and understand the functions of our inner talk and story.  The (usually) silent self-talk we engage can be self-regulatory with reflective mental dialogue.

In a related application, persuasion neuroscience studies have shown that a message itself is not directly responsible for change.  It’s what the recipient says to himself or herself as a result of the message—the self-talk—that is both remembered and acted on to make the most difference.

A variation of self-talk involves an internal dialogue of conversational exchange, which activates the same brain areas as actual conversation and attunement to another.  Since it requires thinking about the other person’s experience and point of view, an imagined dialogue can enhance empathic resonance with another, including alternate ways of thinking and feeling.

The stories we tell ourselves – our self-talk of internal conversation – often frame our experiences to either enhance or compromise them.  The most resilient individuals are ones who create self-talk to reframe a failure as an anomaly and a learning experience.  A message such as “I’m not that good at technology” reframed is: “What is one action I can do today that can start progress?”  “I’m just an average tennis player” reframed is “What part of my game will I focus on today for improvement?”

The reason you can’t get what you want is the story you create about why you can’t have it.

Reprinted from the NeuroMentor® Blog Series by David Krueger, MD at

DAVID KRUEGER, M.D., Dean of Curriculum and Mentor Coach at Coach Training Alliance, is an Executive Mentor Coach who works with executives and professionals to develop and sustain success strategies. A former Professor, Psychiatrist, and Psychoanalyst, his coaching and writing focus on the art and science of success strategies: mind over matters. He founded and served as CEO for two healthcare corporations, co-founded a third start-up that went from venture capital to merger/acquisition.

Dave is author of 17 books on success, money, wellness and self-development. His latest book, The Secret Language of Money(McGraw Hill), is a Business Bestseller translated into 10 languages.