Conflict coach Cinnie Noble is a matchmaker par excellence bringing together some powerful ideas. Her book Conflict Management Coaching is an excellent resource for any conflict coach. In 1999 she created a seven-step conflict coaching model called Cinergy. It brings together three essential pillars; coaching, alternative dispute resolution and neuroscience. Her goal is to help people through their conflicts as well as anticipate and prevent others from emerging. What I particularly like about her approach is the incorporation of neuroscience into conflict coaching. I recall years ago Alexander Christakis and John Warfield developing the Demosphia. The Demosophia was a problem solving room, equipped with all the latest bells and whistles – computers, whiteboards, and projectors. Christakis and Warfield incorporated into their problem solving room insights from a range of disciplines. One of my favorites was the ‘law of requisite parsimony’, which states that “the human brain can only keep track of 7 things, plus or minus 2”. Many problems have more elements than 7 things, plus or minus 2. This complexity makes problem solving too difficult to manage. The Demsophia’s computers, whiteboards and projects all helped manage the large number of items.
Cinnie Noble has wisely left all the technology behind. Instead she builds her model on a newer understanding of neuroscience. Essential to her model are 1) focusing attention, 2) encouraging mindfulness and 3) harnessing creativity. The coach’s task is to orient clients in a positive direction towards success.
Conflict Management Coaching details the Cinergy model, as well as numerous issues with which conflict coaches must deal. The essence of the model comes from its name:
C – Clarify the goal
I – Inquire about the situation
N – Name of elements
E – Explore choices
R – Reconstruct the situation
G – Ground the challenges
Y – Yes, the commitment
Some of the material in the book will look very familiar to conflict coaches, and some may be novel. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in conflict coaching.