© 2015 Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. & L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW
High Conflict Institute offers a brand-new coaching method for managing difficult employees and assisting employees who want to advance in their careers: New Ways for Work. We offer two books that we have co-authored on this method: a detailed Coaching Manual for EAPs and other workplace coaches or counselors, and a Workbook for clients. This method guides the coach and employee in 3-12 sessions of improving workplace conflict behavior. Here is a short explanation of this exciting new approach.
Coaching for Employees
You’re a manager, supervisor or HR representative and you are dealing with an employee who is causing continual conflict in your work environment. His or her job performance may be excellent, even vital to the organization, but their relationship skills, communication style and workplace behavior creates on-going disruption within the organization. What to do? Refer them to your EAP provider or an outside counselor for coaching in the New Ways for Work method.
What is the New Ways for Work method? It is a coaching process from 3 -12 sessions that focuses on four important components of human self –regulation: Flexible thinking, Managed emotions, Moderate behavior and Checking oneself.
New Ways for Work is based on Bill’s High Conflict Personality Theory. The premise is that many high conflict personalities have traits of personality disorders or actual personality disorders that make it extremely difficult for these individuals to self–reflect and gauge their impact on others. Oftentimes these individuals have a limited ability or inability to think rationally when challenged or confronted. Their thinking tends to be all-or-nothing, which frequently results in escalated emotions and/or extreme or inappropriate behavior.
A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach
The New Ways for Work coaching method focuses the client on checking himself or herself in three key areas (Flexible thinking, Managed emotions and Moderate behavior). It is a cognitive–behavioral intervention aimed toward helping clients gain greater self–regulation in their jobs and lives – and feeling better about themselves at the same time!
In the mental health community, it is understood that clients with personality disorders are difficult to treat and that treatment often requires many years of therapy. The New Ways for Work method acknowledges this understanding and has a more narrow focus of reducing their conflict behavior at work. It does not attempt to give these individuals in-depth insight into their pathology nor address the underlying reasons for the development of their dysfunction. It is clear that only a few sessions of coaching could never accomplish this.
New Ways for Work is designed to help the client become consciously aware of some of their inappropriate reactions and helps them manage their responses in a more effective manner. By focusing on checking oneself for Flexible thinking, Managed emotions and Moderate behavior, this approach helps the EAP/counselor/coach give the client tools to manage and improve their self-regulation in their daily interactions.
Usually by the time an employee is referred to an EAP or outside coach, they are advanced in the work organization’s progressive discipline process. This circumstance can provide a useful incentive toward motivating the employee to take the process seriously and address their self–regulation difficulties.
High Conflict Employees
Unfortunately, some employees who are “high-conflict people” (HCPs) with severe personality disorders will not be able to utilize the tools consistently enough for a successful outcome. Usually these individuals will end up being terminated by the organization, but by trying this method it may be easier to see whether they can change or not. Many HCP’s will respond to these tools and, with reinforcement, will be capable of managing their responses to be more appropriate and productive in the workplace and in life.
An additional benefit of this method is that employees who aren’t HCPs at all may choose to work with a coach using this method to strengthen their conflict and relationship skills, to help them advance in their careers. For example, a female manager in a tech department of mostly male employees can use this method to strengthen her skills for staying calm while dealing with the stress of criticism or preparing for resistance to her management initiatives.
For more information about this method or to schedule a speaking or training event, please contact us at email@example.com or 619-221-9108.
BILL EDDY, LCSW, ESQ. is the co-founder and chief innovation officer of the High Conflict Institute. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is viewed globally as the leading expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities. He is the author of 20+ books and has a popular podcast and a blog on Psychology Today.