Conflict coaching training for nurse managers: a case study of a two-hospital health system



    1. Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication, Department of Corporate Communication, The Pennsylvania State University, Abington, PA, USA
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Ross Brinkert
Department of Corporate Communication
The Pennsylvania State University
1600 Woodland Road
PA 19001


brinkert r. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management19, 80–91
Conflict coaching training for nurse managers: a case study of a two-hospital health system

Aim  This study evaluated the application of the Comprehensive Conflict Coaching model in a hospital environment.

Background  Conflict coaching involves a coach working with a client to improve the client’s conflict understanding, interaction strategies and/or interaction skills. The training of nurse managers as conflict coaches is an innovative continuing education programme that partially addresses conflict-related concerns in nursing.

Method  Twenty nurse managers trained as conflict coaches and each coached a supervisee. Qualitative data were gathered from nurse managers, supervisees and senior nursing leaders over an 8-month period and organized using standard programme evaluation themes.

Results  Benefits included supervisor conflict coaching competency and enhanced conflict communication competency for nurse managers and supervisees facing specific conflict situations. Challenges included the management of programme tensions. Additional benefits and challenges are discussed, along with study limitations.

Conclusion  Conflict coaching was a practical and effective means of developing the conflict communication competencies of nurse managers and supervisees. Additional research is needed.

Implications for nursing management  Conflict is common in nursing. Conflict coaching is a new conflict communication and supervision intervention that demonstrates initial promise. Conflict coaching seems to work best when supported by a positive conflict culture and integrated with other conflict intervention processes.