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

J Nurs Manag. 2011 Jan;19(1):80-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01133.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership
  • Negotiating* / methods
  • Negotiating* / psychology
  • Nurse Administrators / education*
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing, Supervisory / organization & administration
  • Professional Competence
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires