Conflict Coaching in Schools, Northern Ireland

Calm Conflict Solutions provides conflict coaching in schools in the Lisburn, Belfast and other areas of Northern Ireland, to support and enhance communication skills among young people when dealing with conflict. 

Susie Adams, Director of Calm Conflict Solutions was part of the team at Hillingdon Community Mediation from 2008 - 2011 which set up the first publicly available Conflict Coaching service in London, UK. She continues her association with Alan Sharland, Director of Hillingdon Community Mediation at the time, where he is now based at CAOS Conflict Management and continues to provide training alongside Alan in mediation and conflict coaching skills for individuals and organisations. 

Susie's vision for Conflict Coaching in Schools in Northern Ireland...

Conflict Coaching can help the young people in Northern Ireland to identify their own areas for change, support personal responsibility and communication.  It helps them to look at the conflict, see it for what it is and create more effective responses to their difficult situations, whether arguments with friends, family, feeling bullied, whatever it may be. 

Conflict is as natural as the air that we breathe but how we manage our conflict can make a difference. Conflict Coaching in schools can help our young people to express themselves and to promote positive open communication.  Conflict Coaching sessions last up to 1 hour and there are no more than 3 sessions.  The reason for this is that Conflict Coaching is not an ongoing therapy method, it enables the person having coaching to learn how to create their own better ways of responding for the future, rather than 'need' to go to a conflict coach continuously. We say that 'conflict coaching helps you become your own conflict coach'. 


Why do I have a vision that conflict coaching in schools will be beneficial?

I believe it will be beneficial in schools to help equip our young people with the skills of dealing with conflicting situations which they are able to organically bring into their adult life.  Helping them to communicate their challenges and support their own resolutions.  Conflict Coaching is about supporting individuals.  Teaching our young that when we are in conflict there are ways that we can resolve the conflict without changing those around us or not having a voice.  Helping them to see that by demonizing the other person who they are in conflict with causes more damage to oneself.  The difficulties of treating the conflict like a competition or the avoidance of it altogether are recognised and the capacity to change ourselves is enabled and supported.


What I bring to developing conflict coaching:

I have over 15 years’ experience in mediation, facilitation and training.  I’ve also been moulded by my life experiences – moving from Northern Ireland to London at a young age, working in the London Courts, supporting the establishment of a community mediation service,  conflict coaching service, working with holocaust survivors, the role models that have made a difference in my life, providing Special Educational Needs mediation and mentoring.  My development over the years has been driven by seeing the benefits of identifying what I can change rather than what others can change or of me trying to change them. 

Why it would be useful in Northern Ireland:

I successfully supported the first publicly available Conflict Coaching service in London and witnessed how beneficial that service was and I believe that this can be replicated in Northern Ireland.  Conflict Coaching is a constructive challenge in viewing conflicting situations.   Taking two steps back and helping individuals to identify their own changes rather than introducing a third party.  When in conflict we tend to look at what others should change and not what individually we can change.  


Why I used the picture of 2 ducks:

The bird is generally thought to be a symbol of freedom.  They can walk on the earth and swim in the sea as humans do but they also have the ability to soar into the sky.  A duck is generally thought to be a symbol of resourcefulness. The duck has the ability to walk, swim, fly and 'duck' under the water to feed or hide.

The ducks are walking together – a conflict coach supports by listening, identifying issues and supporting other possible options to deal with a conflict. Just as relevant to conflict coaching is that the coach sees the person having coaching as their peer who is looking for support. The Conflict Coach is not an 'expert' who 'spoon feeds' the answers. These two ducks are travelling alongside each other and together. 

They are both the same/equal – as a conflict coach I bring the structure.  The person in conflict brings the content.

They are dipping their toes in the water – Conflict Coaching will be a new experience for some people.

As this is a new venture to offer in schools in Northern Ireland I would very much welcome ideas on the promotion and adaptation of Conflict Coaching in Schools in Northern Ireland.

Susie has now returned to live in Northern Ireland and is offering Conflict Coaching in Schools for educational establishments mainly in the Lisburn/Belfast areas but she can also travel to any part of Northern Ireland to provide this service.

Conflict Coaching in Schools supports young people and teachers in reflecting on how they are responding to conflict and then using the increased awareness that arises from that reflection to create different ways of responding in their difficult situation. 

The support available includes: 

  • Individual support for staff and pupils in schools.
  • Training in Conflict Coaching skills, particularly for young people but also for teachers and other staff wishing to support young people in responding more effectively to conflict.

Contact Susie Adams, Calm Conflict Solutions without obligation, to see whether I can be of service to you click on this link to submit an enquiry form.