Family Conflict Coaching

Occasionally a corach is asked to work with the family of a regular coaching client.  Does it make sense for a coach to schedule family coaching?  For some coaches the answer is no and for others the answer is yes.  To make the decision for yourself, find out what the client has in mind, consider your own background and experience, and determine if there is a fit.  On the pro side, the client clearly trusts the coach enough to make this request.  On the con side, the skill set required is different and this is something to discuss with your client.

Family conflict coaching incorporates traditional coaching, facilitation, mediation, and individual conflict coaching.  Begin by asking each member of the family to share their story.  Be sure this is uninterrupted and then rephrase and reflect what you hear as a coach.  After each person has been heard and understood, create a joint list of all concerns.  Then, ask the family members to brainstorm multiple ideas and be sure each family member provides several different ideas.  Accept all of the ideas.  Then, ask the family how they want to make it work for everyone.  Facilitate their creation of an action plan detailing who is doing exactly what and the timeline.

The keys to conflict coaching a family are:

  • Ensuring each person is heard and understood
  • Involving each person in creating multiple solutions
  • Including each person in the detailing of the action plan

As a coach, when you are working with several people an awareness of their different personalities and learning styles is very important.  Use the model taught in the Certified Professional Coach program to easily identify each in the moment and work with them accordingly.

What do you think the challenges are in family conflict coaching?

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