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Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
Krame Relationships
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Krame Relationships

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  • 1. Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com & Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Truth A h, relationships…they are the basis of all the social contacts of our lives…from family and Within families, Kristin Grant examines the effect of a new baby on a marriage, and Lisa G. friends to colleagues and co-workers…from Kramer looks at how couples can use conflict as mere acquaintances to intimate partners. In an opportunity for growth . this issue we direct the spotlight on And, Marianne Weidlein shares a reflective Relationship Coaching and examine how exercise that can help to understand and it impacts both coach and client. improve relationships of any type. Kat Kehres Knecht looks at coaching business We hope this issue gives you some fresh relationships and the impact of positive human perspectives and new tools to help you coach connections on the bottom line. relationships. Understanding the languages of love is the topic of Susan T. Howson’s commentary on how – The Editors family members ask for love.
  • 2. COVER Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com STORY Trust Relationships along life’s journey Relationship Coaching: Not Just for Lovers relationship creates the workplace culture and is experi- enced by employees, customers and suppliers. By Kat Kehres Knecht, PCC T HE PROMISE OF R ELATIONSHIP C OACHING O nce solely the domain of those in search of love Too often businesses focus only on products, operations, or navigating the emotional waters of love marketing and sales. Relationships remain the invisible gone sour, Relationship Coaching is transform- elephant in the room, even though they are at the heart ing the workplace and catching fire in the business of what makes a good company great. world. And the fire is burning fast. This invisibility factor leads to most corporate dys- This isn’t a surprise to me, having worked for many function. Relationship issues are invisible until they cre- years for one of the world’s largest employers, the US ate a ‘problem.’ Miscommunication and toxic environ- Postal Service (USPS). During my tenure, the USPS dis- ments bring about bad decisions, costly delays, and friv- covered from a survey that the top priorities of their olous accusatory actions. employees — higher on the list than salary or benefits — When people are working well together their creativi- were to be treated with respect and to feel like they made a dif- ty flows, things get done effectively and people use less ference in their work. In other words, it was a ‘relationship sick time, vacation time, etc. The workforce is active and issue’ that needed to be examined in order for the compa- engaged in the job and business is good. This positive ny to have fully engaged employees. business flow is the promise of Relationship Coaching. This is not just a ‘feel good’ idea. Relationship issues have a negative financial effect in a big way. According to Marcus N O LONGER INVISIBLE Buckingham in his book Now Discover Y Strengths (Free our My company was hired by a Fortune 100 company to pro- Press, 2001), few organizations have developed a systematic vide coaching for a top regional executive who had run into process for the efficient use of their human resources. A trouble. This particular situation ended up costing the recent Gallup Organization report states that 71% of the company tens of millions of dollars and the executive the American workforce is disengaged from their jobs, costing embarrassment of a negative front page newspaper story. the economy around $300 billion annually. The weird thing was that two investigations discovered no Most workplace cultures have a rule, spoken or not, wrong-doing on his part. What was the explanation? that goes something like, “Leave your personal life at Instead of focusing on the executive and what had got home.” This can be a good boundary, necessary for a him into hot water, the coaching looked at the web of well-functioning operation. However, most businesses relationships within the organization in which he inter- interpret this boundary to mean that relationship issues acted. We soon discovered it was within these relation- are to be left at the door. This is like the proverbial ships that the problem and its meaning lay. “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” Over the course of a year, the coaching helped him Relationship is an essential ingredient of all business; to set new boundaries, taught him how to communicate VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4 29
  • 3. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com positively with his colleagues and his boss and how to creating positivity within the business relationship use his personal strengths to engage the help of others. embeds the learning immediately and deeply. You can During this process, his view of himself shifted from one provide Relationship Coaching in many configurations: of being a victim to one of knowing his responsibility individuals, partnerships or teams. When the coaching and its limits. By seeing what had previously been invisi- includes an awareness of and respect for the web of rela- ble, he was empowered and able to navigate the waters tionships that comprise the business, its impact is huge of his company much better. He discovered his own per- — much greater than coming from an individual coach- sonal power within the organization. ing perspective. In a different scenario, I was asked to work with the partners of a new and innovative magazine, to help them T HE BOTTOM LINE with the addition of a new partner who came on board Here is the real kicker. When relationship coaching is as publisher. In coaching sessions with them I wove fully utilized by businesses it has an incredible impact on together business development and relationship coach- the bottom line. ing. This approach helped the partners to organize and The executive at the Fortune 100 company went on to put together a team that won a national award for diver- sity achievement, as well as creating millions of dollars of Relationship Coaching is revenue for his company. He directly credited this suc- not for sissies. cess to the Relationship Coaching and the new skills he and his team had acquired as a result. integrate their tasks, to create a meaningful and effec- With all this talk about positivity and transformation, tive business structure and to appreciate what each per- don’t be swayed into thinking that the goal is always one son brought to the magazine while communicating and big happy family working together forever. listening with respect. The magazine partnership generated a different out- come. During the course of the coaching, the partners P OSITIVE ENERGY created a respectful, creative and productive atmos- So, what makes Relationship Coaching different from phere. They worked out their disagreements and were other forms of coaching? Here are the key elements: able to be honest with each other. • It makes the relationship systems visible. Presto! In the end, however, they discovered they didn’t have Look at what’s here. Oh, that’s what’s going on. Once the the same vision for the magazine’s future and agreed that information becomes visible, systems know what to do they needed to end the partnership. Here the coaching with it. Sometimes everyone is surprised. helped them to see that their work together had been • It teaches really useful knowledge and skill sets that exactly what the magazine needed to move forward. integrate well with other forms of coaching (like individ- They were able to successfully part ways leaving the per- ual executive coaching, business development and team sonal relationships with each other and the magazine’s training) and consulting. business in great shape. • Most importantly, it creates a positive workplace Relationship Coaching includes all the complexities energy field that allows for sustainable and productive and dilemmas of the human experience. business practices. C ONCLUSION Why positivity? Positivity is essential to creating sus- Relationship Coaching is not for sissies. It takes time tainable productivity. Without that energy of positivity, a and commitment from all involved — coaches and business cannot thrive. It can certainly have longevity clients alike. Though it is more about teaching skills and and profitability, but it will not have an engaged and cre- knowledge than digging deep into the psyche, it requires ative culture of excellence. Positivity is the most impor- people to change the way they think. tant outcome of Relationship Coaching. Relationship Coaching takes people out of fear-based, Making the system visible, teaching new skill sets and individual-centered thinking into positive-based, 30 VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4
  • 4. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com collaborative thinking in which no victims are allowed. It ways. These ways are known as the five ‘love languages.’ requires everyone to be fully responsible, and to take a They include: leadership role, regardless of his or her hierarchical posi- Words of Affirmation – These include compliments, words tion in the company. of encouragement, and praise. They increase the self- It makes visible the invisible entities of relationship, and worth of the child/parent and bring out their full poten- it shifts the conversation from “Whose fault is it?” to tial. They focus on the values, characters, and virtues that “What’s the opportunity now?” and “What needs to hap- the child/parent demonstrates through their behavior. pen in this relationship?” And that, my friends, is one huge Quality Time – This includes spending quality time with paradigm shift for any person or organization to make. a child/parent, giving your undivided attention by shar- ing thoughts and feelings, listening intently and partici- Kat Kehres Knecht, CPCC, is an author and a relationship coach pating in activities that have meaning to the child/par- working with couples and business partners in Hollywood, CA. ent. Interact with the child at their level, even for a few minutes a day. Receiving Gifts – Whether made or purchased, gifts show that you care and that you value your relationship. Speaking the Languages of Love The value of the gift is irrelevant. It can be a note left in their bag or an award at a social event. Acts of Service – This is about doing something specifi- By Susan T. Howson, MA, CPCC cally for a child/parent (for example, helping with home- B eing appreciated and loved are central human work/dishes). When performing an Act of Service needs that help determine the emotional health remember to tell them that you are doing it because you of children and adults. Research shows that appreciate them. when children feel that they belong and are wanted, they Physical Touch – This is a powerful form of communication are more likely to develop into responsible adults. Gary to show appreciation and belonging. It can be as simple as a Chapman quotes Dr. Ross Campbell: “Inside every child pat on the shoulder, shake of a hand, high five or yes, even a and adult is an ‘emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with hug. Consider the age, personality and temperament of love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop nor- each child/parent to determine the type of physical affirma- mally but when the love tank is empty, the child will mis- tion that works best. behave. Much of the misbehavior of children is motivat- When a child or parent’s emotional love tank is deplet- ed by the cravings of an empty ‘love tank’.” ed or empty their perspective on the world is bleak. The The idea of an emotional likelihood that they will reach love tank provides a powerful their potential for good in the metaphor when addressing When a child or parent’s world is thereby diminished. the emotional needs of chil- emotional love tank is As a coach, understanding dren and families. Being your own ‘love language’ gives aware of whether each family depleted or empty their insight into potential areas for member’s love tank is full or perspective on the world self-regulation. Interacting running on empty provides with children/parents in the insight to the type of commu- is bleak. emotional manner that fills nication, interactions and their love tank also helps to behavior of each member of the family. When each develop a stronger, more trusting relationship. family member’s emotional love tank is full they feel Not sure what your primary love language is? Ask more secure in themselves, and are more willing to yourself, “What makes me feel loved by others?” Your work towards reaching their fullest potential. answer will reveal your primary love language. And to In his research, Gary Chapman has discovered that effectively coach children and families, practice speak- most people’s love tanks get filled in at least one of five ing their primary love language(s). Don’t worry. If you VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4 31
  • 5. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com are not clear about the primary love language of the ed weekly couple time and a date night at least once a children/parents you are coaching, speak all five regu- month. The challenge was that the couple had no real larly. With time, they will reveal the love language that established external supports. They had not reached out most effectively fills their love tank. And when you are to their communities to support their marriage and speaking their primary love language, your relationship recent parenthood. will stay strong and sacred. A community is a group of family, friends, co-workers, or other parents/couples that share an interest in your Susan T. Howson, MA, CPCC, is a family and relationship systems success and well-being. Sally, being career minded prior coach, a keynote speaker and the winner of the 2005 ICF Prism Award to motherhood, felt like she should be able to handle it for excellence in business coaching. all, so had not asked for or accepted offers of help from family and friends. John simply had not even thought of it, assuming Sally would say something if it was needed. Change cannot occur in a vacuum; it occurs when we And Baby Makes Three speak it to the world around us. The challenge for John and Sally was to sit down together and list everyone they By Kristin Grant, CAC knew and trusted as supporters of their marriage, narrow John and Sally have been married for five years and now have one these down to the few that they could count on to hold child together. Both partners are involved in their careers and have them accountable, and contact those individuals to share looked forward to being co-par- with them their desire to ents of little Kate. Within six Change cannot occur in reconnect their marriage and months of baby Kate’s birth, ask for their support. John and Sally are feeling tired a vacuum; it occurs when Additionally, they researched and disconnected from each we speak it to the world the affordability of help with other as marital partners. Both housework, found a local agree that they feel connected to around us. mom’s club group for Sally, Baby Kate, but what happened discussed part-time work to their bond? As Kate’s one year birthday rolls around, Sally and options for Sally and asked neighbors and friends for rec- John agree that they need help. ommendations on babysitters in their area. L ISTENING WITH EMPATHY I n first working with Sally and John, it became clear that many life changes had occurred during this last year The next step was to address their differing needs in the for them. As with many couples, the reality of upcom- area of intimacy. Both admitted that this was an area of fre- ing life changes with the birth of a child was overshadowed by quent arguments. John, guiltily feeling replaced by Baby the excitement and romance of becoming first time parents. Kate, was missing the frequent and often spontaneous As a result, neither partner was prepared for how it could lovemaking of their Before Baby days. Sally on the other affect their relationship. Sally was feeling increasingly guilty hand, was missing the cozy conversations shared during about not being at home with Baby Kate and not keeping up cuddling after a long day of work. How to get the two on with the housework as she did before, but was not sure they the same page at the same time and get their needs met? could afford for her not to work. John was feeling abandoned First things first. I asked each to take a minute and since Sally’s time seemed devoted to Baby Kate and house- explain to the other what significance these needs/activi- work, and she always felt tired once Kate went to bed. ties had for them. John shared that he felt desired, cared for and the focus of Sally’s attention when they were sex- L ACK OF EXTERNAL SUPPORTS ually intimate. He enjoyed the excitement and the feel- After speaking with each partner and clarifying what ing that he could give her pleasure. Sally shared that she each would like to be different in their relationship, we felt cared for, cherished, secure, and accepted during devised some strategies and set some goals. These includ- those times that she and John just cuddled together. 32 VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4
  • 6. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Having a baby is a life changing event that can significantly alter our routines and the way we relate to one another. I asked both to repeat what they heard from the other, families, marital coaching, pre-marital coaching, and starting with “I hear that you miss being intimate/cud- coaching of business partners. dled because it helps you feel…” After the exercise, both shared that they felt heard and Kristin Grant is a Certified Action Coach and Licensed Clinical Social understood versus defensive as they had been in prior Worker. She has worked in various positions from criminal justice to school- discussions. We discussed how actively listening and and home-based family/child counseling prior to starting her own practice. reflecting back the feelings their partner shared helps to eliminate the criticism and blame pattern that couples often experience. This process allows for better under- standing and acceptance of one another in the marriage. Face-Off John and Sally then were able to work together to set a goal for addressing each other’s needs, with the under- By Lisa G. Kramer, MSW, PCC standing that intimacy might need to be planned for Peter and Laurie met on a blind date two years ago. Peter was awhile to ensure it was kept a priority. They agreed to set initially attracted to Laurie’s exuberance for life. Laurie, on the one evening a week where they cuddled after Kate went other hand, was drawn to Peter’s calm centeredness. In the to bed, and one evening a week where lovemaking was beginning of the relationship, Laurie’s zest for life rubbed off on scheduled; each partner would take turns initiating the Peter, and he looked forward to their time together with eager activity. Both agreed that spontaneity with lovemaking anticipation. And Laurie enjoyed the tranquility she experi- and cuddling would be a bonus any other time if both enced in Peter’s presence. were receptive. As the relationship between the couple progressed, conflict Overall, it was imperative for both to address that hav- emerged around how they spent their time together. Laurie was a ing a baby is a life-changing event that can significantly do-er — the more plans and activities scheduled, the better. Each alter routines and the way couples relate to one another. weekend was booked solid with theater, dinners out with friends, Discussing possible changes ahead of time, establishing bike rides, and drives in the country. Peter preferred more down needs and boundaries, and carefully listening for the feel- time, and he was content to lie outside in a hammock, with or ings behind the partner’s words can help ward off feel- without Laurie, reading or taking a nap. While Laurie found ings of being disconnected from one another. Peter’s lifestyle to be romantic early on in the relationship, she eventually became bored. Peter also grew resentful about the way L ASTING CHANGE Laurie scheduled their weekends without checking with him Coaching relationships is a process that varies with each ahead of time. Disagreements ensued between Laurie and Peter. client. In my practice as a therapist and relationship They questioned their compatibility as a couple. Upon the coach for the past nine years, certain challenges seem to recommendation of Laurie’s best friend, the couple came to me for arise frequently and need to be addressed for progress to relationship coaching. continue and remain more lasting. Assisting clients in A identifying and reaching out to external supports, active- conscious relationship is one that fosters max- ly listening and showing empathy to those one is in rela- imum psychological and spiritual growth for tionship with, and working together to find a way for both partners. According to Imago theory — both parties to be in the same frame of mind at the same the work of psychologist Harville Hendrix — there are time are the most common challenges. In fact, these three stages in a conscious relationship. The first stage, same challenges apply in any kind of relationship coach- romantic love, is characterized by tremendous passion, ing, whether it is parent coaching, coaching blended excitement and aliveness. Hendrix refers to this stage VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4 33
  • 7. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com as “nature’s anesthesia” because we are numb to the This perspective is what enables couples to move through parts of our partner that we later find to be annoying, the power struggle into the final stage in a conscious rela- irritating, even intolerable! And that is exactly what is tionship — mature love. Mature love is characterized by supposed to happen. As the anesthesia of romantic greater awareness, deep friendship and passion. love dissipates, couples can more clearly see the person with whom they fell in love. That clarity shines a light C ONFLICT AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH on the differences between partners, moving them into The majority of couples who seek professional services the second stage, the power struggle. The power strug- are in the second stage of the conscious relationship, the gle stage is when conflict arises. Out of the conflict power struggle. Coaches can educate couples to under- comes tremendous opportunity for growth. In the stand how conflict provides them with a tremendous example of Laurie and Peter, the conflict that emerged opportunity for growth, both individually and as a cou- presented them with a perfect opportunity to get to ple. There is no such thing as a conscious relationship know themselves better and to deepen the relationship. without conflict. The key is learning how to embrace Some relationships do not go beyond the power strug- conflict in a relationship and use it as a vehicle to become gle stage. Couples remain stuck or the relationship dis- more conscious. Couples who are so embroiled in the solves from the struggle to understand and accept each power struggle that they are unable to acknowledge con- other’s differences. However, some couples view this stage flict as an opportunity for growth may be better served as an opportunity, both for individual growth and for the by a therapist. Couples who are appropriate for coaching relationship to grow stronger and move to a deeper level. recognize that conflict provides opportunity for greater Lead Your ‘‘ Reading Coaching Into Greatness is an inspirational gift to ’’ yourself, to those you work with, and to those you care about. Through the brilliance of Abundance Intelligence, this book injects Clients to success into your life, bringing you face to face with your greatness. Jack Canfield, Co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, ‘‘ Dare to Win, The Power of Focus and The Success PrinciplesTM: Greatness. How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. I love this book! Not only does Coaching Into Greatness offer a ’’ new paradigm for the future of the Coaching industry, it will teach any professional who’s responsible for the success of a team how to lead it to greatness. Prepare yourself for some rather startling and marvelous results. Michael Port, Author of Book Yourself Solid, The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle I nternationally acclaimed business coach and consultant Kim George provides an easy-to-master process for coaches to bring out innate greatness. Kim George introduces a new kind of intelligence quotient, Abundance IntelligenceTM (AQ). AQ is the key to living into our greatness, moving from a mentality of scarcity to one of abundance. Her book awakens you and the people you work with to the real reasons people get stuck and don’t do what they can do by introducing the concept that the ultimate scarcity is resisting who you are. With this awareness, clients learn that they already have everything they need to do the things they want. Available at www.Amazon.com and at fine booksellers everywhere For more information and to download a free companion study guide, visit www.CoachingIntoGreatness.com 34 VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4
  • 8. Relationships Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com interpretation and helps to create a safe space for couples Out of the conflict comes to discuss what they are experiencing with each other. tremendous opportunity Laurie and Peter used mirroring to discuss their differences without trying to convince the other who was right or for growth. wrong. Through coaching, they recognized how they pro- vided each other with opportunities to ‘stretch’ that not intimacy in the relationship. Each partner is willing to only created more trust and intimacy in the relationship, take responsibility for their part in constructively but also helped them to grow individually. One way that addressing conflict in the relationship. Laurie learned to stretch in the relationship was by agree- ing to spend unscheduled time with Peter. This enabled her T HE OUTCOME to slow down and simply ‘be.’ Peter was more willing to par- Relationship Coaching provided Laurie and Peter with the ticipate in activities with Laurie when he knew that he structure to discuss their differences and to create a vision would have unscheduled time to relax. The couple also dis- for their relationship that honored both of them. They cussed their weekend plans in advance, and they found a learned constructive ways to communicate effectively and balance between time together and time apart, as well as to acknowledge their differences. Mirroring, a powerful time engaged in activity and down time. • communication technique from Imago theory, was used to assist Laurie and Peter to step into the other’s shoes. Lisa G. Kramer, MSW, PCC is a coach and author of Loving with Mirroring involves reflective listening without judgment or Intention: A Guide for Relationship Coaching. The Relationship Coaching Better Company Together Teaching people how to create extraordinary partnerships. Kat & Curtis Knecht FUN TROUBLE Extraordinary partnerships create an environment for the individuals to flourish. Instead of dominance, submission or compromise, these relationships create a third way that is better WILDCARD BUSINESS for the individuals involved than anything they could have come up with alone. When will you ask for outside help? www.RelationshipCoaching.com VOLUME 4 NUMBER 4 35

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