Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family Team Building - Committing to Action

In the last blog post, we discussed how conflict can be healthy for families. In this blog post, we will share how commitment to action is crucial in family team work.

What does it look like when family’s DON’T set goals that they stick with and DON’T commit to taking action? Families that don’t commit to taking action in their families often don’t have clear priorities or a sense of direction. You might see one person who takes on the majority of the responsibility for the family. We know who that person is because they are the ones that miss important appointments, run late for things a lot and always feel stressed. Families who don’t commit to action may have a very hard time making decisions as a family. They may have the same discussions again and again, or may fear failing.

What does it look like when family’s DO set goals that they stick with and commit to taking action?
Something amazing happens after teams have developed trust and the room to disagree with each other. They often move on to commit to a plan or goal even when they don’t quite agree with the plan. When people feel heard and understood, they feel more OK with cooperating. Families that commit to goals and to one another are clear about what is expected of each other and are willing to work towards the goal, even if they disagree. What's more, you start to see a greater sense of balance within the family.

Ways you can build COMMITMENT TO ACTION in your family.
  • Make sure everyone feels heard and understood.
  • Make sure there is a clear understanding before you take further action.
  • Before you end your family meeting or discussion, ask the question, “What have we agreed upon today?” This helps to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Write it down! Be sure to write down what the agreement is and who will be doing WHAT by WHEN!

Try it out! In your next family meeting, talk with your family about a time when everyone decided to work together on something, or did something together even if everyone did not agree. What did that look like? How did it work out? Then choose as a team an issue that continues to creep up in your family, tackle it and commit to take action on it!
Heather Remer, INCAF

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