People often ask me what the difference is between coaching and mediation? How can they work together? I have invited Coach Heidi to tell us in her own words how divorce coaching and divorce mediation can help people get through this very difficult process.
What is coaching?
I coach individual clients to successfully navigate through all the changes that permeate life during divorce, including social, parenting, career, and financial upheaval.
Coaching provides a combination of emotional and practical support which serves to illuminate opportunity within this challenging life transition, which would otherwise not have presented itself. Long term goals are identified and prioritized and then broken down into small achievable steps which are met with success. Each session culminates in an action plan with goals set for the week. Frequent email contact serves as support to accomplish these goals.
As for the difference between mediation and coaching: divorce mediation puts both parties in control of their settlement. Terms are negotiated in a neutral and supportive environment until the outcome is workable for each side. There is no court involvement and the divorcing couple is the one in control of the decisions.
So, why wouldn’t everyone opt for this affordable and respectful method?
Some couples may feel that each individual needs someone in his or her corner, who is working only on that person’s agenda, representing his/her needs, without the voice of another chiming in with conflicting demands.
The coach fills that role in supporting and empowering one person to move forward, based upon his/her individual essentials. Within the coaching process, the man or woman has that personal “cheerleader” if you will, so that he or she can more comfortably mediate with the estranged spouse.
How else can coaching go hand in hand with mediation?
When we negotiate a settlement, inevitably, compromises have to be made by each party. Adjusting and acclimating to those compromises can be worked through in coaching where the client can feel emotionally heard on a one-to-one basis, and can brainstorm ways to cope with the more challenging changes brought about by the settlement. Working through these issues with a coach can really help the collaborative spirit of mediation endure so that cases don’t end up in the courts, costing far more, both financially and emotionally.
Heidi, in which other way can coaching help?
When the mediation process comes to a close, many clients experience uncertainty about the question, “Divorced: now what?” They no longer have the support of the mediator who they have come to depend upon. That’s where an individual coach comes in and empowers the client to create the new life that they desire for themselves, step by step, addressing each aspect.
That is a major point as well. You have really illuminated the important synergies between mediation and coaching. They really go hand in hand, or in “tandem” if you will.
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jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 firstname.lastname@example.org connect on