Successful engagements are defined by enduring outcomes. Enduring outcomes are realized by both short and long term utility of strategies, education and structures.
Positive results are founded upon the needs, capacities, vision and desires of those involved. Thus, a successful engagement begins with an informed understand of what the client is looking to create or implement, who will be involved and how the outcomes will be realized.
The work proceeds with clarifying needs, defining goals and structuring strategies for attaining a successful outcome. This implementation is built upon the unique composition of the families involved and each process is unique to the individuals engaged. Finally, integrating the changes into family life such that they are enduring is essential to the final phase of our consultations.
Stages of a Typical Engagement
Phase I: Discovery
A thorough process of discovery illuminates the focal issues the client expects to impact. The “what” of an engagement is shaped by these goals and, importantly, by who will be involved. Each individual and family brings a unique set of values, history, talents, capacity and possibility. Discovery focuses on the issues both at hand and heart, assessing strengths and areas of growth. With a solid grasp of the individuals, relationships, opportunities and challenges, an assessment is made integrating the goals of the engagement with what will work with in this specific situation with these specific people. Recommendations for implementation conclude Phase I.
Phase II: Engaging and Implementing
For an engagement to be sustained and successful, those involved must feel included, committed and motivated. At the beginning of a consultation, quite often individuals are at different places with regard to their interest and commitment. A thorough process of discovery unearths core interests in each individual such that engaging can become meaningful and powerfully relevant to his or her life. Participants have both “stakes” and “shares” in the process and outcome. These personal and familial interests help shape the common goals for the engagement and standards by which they will be assessed. ‘Why’ a client engages then becomes the basis for ‘how’ the engagement moves forward. Phase II involves collaboratively defining structure, process, action, and roles for each participant. The desired outcome is defined both on an individual and group (family, council, board or business) level. Phase II moves from assessment into action, becoming the “working” phase of the engagement. Periodic assessment of progress and satisfaction shape the work and establishes a pattern of recursive learning.
Phase III: Integrating and Enduring
Education, change, communication, growth – these are the indicators of success. There are many opportunities in life to experience an “a ha” moment, but fewer times when these are integrated into an enduring transformation in one’s life. Our engagements foster increased awareness, evolving development, and opportunities to put new experiences into practice. The results are metabolized into a new ways of approaching issues and creating solutions. A recursive process evolves with such learning, and new methods, habits and accomplishments build infrastructure to sustain continued progress.
In the process of the collaboration, we develop assessments, tools, and resources that are unique to client needs. Progress and goals are evaluated by standards the clients define, which can be refined throughout the engagement and thereafter. The consultation transitions from a central place in the process to an ancillary one, with increased capacity within the individuals and family becoming the basis for moving forward. The future is met with new capacities, vision, strength, and possibility.