Questions and Answers for Coaches
Here are some questions that have we have heard. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
- How does it work for our first couple if we find them and refer them to MarriageTeam?
- What can we do to encourage someone to try coaching?
- We have questions on our couple’s inventory. What can we do?
- How long should the “normal” coaching engagement last?
- What if we discover some issues that are beyond our ability to help?
- What do we do about a couple who is not making progress?
1. What are the things that we can do to better support the marriage coaching process?
Your willingness to be a coach couple is the most important thing you can do to support marriage coaching. We recognize that life happens and there will be times when you will not be able to accept a couple because of family or personal reasons. If you let us know in advance, we can put you on the Sabbatical List and will not call you for the time period you request. Generally sabbaticals are less than 9 months. Because life circumstances change you may not want or be able to continue coaching and we can put you on the Inactive List.
The second most important thing you can do is to respond in a timely manner to calls or emails from the office so that we can expeditiously place couples. While we love to hear coaches accept couples, we also appreciate a timely response even when it is negative.
2. How does it work for our first couple if we find them and refer them to MarriageTeam?
If you find and refer your first couple for coaching, the fee for that couple is waived (but only for the 6 months immediately following your graduation from coach training). The reason is to encourage every coach couple to immediately put their new skills into practice soon after coach training. If MarriageTeam calls you, the normal fees apply. If you refer a couple for another new coach team who hasn’t coached anyone, the fee will be waived for them as well.
3. What can we do to encourage a couple to try coaching?
This can be difficult. Start by sharing your experience with your training and the impact it had on your marriage. You can share testimonies and refer people to this website, which has a lot of valuable information including responses to common objections. You can also suggest they call the office and talk with an intake counselor who will answer their questions. Recognize that coaching is a personal decision and that sometimes it just takes time to build the trust or address the concerns to feel safe enough to be coached.
4. We have questions on our couple’s inventory. What can we do?
Call the office (360-450-6042) if you have any questions about the inventory or the coaching process. The training covers a lot of material and a review of the notes on the inventory and the upcoming session in the Coaching Manual can often address the questions. However, do not waste a lot of time looking for an answer when a simple phone call is often best.
5. How long should the “normal” coaching engagement last?
The normally coaching process should take 9 to 12 meetings. It is normal to miss 1-3 meeting dues to vacations, holidays, sickness, etc; However, if your couple is simply forgetting or making weak excuses, this is may be an indication they do not value the coaching process. Also if you have reached the 4th, 5th or 6th meeting and are seeing no progress and/or continually broken agreements, it is an indication that coaching is not being effective and could turn into a much longer engagement.
In either case, if the underlying issues are not addressed it is highly unlikely that coaching will be effective. If you are in either of these situations, review the section in the Coaching Manual about Lack of Progress and have a conversation with the couple to address the issues. Feel free to give the office a call so we can walk you through this. While this is a difficult coaching dilemma, it is also an opportunity to clarify the relationship and recognize that coaching may not be right in that situation.
6. What if we discover some issues that are beyond our ability to help?
Give the office a call and we can discuss the specific situation and explore options. Our goal is always what is best for the relationship and a referral is a viable option.
7. What do we do about a couple who is not making progress?
Progress is often not linear and a husband and wife may struggle for the first several meetings where you are still on Session 1 or 2. It is also common to have a really good meeting and then next week fall back into old patterns. Coaching requires a good deal of patience, prayer and focusing on the basics of “I Statements” and “Active Listening”. As coaches you are often the referee who has to blow the whistle and ensure that each person is performing their role (speaking or listening) and not allow one person to talk over the other. If the conversation is like watching a ping pong match of “he says, she says, he says” . . . the process has broken down.
This is where it is important for coaches to slow down the process and be sure each party is developing specific agreements for change. If they are making specific agreements and not following through on a consistent basis, then refer to #5 above and give our office a call.