Relationship coaching at home or at work

Most people hear about ‘couples counselling’ but that too is a misnomer as it works for other relationships too, not just couples struggling to connect.


Relationship coaching is a proactive process of:

  • setting goals for the relationship (whatever relationship that is in your environment)
  • creating an action plan
  • taking the steps manageably day by day, week to week 
  • having clear timescales by which to achieve these steps and goals 

One ‘primary goal’ is likely to be something like ‘make the relationship work again’ for a couple or at work ‘how can I achieve my work goals and productivity alongside someone who isn't supportive.’ Secondary goals for couples under that may be things like ‘improve communication’, ‘understand how we have both changed’ or ‘work on compromising on our different needs.’ 

Or specifically, workplace relationships might be ‘consider how we can get on in the team and put personal differences aside’ or ‘managing workplace relationships to achieve my personal goals.’

Under each of these secondary goals will be specific steps to take, actions and exercises to help you consider and focus on what needs to be changed, and how – and when.

SMART goals

SMART goals are often familiar in the workplace for appraisals and supervision: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted

Not all relationship coaching might work the way you want – to heal the wounds, overcome the obstacle(s) or make things work out. Sometimes it might help you realise the situation isn't for you and you cannot make it work if the other person doesn’t want it to.

You cannot change another, only yourself - your response to their behaviours. Sometimes that isn't possible if it’s too much to bear or too long to change things. Whatever the goals and the steps, whatever the process our aim as people, human beings, is:

  • to be heard 
  • hopefully, also to be understood and accepted
  • it may be that you will not always agree so that it is ‘ideal’ but more realistic

One key goal will be to identify the real underlying problems for you individually, and then to bring them back together to discuss how to manage those differences in needs, expectations and hopes.

Family, friends, colleagues – any and all relationships – could benefit from ‘coaching’ and its proactive approach to move things forward and improve the situation.

Finding a solution to the problem requires initially to first acknowledge there is a problem and secondly understanding what the problem is. Counselling will help you see the problems and even how you can manage them. Coaching, however, helps you to break them down, step by manageable step, to achieve the outcome. 

It involves working around obstacles, tweaking steps in line with the prevailing winds like extending timescales slightly to be more realistic e.g. lockdown restrictions or flexing on what resources you need to develop and how you might do that in a timely manner. Very specific and targeted, not just insights and ideas without action steps to follow.

The coaching process is more proactive than listening and reflecting.

  • Find ways to co-operate and collaborate – exercises to help you, tasks to try and to complete e.g. values exercise to then discuss.
  • Identify and utilise strengths and tendencies – resources you already have - more effectively in the relationship.
  • Build and develop more resources that you will need to help you achieve your goals – learn flexibility, learn to listen and really ‘hear’ the message you are sent and receiving.
  • Be clear and open and honest with yourself about what you want and can achieve.
  • Be clear and honest with the other person on what you want, need and are willing to change or negotiate.
  • You might not get all you want i.e. the ideal, but there will always be choices, options and opportunities to make necessary changes within to mind and behaviours, that change your feelings about the situation, enabling you to move forward individually - and together.
  • Adaptability to your current circumstances, focus on the future goal and flexing on how you might achieve it is part of the process.

If you feel you need to ‘take action’ to make changes in your relationships at home with family members or at work, with colleagues or your manager, then coaching can help quickly and effectively, from start to end proactively managing an outcome.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ
Written by Julie Crowley, MBACP | Personal Development Coach | Registered Counsellor
Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ

Julie offers personal development life and career coaching for self-awareness, stress management, relationships and communication that identify your options, insights and outlooks. Supporting professional team members and families, self-employed or managers. "Removing barriers, building dreams. Resolving problems, building teams"

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