AlignMENt: Feedback from our Kids

By Patrick Donohue

February 23, 2013

AlignMENt: Feedback from our Kids

I am just returning from a conference on something called Stakeholder Based Coaching.

It's all about growing and getting better.

The basic premise is to provide people with feedback about how they are doing and then some feedforward about how they can become better in the future.  The person then takes the feedback and feedforward (future suggestions) and with the coach designs a behavior plan. 

The person then shares the behavior plan with 8-10 stakeholders and receives quick feedback and feedforward on how they are doing on their plan.

This is a good concept that takes plenty of humility and courage to execute.  Then I came up with the crazy idea of a stakeholder approach for us as fathers.  What if we asked for feedback on our strengths and weaknesses from our children?  From that feedback, we developed an action plan of a couple of items to work on and then took some feedforward on how we could execute on the plan.

 For instance, a dad might receive feedback that he needs to be a better listener and less distracted.  In his action plan, he could commit to the following behavorial changes:

1.     Put down all reading materials and electronics when talking to children.

2.     Initiate deeper conversations weekly with each child.

3.     Listen without passing judgment on children.

 The dad will receive monthly feedback and feedforward on how he is doing as well as coaching tips along the way.  I think this could radically change even the most estranged relationships and move them in the right direction.

This would be a gutsy step to try with our pre-teens, teenagers or even twentysomething kids. Would it be hard?  Yes.  Would it take massive humility?  Yes.  Here's the final question:  What price do we put on a better relationship with our kids?

If anybody is up to try this approach, I would be game to coach him.  This could be great for someone looking to significantly breakthrough on a tough relationship.  Contact me at

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