Judy Barber and her collaborators share four tenets about their work:
• Each client situation is unique: Although there are common themes, each individual, couple and family has its own way of approaching the issues they face. Our job is to provide a safe and constructive environment for the exploration and resolution of those issues.
• We are collaborators in the process: We come to each engagement with a clean slate, without preconceived ideas of what the outcome "should be." The work is a joint effort between the clients and us. We invite comments, suggestions and questions throughout the process.
• The goal is always a "win/win" outcome: Families don’t tolerate the notion of "winners" and "losers." A successful conclusion of the engagement is when consensus is reached. All participants gain or retain some of what they wanted and complete the process with a measure of satisfaction.
• The consulting process is most successful when it is viewed as a continuing process over time rather than an "event": Our role is to help the client initiate an ongoing process of planning and change. Our continuing role, if any, in that ongoing process, is determined by the client.
Our clients engage us because of their dual goals of preserving the ongoing family relationship, while at the same time resolving the business issues in a constructive manner.
Our approach to this task is a combination of individual and joint meetings with the participants, custom designed based upon the circumstances presented.
In general, we take the clients through the following steps designed to identify the best solutions and action plans:
• Define Goals: The usual first step is the clients to meet with us individually to explore and articulate their goals, in preparation for communicating those goals to each other.
• Identify Obstacles: An essential step in problem solving is identifying and understanding the nature and origin of the obstacles that impair the participants’ ability to achieve their goals.
• Communicate through Constructive Dialogue: Jointly exploring the articulated goals and overcoming the identified obstacles requires willingness and ability to listen to each other. Usually a skilled third-party facilitation enables participants to better understand and discuss the views of everyone involved.
• Identify Resources: Successful problem solving often involves coordination of other professional resources, including the client’s existing professional advisors and others.
• Create an Action Plan: The ultimate step in the process is the creation and implementation of an action plan.
Our role as facilitators and mediators is to provide safety, structure, guidance and encouragement.
The nature of our work requires us to maintain strict confidentiality as to the identity of our clients. However, many of the clients have offered to be references for those who have a serious interest in working with us. At an appropriate time in the engagement process, we will provide pertinent references to a prospective engagement.
We provide fee estimates prior to our being engaged.
Family Money™ is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.© 2012 by Judy G. Barber
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