The Magic Carpet: A Conflict Management Tool

Whether you’re dubious or curious, you gotta admit that title’s got game. But it’s no game when a parent is trying to referee the fourteenth instance of the same argument (this week) between two kids.

The following solution* involves a “magic carpet,” a “talking stick,” and a bit of hubris:

We have a magic carpet in our home. To the untrained eye it appears to be a small oval rug that sits in front of the fireplace. It serves as a safety net should burning embers make it through the fireplace screen and fall onto the floor. The protective nature of this rug is an important and appreciated function, but is not related in any way to its magical attributes. Our magic rug plays a more important role. It produces magical and elegant solutions to family conflicts. This is how it works.

Last week, Austin began an algebra unit in his 5th grade math class. His older sister, Chelsea, has been studying Algebra throughout her 8th grade school year. When Austin made an error on one homework problem, Chelsea leaped to the rescue. Fashioning herself as a future math teacher, Chelsea saw this opportunity as a chance to practice her trade. There was a slight problem, however. Austin did not want to be the practice dummy. A light disagreement began, gradually escalated it’s way into bickering, and then bloomed into a full blown argument, complete with angry tones and loud voices. Read More…

So coaches, listen up: this idea can work for “kids of all ages,” and the “carpet” can be any defined space – for example, a masking tape rectangle on the floor. So next time you need a conflict resolution tool in your coaching (or for a workshop), pull out your “magic carpet,” and watch what unfolds!

*Thanks to friend and colleague Norb Rozanski for sharing this piece with me.

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Coaching Relationships Through Movement

Add this playful yet valuable tool to your couples coaching and/or relationship workshop toolkit and invite your clients to “Dance into learning about your partner.”

The idea is simple: put on some music (or not) and see what blossoms in a safe space. Debrief afterward, using questions like the ones below, as a place to begin the coaching:

  • What was created that wasn’t there before?
  • What was hard about this exercise?
  • What did you learn or discover?
  • What’s this prepare you for?
  • Where can you take this relationship now that you couldn’t before?
  • What’s your takeaway? How does this apply to moving your relationship forward?

You can get a flavor of “Dance Improv” in the video below:

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Envision what you want in your life as a coach. Now flesh out the picture. The sharper the image, the better results you will achieve!


How does knowing exactly what I want attract it to me? How can this exercise serve me in building my business?

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Opening Doors


What opportunities are calling you? Some of them may look like closed doors, but they may be waiting for your knock – and who knows what’s on the other side? Perhaps a new ally, business opportunity or client?


Make a list of both “open” and “closed” doors that you see in your life, each in their own column. Each week, pick one from each column and find out what’s on the other side. For some, this might involve simply walking through and saying hello; for others you may have to look for a bell-rope, doorbell or knocker!

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Power-ful Coaching

Take a 20 minute power walk and come up with some “power” steps you need to take to bring your coaching and your practice to the next level. For what goals do you want to be accountable in the next 3 months?


Tell at least 20 people about your plan to take your coaching to the next level in the next quarter!

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