Action Wheel Leadership

How to Handle
Family Arguments

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Resolving Family Arguments Using the Action Wheel Leadership Process

Project Report Summary: Validating and aligning family values and improving communications 

Project Leaders: Richard, Pulmonologist

Handle Family Arguments

Richard has been sharing some of the principles he has been learning in the program with his wife Pam. 

Together, they have been working to apply these principles to the dynamics within their household. 

All of the cohort members identified strongly with the challenges of raising children and juggling professional careers, and appreciated Richard’s courage in sharing his approach to addressing these personal-life challenges.  

Richard and his wife Pam are both physicians. They have 3 kids, the oldest age 12, and twins age 7.  Their home-life is busy, stressful, and not always harmonious.  When the stresses get too high, or unplanned events disrupt already tightly scheduled days, arguments, versus discussion or dialog are triggered too often.

There are perceived power issues at work:  frequent comparisons of who does what, and a lack of appreciation for all the good things that are getting done versus which things haven’t been completed yet.  Instead of win-win, this always ends up as no-win.  Family members are not energized and unified, but feel like they are undervalued, and misunderstood.  

The real, underlying issue has been a lack of common ground in what is really important to the family.  Without unity in this area, daily routines and habits go on unchecked, and uninspected, and may be fueling the disruptions instead of growing the family.

Together, Richard and Pam discussed the current reality, then validated and aligned on the values most important to their family in this season of their lives.  With this as a foundation, it became easier to align on what activities were contributing to family health and development, and which could be curtailed in favor of other options.  

Connecting important decisions to the family’s core values has created an approach proving to be constructive, energizing, and unifying for Richard, Pam, and the kids.  They are practicing discussing what’s going on in the moment instead of letting things simmer and later boil over into divisive arguments.  It’s working!

Leadership Lens: Richard has been able to take the Action Wheel principles and use them to bring alignment around his families activities. Together, he and Pam have been able to reduce stress and focus their energies around the key goals they hold most dear.


Key Healthcare Impacts: 

  • Serving Others
  • Physician Burnout
  • Wellness and Prevention

Key Leadership Outcomes:

  • Personal Adaptiveness
  • Issue Identification
  • Issue Resolution
  • Common Ground Alignment
  • Mission Change Engagement
  • Ownership Accountability

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