3. Check Mindset

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Assist the Person to Check Mindset

The coach assists the person to check his mindset in three ways:


  • The coach begins by drawing out the person’s story through active listening.


  • As the person lays out his story, the coach notes emotional responses and repeating themes and patterns that give insight to a person’s heart.


  • Using what he learns, the coach then leads the person to embrace a Christ-centered perspective about himself, the other person, and the situation.

Perspective is Key

It’s half full

It’s half empty

Is it purified?

How much does it cost?

In the unfolding of a party’s story, you are listening not only for factual information, but also how the person is interpreting events. Perspective is key.


In the TV series Dragnet (1950’s and 1960’s), Sergeant Joe Friday was known for saying, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts,” as he was interviewing crime victims and witnesses.


But in conflict coaching, that’s not enough! The coach wants to learn about the party’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions as events unfolded in the conflict.


The coach draws out the story through questions. He carefully listens for clues that reveal the person’s heart. Through listening and asking questions, the coach begins to help the individual to assess his heart:


  • How do I see myself in this conflict?

  • How do I view the other person in this conflict?

  • How do I understand the situation in this conflict?


Ultimately, the coach wants to help the person to embrace a Christ-centered perspective:


  • How do I view God’s role in this conflict?

    • What does God teach in His Word regarding my thoughts, words, and actions?

    • What has God done for me through Christ?

    • What does He promise for me in this conflict?


  • What difference does that make in how I view myself?

  • What difference does that make in how I view the other person?

  • What difference does that make in how I understand the situation?

Drawing Out the Story

The coaching process begins through story listening. The coach cannot begin to help another person until the coach has heard that person’s story and understands his interpretation of it. This requires asking questions about more than just factual data.


As you meet with a party, you want to discern information that will reveal his heart and perspective – on himself, on the other person, and on the situation. You will also listen for clues:


  • ·How did the person contribute to the problem?

  • ·Of what sins might he need to repent?

  • ·What options may be available for him to proceed?


In this next video, you’ll learn more about story telling, observation, and listening skills.

Video 6

Drawing Out the Story

As the coach draws out the story, she notes key issues to explore that will help the party to better understand his own world-view so that it can be contrasted with a biblical perspective. These issues are often discovered in the party’s emotions and repeating patterns.

Emotional responses


Sometimes an inexperienced coach may feel uncomfortable with emotional responses. The experienced coach views the party’s emotion as an opportunity to help the party gain insight to his own heart.


When a party expresses emotion, the coach can provide care while exploring the underlying cause of the response.


  • The coach observes what issues bring out emotional responses.


  • The coach seeks to understand the reasons those issues are so important.

  • Asking about the response will help the party understand something deeper about his own heart that he may not have appreciated.

  • Exploring emotional responses may provide deeper insights in past experiences or other contributing factors that have helped shape this person’s perspective.


Emotional responses are often related to a person’s heart, opening a discussion about one’s fears, desires, or trusts.

Repeating Themes


As the person tells his story, look for repeating themes or patterns that reflect the person’s attitudes and affect his behaviors. The patterns may occur in different ways.


  • Repeating themes.

    • Phrases or descriptions.

    • References to specific fears, intense desires (wants, cravings), or trust.

    • References to past relationships or events.


  • Repeating patterns of thinking or behavior.

    • How the person interprets words or actions of others.

    • How the person reacts to similar events.

    • How the person responds to similar situations.


As you observe these patterns, use questions to help the party recognize them and better understand what has been defining his perspective. Then ask questions to explore deeper insights and encourage reflective thinking.

In this Demonstration Video, the coach begins the conflict coaching process. Watch how he draws out the story and notes emotions and repeating patterns.

Demo Video 1

Demonstration Reflections


How did the coach draw out Kyle’s story? (check each box to reveal answers)

Enter two repeating themes or patterns that you recognized. Then compare them to the coach’s observations.

My Observations



Share your observations above and then we'll enable the button to share the coach's observations here

When did you see the coach ask some water-skiing questions? (check each box to reveal answers)

Enter any of the coach’s scuba diving questions you remembered:

My Observations



Share your observations above and then we'll enable the button to share the coach's observations here

Note how the coach used four of the listening skills in this demonstration:

click each skill to reveal how the coach demonstrated it

Lead to a Christ-Centered Perspective

By nature, we see things from our own perspective. Although we may not want to admit it, we work hard to serve our own desires. And that creates conflict. James says it this way:


What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:1-3

It’s all about me!


That’s our Old Adam nature – it’s about me and what I want. I’m the god of my own destiny, right? Who else will take care of me if I don’t look out for Number One?


An important step in moving an individual toward reconciliation is helping the person replace a worldly view or self-absorbed attitude with a Christ-centered perspective.


One of the most effective ways to begin this process is to help the party remember whose he is – a redeemed child of God, purchased with the precious blood of Christ.


Peter reminds us whose we are:


Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

1 Peter 1:18-19


In a way, my perspective is about me. It’s about my identity in Christ. Knowing whose I am begins to change the way I understand myself, the world around me, and my Heavenly Father who adopted me into His family.

Making a transition


As indicated earlier in this chapter, the coach draws out the story in order to help the party understand his personal perspective:


Once the party has opportunity to tell his story, and once the coach believes that passport has been adequately earned, the coach is ready to make a transition in the coaching process. The coach guides the party to reflect on his existing perspective and embrace a Christ-centered viewpoint.



(click empty box to reveal answer)

How do I see myself in this conflict?            

How do I view the other person in this conflict?      

How do I understand the situation in this conflict?

The coach may use questions similar to these to bring about reflection on perspective:​

Transition Question:

Follow-up Options:

(click empty box to reveal answer)

Would you be willing to read a Bible verse and reflect on what difference that might make for you in this situation? [Wait for affirmative answer.]

As you consider this situation, tell me how you understand your own worth. [Wait for answer.]

You told me that __________ [the other party] is a Christian.

Perspective on Issues

In this next video, we’ll distinguish between two kinds of issues and how to approach them.

Video 7

To summarize, help parties understand the differences between two kinds of issues:


  • Substantive or material issues, and


  • Relational or personal issues.


Substantive or material issues are resolved through negotiation.

Relational or personal issues are reconciled through confession and forgiveness.

Fill in the blanks

In addition, the coach guides a party to understand these three different concepts. Identify each with the dropdown options, then click "Check my Answers" below.


An identifiable and concrete question that must be addressed in order to reach an agreement. The issue is the problem to be solved or the difference to be reconciled.


A party’s desired outcome or definable perspective on an issue. In other words, it’s that person’s solution to the issue.


The motivation or reason that underlies a particular position. Usually  there are multiple interests. They may include a concern, desire, need, limitation, or something that a person values. Issues are sometimes concrete, but often abstract.

In the next Demonstration Video, the coach continues the conflict coaching process. Notice how the coach guides Kyle through a Christ-centered perspective.


Be prepared to answer a few reflections after you watch this next scene.

Demo Video 2

Demonstration Reflections


In this scene, the coach continued to draw out the story by asking, “What does Nicole think of your situation?”


The coach noted that Kyle’s perspective was primarily a self-absorbed attitude. For example, note who Kyle was talking about when he said:


  • “I thought I was being really successful.”

  • “I feel trapped.”

  • “I’ll lose my job. And then what will that look like? I’m getting married to the girl of my dreams, and I’m unemployed because of my own stupidity.”


Kyle was so focused on himself that he couldn’t bring himself to tell Nicole what was going on, even though he realized that she knew something wasn’t right. The coach’s question, “What does Nicole think about your situation?” helped Kyle begin to verbalize his fear:


  • “I’m so ashamed. I haven’t told Nicole any of this. But she knows something isn’t right. I’m grouchy and quiet when I’m around her.”


Type in a couple of questions the coach used to help Kyle make a transition in his perspective.

My Observations



Share your observations above and then we'll enable the button to share the coach's transition here

My Observations



Share your observations above and then we'll enable the button to share the coach's transition here

How did the coach use Scripture?


Indicate whether each statement below is true or false.

1. The coach used passages to show Kyle his sin (Law).          

2. The coach used passages of God’s grace to remind Kyle how much God loves him (Gospel).

3. The coach read all the passages to Kyle and told him how they applied.

4. The coach asked Kyle to read a couple of passages and asked him how they applied to him.

Lesson 3 Journal Reflections

Why is it important to take the time to draw out the party’s story? 

Am I comfortable around others who show emotion? Describe how a person’s emotions can give a coach an opportunity to serve the party.

How can leading a party to a Christ-centered perspective help the party:

  1. With his or her own sense of worth?

  2. View the other person as valuable to God?

  3. Think differently about how to address the relational issues in the conflict?

Other Reflections:



©2018 by Ambassadors of Reconciliation.