Keeping Your Conversation on Track.

Why do our conversations with our partner sometimes end up going sideways? In the end you feel frustrated, like you didn’t get your idea across and that you were not understood. How does this keep happening? I want to give you some suggestions that will help you get a more positive end result. Think of these 5 pillars of communication that should help you stay on track. 

  1. Build on a positive foundation of friendship and partnership: This is something you should always be working on in the relationship. Show appreciation for your partner, share a compliment. This sets a tone of connection and being a team. So when you are ready to share a concern it can be helpful to start with a statement of admiration or respect. Then your partner does not feel under attack but feels like a teammate is coming with a concern. 
  2. Accept influence: Your way is not always the only way or the right way. You and your partner are different people who see the world differently. You need to work within your differences and adapt. So try to understand a different perspective. You might need to look beneath the surface and ask questions to uncover what is behind the concern. Each of you can show vulnerability, this can only be achieved through trust and consideration. 
  3. When sharing your concern identify the pressing issue: It is helpful if you can be clear and keep things short and to the point. You want to avoid overwhelming your partner with too much challenging information that they can’t take in. It is better to keep it simple.    
  4. Talk about yourself: What I mean is that what you know best is how you feel and how this is affecting you. So share that. How could you be contributing to this problem? What is your responsibility? It might be helpful to talk about your fears and what is important to you and why.
  5. What is your goal: What is your hope that the future will look like? What are the changes you are looking for and how will this change make you feel? Then you can make some suggestions for how you think you can implement these changes. Make your suggestions and then ask “Does that work for you ?”

So many times we do the opposite of this and the result is we get off track. We start out with words that feel like an attack, we blame and criticize our partner. Then we state what needs to be done without being open to any other ideas. We talk about everything that is bothering us instead of keeping it simple and clear. We talk about what the other persons’ mistakes are and what we believe their thoughts and motives are and lastly we are unclear of what exactly we want to achieve. This is very confusing. I hope you can think about some of these suggestions and keep your conversations on track so you can work together as a partnership.

If you need any help, just call me at 562-260-4796

Written by Lisa Strong

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