Thursday, 30 June 2011

Improving Our Relationships

How much time do you spend improving your key relationships?

Is there room for improvement or would you score yourself 10/10 in this area of your life?

If you do score yourself less than 10/10 perhaps consider your most valued relationships - most of us have between one and four - and think about what you can do to move up one point say from 6/10 to 7/10.

Then when you are at 7/10 what can you do to score 8/10 with the person you have in mind and what can you do to score 9/10 and even 10/10.

Many relationships are improved through better communication. Arguably the most important part of communication is listening and being heard.

Let's first focus on your most important relationship - perhaps your partner or child.

When was the last time you really listened to the key poeple in your life without interrupting them or passing judgment on what they say?

One of the ways we improve relationships is asking the important person/people in our life what we can do to make the relationship stronger.

We can then ask the other person if they would like us to reciprocate and let them know what we feel they can do to strengthen our relationship.

The idea is that we actively listen to the other person for about 10 minutes without interrupting, without thinking of a response and without being distracted by other thoughts such as 'I really should be getting the dinner on'.

After 10 minutes we can comment for about 5 minutes e.g. 'Yes I can do that' and have a discussion with the person about what to do next.

Perhaps you cannot do what they are asking but you are willing to meet them half way and compromise in some way. If this is the case say so.

Then you swap over and let the other person know what you need from them e.g 'I feel that we have an excellent relationship with x and y working really well for me...what would make it even better is if this happened..'

Another exercise that works well is to imagine that you are the other person and walk in their shoes in relating to you. What do you see now?

The idea is that looking at you from another's perspective helps you to both be aware of what it is like living with you / working with you and also to think of those changes that you can and are happy to make to strengthen the relationship.

Has this post been helpful to you? Please do let me know or contact me via my website at West of England Coaching and Counselling.

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