We’ve read earlier of the power of “Yes, and” as a means of helping us move from reactive “NOs” and BUTs” to calmer, more responsive spaces of “Yes, and…”

For example, one can follow a, “Yes, and” in a variety of ways such as, “Yes, and tell me more.” “Yes, and can I share with you how I heard that…?” “Yes, and is there something we need to work out together?” and so forth. All these are respectful replies, honoring all parties.

Recently I’ve uncovered an uncommonly powerful approach that will convey you and your partner, spouse, or child into to a very, very high connected space. Most especially if you are seeking to emerge from a disconnected, negative, stuck place.

What would it be like if one of you said something like the following:
1) “My Blessing for us is that we find our way into a loving place in which both of us are honored and respected. Can we do that?”
2) Or, “My Blessing for us is that we find our way back to the love we both shared not so long ago. Will you join with me to get us back there once more?”

Basically, with this “Blessing invitation” approach both of you can reboot your relationship, gracefully.

Will it work every time? Likely not. It certainly will open something up that wasn’t present before.

Try it out for yourself and let me know how it went.

My Blessing for us is that we find our way towards a society that communicates with mutual honor, respect and love.

Join me?

All too often couples find themselves “Making allowances.” Forgiving inappropriately. It goes something like this:

“He or she just did or said something that upset me. I don’t know how to let them know how it made me feel. I love them dearly and I don’t want to get into an argument or a fight, so I’ll just let it go by.”

“After all, we love each other. We’ll be together for the rest of our lives. I’ll “Make allowances.” t’s just not as important than our marriage. We have children.”

“Making allowances,” tolerating unkind behavior, whether by accident or by design, is a very,very slippery slope.

All too often, the marriage and communication couples that have come to see me – have been “Making allowances” for years and their capacity to “Make more and more allowances” has run out. In a sense their marriage, their relationship bank account has gone bankrupt.

The way to avoid totally bankrupting your relationship, your marriage, is to learn to communicate with mutual honor and respect.

Learning how to communicate with honor and respect is far cheaper. A stitch in time saves nine.

For an added bonus: once your children learn good quality communication from you – inevitably you will approve of and like your future sons and daughters in law. Christmas becomes something joyous to look forward to.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Learn to communicate together.
Call me today.

“NO” need not be the end of a communication, only the opening of the next.

True story: He invited her to come out so they could spend time together at a nearby park.

What did happen: She said, “NO.” He took it personally and got mad. It turns out that all she needed was a half hour more to finish her hair.

What could have happened: To her, “No” he could have simply said, “AND…?”
The communication would have continued. He would have understood, “I need a half hour to finish my hair.” He could have responded, “OK, I’ll wait and we can go together, Okay?”

The two of them would have ridden off to the park for a nice afternoon together.

The moral of the story?

The most loving and cooperative response to any “NO” is an “AND…?”

How do we rebuild trust when it is gone?

We know that words have no value when it comes to reestablishing our partner’s trust.

We hear, “Talk is cheap” “Actions speak louder than words,” “I simply don’t believe you.”

So, how may we rebuild their faith in us? Can we be forgiven?

Towards rebuilding trust, look at what we might call a “Staircase to Forgiveness.” The higher up we go the more your partner’s faith and trust may be, might be restored.

The Staircase to Forgiveness:

  • “I’m sorry” has a negative value when your goal is rebuilding Trust that has been broken, or shattered. Nobody has believed our, “I’m sorry” since childhood. So why say it?
  • “I apologize” – heads us in a positive direction. However, our partner still is not sure what it is we are apologizing for.
  • “I apologize for – not taking care of the back yard.” This second step lets our partner know what it is we are apologizing for. However, it doesn’t yet include
  • “I apologize for – not taking care of the back yard. Please forgive me.” This third step is the first step that reaches out to, and involves our partner. We invite them to forgive us. Note that they are not obligated to do this. Forgiveness may come later on. Forgiveness is not automatically granted just because you asked for it. However, it is the right thing to say at his point.
  • “I apologize for – not taking care of the back yard. Please forgive me. I promise to do it.” This fourth step is your first step towards healing a trust that has been broken. You have now given your Word, promised future Actions from which your trustworthiness may be re-assessed by your partner.
  • “I apologize for not taking care of the back yard. Please forgive me. I promise to do it by the end of this week.” Adding a timeline adds power. “by the end of this week,” is essentially a second promise to your partner. When you fulfill both promises “by the end of this week” you’ve demonstrated new trustworthiness. After you’ve fulfilled your promises – they may begin to see you as worthy of their trust once more.
  • “I apologize for not taking care of the back yard. Please forgive me. I promise to do it by the end of this week. I ask for your support. Would you please get together with me so we can plan a backyard that works for both of us?” This is the most inviting seventh step, inviting Partnership Adding a timeline, you’ve made two promises, asked for forgiveness, asked for their support and invited your partner to work with you to build the “backyard” that would please them, too.

Inquiry complete: we can imagine that the higher you rise on this “Staircase to Forgiveness” The more likely your partner will believe you, trust you, and forgive you so the two of you can move on.

When you wish to share something with your spouse, invite them to talk, first.
They might be involved in something else and are unable or unwilling to interrupt what they are doing in the moment.
Starting to talk without an invitation may put them in a bind. They don’t wish to disappoint you.
They may be available to talk later, just not now.

So, invite them with a, “Do you have time to talk?” Allow them to respond to your invitation with a, “Yes, and I need about half an hour more. I’ll come and get you when I’m done. Thanks.”

After your business’ mission statement, communication is the lifeblood of your enterprise; management to staff, staff to employees, and everyone to clients and customers.
Over time, given the nature of human beings, communication breakdowns are inevitable. Negativity creeps into your workplace, staffers and employees stop talking, stop cooperating and confusion arises. Where teamwork and cooperation once flourished silence grows. Customer fulfillment and satisfaction suffers. They stop communicating with you.

You lose clients. You lose business. Contact us today.

One of the concerns I often hear from female clients is something like the following: “I am not sure I know the man I married. Oh, we have all the normal things that go along with a marriage: our home 2 plus children, money in the bank, careers and so forth. And yet, I have feeling that there is something missing. I find myself growing lonely in our marriage. Communication, a deeper communication, seems to be missing for me.

When he returns home after a day’s work, I want to reconnect with him, to restart our relationship after our absence from one another and I want him to want to reconnect with me, interested in hearing about my day. But that’s not the way it goes for us.

Whenever I’ve asked him, “How was your day, dear?” most of the time he says something like, “Fine. Okay. Things went well. No problems.” If I press him for more details, he looks either confused or gives me a look that says that there is something wrong with me for asking. He gives me much the same look when I try to share my day with him.
Sometimes it seems to me that he doesn’t care. Oh, on some level I know that can’t possibly be true – but what he chooses to share is all the information I have to go on.”
In the next part of this blog “Why is she bothering me?” we’ take a look at her male partner’s perspective on the very same issue.

Men (but not only men) have what we might call a more “Workplace communication style” designed to collaborate, identify and solve problems, to achieve and accomplish goals together. When one man approaches another man in the workplace it must be because he needs something from him. If there is silence in the workplace – that is good news, all must be going well. If there is chatter – there must be something to be addressed. Silence is Golden.
In marriages this communication style will not work. Quite the opposite. With our marriage partners Silence may be deadly, toxic.
When men decline to share their day, thoughts, experiences our partner’s minds may begin to fill in the blanks with “He doesn’t care,” “I don’t matter,” or worst yet, “Who is he talking to if it is not me? Who is he seeing?”

It may be awkward at first, but it is imperative that partners communicate, open up, share, support one another. Workplace communication belongs in the workplace not in the home.

How do we rebuild trust when it is gone? (Part one)

We know that words have no value when it comes to reestablishing our partner’s trust.
We hear, “Talk is cheap” “Actions speak louder than words,” “I simply don’t believe you.”
So, how may we rebuild their faith in us? Can we be forgiven?
Towards rebuilding trust, look at what we might call a “Staircase to Forgiveness.” The higher up we go the more your partner’s faith and trust may be, might be restored.
The Staircase to Forgiveness:
• “I’m sorry” has a negative value when your goal is rebuilding Trust that has been broken, or shattered. Nobody has believed our, “I’m sorry” since childhood. So why say it?
• “I apologize” – heads us in a positive direction. However, our partner still is not sure what it is we are apologizing for.
(Part two next week)

Part one: a female life partner’s point of view..

One of the concerns I hear from female clients is something like the following: “I am not sure I know the man I married. What I mean is on the surface all seems “fine.” We have all the normal things that go along with a marriage: our home 2 plus children, money in the bank, careers and so forth. And yet, I have feeling that there is something missing. I find myself growing lonely in our marriage. Marriage communication, a deeper communication, seems to be missing for me.

When he returns home after a day’s work, I want to reconnect with him, to restart our relationship after our absence from one another and I want him to want to reconnect with me, interested in hearing about my day. But that’s not the way it goes for us.

Whenever I’ve asked him, “How was your day, dear?” most of the time he says something like, “Fine. Okay. Things went well. No problems.” If I press him for more details, he looks either confused or gives me a look that says that there is something wrong with me for asking.” He gives me much the same look when I try to share my day with..

Sometimes it seems to me that he doesn’t care. Oh, on some level I know that can’t possibly be true – but what he chooses to share is all the information I have to go on.”

In the next part of this marriage counseling blog “Why is she bothering me?” we’ take a look at her male partner’s perspective on the very same issue.