As said last time, discussion of the issue is essential before you can try and solve the problem. It is so important that both sides are heard and understood. I said heard and understood, not necessarily that you must agree. To hear and understand each other is so powerful that on many occasions it is enough to resolve the issue by itself.
Once you have sorted out what the problem is about the next challenge is to find a strategy to resolve it or live with it.
"God give me the peace of mind to accept that I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference!"
Remember these three research proven assumptions about couples and problems;
1) All couples have problems. You included.
2) Couples who are most effective at problem solving work as a team. You are a team.
3) Most couples in their rush to find quick solutions do not truly consider the concerns of their partner and therefore often fail to produce lasting solutions. Slow down and take the time it requires.
Here are the six steps to handling problems well:
1) Problem Discussion - this I have already talked about above.
2) Problem Solution is divided into five parts.
- Agenda setting - what is it you will talk about? Be as specific as possible and brief as possible. Use the XYZ communications model to express yourself. See previous posts on this technique.
- Brainstorm some alternatives. The basic rules are: All ideas are ok to suggest. Someone writes the ideas down. Do not evaluate the ideas while brainstorming. Be creative and have fun.
- Come to an agreement by compromising if necessary. You are a team.
- Take action. Just get started.
- Do plan to follow up so that what you both promised gets done .
Until next time, live, love and laugh. Have a good week-end, Bob and Marianne.®
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