People in relationships often move in different directions without even knowing it. Even some of the best intentioned people who really care for each other experience conflict and challenges because they are not on the same page.
I’m a big supporter of clarity in relationships. Clarity is when everyone involved understands what’s going on in the relationship. It does away with assumptions, secrets, guesses, misunderstandings and frustration because we actually get to figure out what’s going on.
How to gain clarity? Next time you encounter conflict in any relationship do the following to really understand what’s going on:
1. Each person talks uninterrupted about how they see the situation?
2. Each person listens carefully without judging, rebutting or giving advice.
3. Each person asks open ended questions to clarify what is going on.
4. The people agree on a way to proceed.
Dialogue is very important to achieving clarity. Make sure to practice listening skills and asking questions. Open ended questions are questions that don’t lead to a yes or no answer and allow the other person to meaningfully explain where they are coming from.
This is a style of talking about relationship issues that doesn’t require confrontation; it’s just about people listening to each other and sharing their points of view. Try it sometime to gain clarity on what’s going on in your relationship.