Strong Couples Club

Assertiveness and active listening help shape positive communication

There are two skills that will help shape a positive environment for communication in your relationship: assertiveness and active listening.

To recap, assertiveness is expressing your feelings and asking for what you want in the relationship, while active listening is listening attentively without interrupting and restating what was heard. The process of active listening lets the speaker know if their message was accurately received. It’s imperative for the listener to acknowledge the content and the feelings of the speaker.

Active listening is listening attentively without interrupting

There are two skills that will help shape a positive environment for communication in your relationship: assertiveness and active listening.

The process of active listening lets the speaker know if their message was accurately received. It’s imperative for the listener to acknowledge the content and the feelings of the speaker. Acknowledge content AND the feelings of the speaker. The active listening process lets the sender know whether or not the message they sent was clearly understood by having the listener restate what they heard.

Assertiveness is expressing your feelings and asking for what you want

There are two skills that will help shape a positive environment for communication in your relationship: assertiveness and active listening.

To be assertive, it’s important to take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings by using “I” statements instead of starting with “you.” In making constructive requests, be positive and respectful in communication. Use polite phrases such as “please” and “thank you”. Try to avoid blame, criticism, and judgement. Instead, focus on the good!

When you put effort towards something, it can be helpful to foresee outcomes

Whether you work through your PREPARE/ENRICH results in its entirety or section by section, articulating outcomes now, being mindful of them along the way will help guide you and your partner to find success through the journey.

PREPARE/ENRICH helps define you and your partners strength and growth areas

You can’t pass or fail PREPARE/ENRICH and yet there are categories labelled as strength and growth areas. Let’s define those terms, along with others. A strength area has high couple agreement whereas a growth area has low couple agreement. Positive couple agreement happens when both you and your partner answer in a healthy direction.

Valentines Day: a timely reminder about what we should be doing daily for our partner (small things often)

What a lovely reminder Valentine’s Day on 14th February is for those in a relationship – however it is a timely reminder that we should be thinking about what we should be doing daily for our partner. Leading relationship expert, Dr John Gottman says this: “Small Things Often” and it is the small things often - more often, which make a relationship fulfilling and keeps couples connected.

An assessment that primes couples to be open an motivated to discuss their relationship

The primary goal of the PREPARE/ENRICH Assessment is to get couples talking, even if that conversation doesn’t happen right away. PREPARE/ENRICH is not a test. It is an assessment of a couples relationship across several categories. To give couples a deeper understanding of what that means, let’s talk about what the PREPARE/ENRICH Assessment IS and ISN’T.

Taking steps toward building a stronger and healthier relationship

By taking the PREPARE/ENRICH Assessment, couples take positive steps toward building a stronger and healthier relationship. The act of completing an assessment primes them to be more open and motivated to discuss relationship topics with their partner. Making sure couples acknowledge and celebrate this effort is important!

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