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Three ways to enhance communication in your relationships

Strong relationships, and importantly, the skills needed to sustain these, underpin how teams work, how leaders serve, how work gets done and how hearts are filled. 

At their best, what do your most important relationships look like?

And what would happen if you brought 5% more awareness to the relationship? Take a minute to really think about it. 

A key area where we can bring greater awareness to our relationships is through the way we communicate. 

Communication is fundamental to how we connect – but we often stay on autopilot, without putting much thought into what we’re saying and how we’re saying it.

To help, here are 3 things you can do to enhance your communication in some of your most important relationships:

  1. Keep getting to know each other

Just like parents know if their child has a little quirk of cutting sandwiches into squares or triangles, you want to be the expert on your partner or close friend. 

What is their favourite song at the moment? What’s one of their concerns or worries? What’s their favourite way to spend free time? 

People change over time, so it’s important to keep asking questions and understanding your partner or close friend to help you stay connected. 

  1. Get good at conflict

Conflict is normal, but become a pro so that you can manage it and not let it get out of hand.

Of course there will be issues you need to bring up – that’s completely healthy and normal, and the way you bring up an issue is so important. 

Did you know that in a conflict situation, the way you bring up an issue in the first three minutes is going to determine the outcome? So, raise issues kindly and softly.

Here’s a formula that works:

Say your partner’s always on social media and you want them to pay more attention to what’s going on. Instead of saying “Get off your phone, you’re not Instafamous!” you could say:

“I feel frustrated about you being on Insta when we’re having dinner. I need you to be present at dinner. Like last week, when we ordered Thai, you asked me about my day and we had a few laughs.”

Some key prompts to get the conversation flowing include:

  • I feel…
  • About…
  • I need…
  • Like..
  1. Sync, don’t sink, parenting and career

We have conversations and negotiations at work about our working arrangements all the time. 

For example, when an employee returns from maternity leave there will be discussions such as how many days a week they’ll start off with, whether they’ll transition back to full-time, whether flexible hours are required, and so on.

To avoid the trap of falling into gendered roles, we need to have the same conversations with our partners. 

Here’s some starter questions:

  • Whose career takes priority? 
  • How does that line up with how we parent?
  • Is this in line with what we actually want? Are we making decision based on our values?
  • How can we make this all work?

The Intime Collective provides practical tools working parents can apply to produce greater wellbeing – at home and at work – through our flagship program ‘Better Together’.

Beyond this, we offer relationship and wellbeing training to suit everyone– parents and non-parents alike – at every stage of their career and life, because life happens to all of us.

The Intime Collective teaches individuals, teams and leaders how to build social connection and be better together by equipping them with the practical tools to embrace strong, meaningful and respectful relationships.

Could your workplace benefit from one of our tailored programs? Let’s chat – send me an email at hello@theintimecollective.com

LOUISE GILBERT

Founder & Director

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