Let us have a think about harmonious relationships.
Do we make the most of our relationships? Do we appreciate our differences as well as the areas we have in common? How can we improve them to make them more harmonious?
Over the last 2 decades in 1:1 and group coaching my work has included delivering groupwork programmes with male partipants on building healthier relationships, training staff in pro social modelling and influencing skills, couples coaching and relationship skills coaching with women. No matter the relationship we are all striving to have relationships that are supportive and harmonious. Is that possible? How can we achieve this? Who is responsible for the relationship being harmonious?
If we consider the oxford dictonary harmonious means 'forming a pleasing and consistent whole' or as in harmonious relationships 'free from disagreement or dissent'.
As a relationships coach I believe that relationships are not always in a state of harmony, not always pleasing and it is important to use open and honest communication in order to work through disagreements and dissent that arise to make them stronger. We can't change other people we can only change ourselves but both parties are responsible for working on the relationship. However if you feel that you could make some changes, like a stone being thrown into water that creates ripples, there will be a ripple effect in your relationship.
So one of the main ways to make your relationships more harmonious is to work on making the most of them and also to have a level of acceptance that we have to put that work in! There is no magic wand. It is important to recognise that we are not always going to agree and that we can appreciate our differences. The good news is if we keep working on communicating then we can improve them to make them more harmonious.
I work in various areas to support people to make this happen. This is a large subject but for the purpose of this blog I have put together 7 general tips that you may find helpful.
1) Use active listening. Respond to the other party in a way that shows that you have been listening and have heard what they have said - this can be repeating back what they have said, asking a question to check you have understood and using positive body language.
2) Try to enter their world. We all have thoughts and feelings and beliefs that can't be seen outwardly unless we share what we are thinking and feeling. Predominantly we work with what people tell us and what people do to make sense of the other person and where they are coming from. Try to put yourself in their shoes and encourage them to explain to you how things are for them. What might they be going through right now? Try not to assume as that makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'!
3) Keep calm. When we are in a close relationship or friendship often the things that we really love about the other person can become irritating over time. Taking some time away from them for a breather to calm down when you feel yourself getting agitated can be helpful. Be clear that you need your own space and let them know where you are so it does not escalate any conflict - taking a moment out can be really helpful.
4) Respect! Respect that the other person has rights just like you do, even if you don't agree you can still respect that they have the right to that opinion.
5) Let go of the need to win. It is worth checking your intent in any dispute, are you working to a goal of mutual understanding/agreement/acceptance or is it becoming competitive 'tit for tat' behaviour? As in the words of a group participant a few years ago it is worth asking yourself 'is it better to be right or to be happy'?
6) Work out what is negotiable. Keep communicating about these areas in your relationships from both partie's perspectives and be prepared to compromise. What can you give more of and what would you be prepared to negotiate more on?
7) Hopes and aspiriations. Look for ways that both your partner's and your hopes and aspirations are met . Regularly check in with each other to plan goals and life plans together. It can be small things such as both having time for creative time in the week separately and both having time for a night out. Often the small changes start to create an increase in intimacy and harmony.
I am looking forward to hearing from anyone who finds these tips useful so please get in touch with feedback. If you wish to have 1;1 or couples coaching sessions drop me an email at email@example.com.
Mariposa Coaching values diversity and is an inclusive coaching practice - I welcome and value all relationships.
I operate a sliding scale of rates starting at £50 an hour and a free 30 mins phone consulation to see if we would like to work with each other.
Alternatively book a Mariposa Coaching workshop to learn a toolbox of skills for making relationships more harmonious - If you are interested in exploring this further then Masterclasses are available to book on my website or eventbrite they are 2.5 hours long at an affordable rate. If you wish to have a chat about a corporate rate for your business or to find out more please phone on 07811 740580 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.