A simple but powerful tool. Try this!

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When your client says something such as “She made an effort,” do you know what to do next?

What’s your typical follow-up comment or question?

Most often, here’s how I proceed…

I take one sentence, such as “It meant a lot to me that she made an effort,” or “Last night, I got very upset when we argued,” and I break it down. I dissect it,...

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Don't Ignore What's Happening... State the Obvious.

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This blog from the TheRelationshipProtocol.com talks about a simple but important communication tip. See “Notes for Professionals” at the end. 

 

Here’s a question that might give you pause: When you’re in the middle of a chaotic or difficult situation, such as an escalating argument, a new stressful job, or a health crisis, do you talk about it?

I’m not...

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Warning - Look for this inconsiderate "Turning Away" behavior.

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My concept of “turning away” usually refers to those folks who are unhappy and turned off. When we’re turned away, we focus on the negatives and the flaws of the other person who, in that moment, or over an extended period of time, is “the enemy” or at the very least is “not on the same team.”

However, I want to call your attention to another variation...

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Teaching how to start those tough conversations

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One of my clients came into the session upset about an argument she had with her husband. 

She said, “He’s afraid to talk to me about something that’s bothering him because he knows I may get angry, so he avoids the subject. And I don’t like when he immediately gets defensive and raises his voice so I shut down when he starts to get upset.” She reported...

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“I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything.”

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This blog from the TheRelationshipProtocol.com offers a helpful overview for initiating conversations. See “Notes for Professionals” at the end.   

Has anyone ever said that to you? Worse yet, have you used that reasoning as an excuse for not having an important conversation?

As adults, we should all know how to have most conversations, even the tough ones. Yet, we often...

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Got Conflict?

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This blog from the TheRelationshipProtocol.com offers some suggestions for managing conflicts. See “Notes for Professionals” at the end. 

 

Conflicts in any relationship are natural and to be expected. However, they don’t have to derail your relationship to the point of no return. If you’re having a conflict or disagreement with someone that’s important...

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Solving Their Problem Is Not Being Helpful

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As professionals, we genuinely want to fix problems, and be helpful to the people we work with –– which, in most cases, is a good thing. However, sometimes we can become overzealous in our desire to help.

We might impatiently take the lead to figure out a remedy to a problem, or we quickly offer our definitive opinion about what the client, patient, employees, etc., should do....

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How-To Work with Relationships: Get ‘em to Make a Commitment

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During your first session or meeting with two individuals in a relationship, typically they’re at odds, feeling stuck, struggling to get along or anger is the predominant emotion.  You’re now assigned the task of figuring out how to best help them. The responsibility can feel overwhelming, if not scary at times, particularly if you’re not sure what to do or where to...

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How to Work With Relationships: Who's on the Other Side of the Interaction?

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You may be thinking, “Huh? What is she talking about?”, but this question of, “Who’s on the other side of the interaction?”, is one that I often raise with my clients. It concerns asking them to be more thoughtful about the other person: being aware of who they are, what they need from them and then presenting the information in a way that the other person can best...

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