Clear & Concise
The Speaker – Listener Technique includes a few structural elements to be mindful of; there are rules for the speaker, rules for the listener, and rules for the whole conversation. In order to craft a conversation that will at least make sure that you and your partner have the space to safely share your concerns, develop an understanding of where your partner is coming from and allow both of you to stay calm, these rules are helpful to follow. Active listening, intentional acknowledgement and validation of your partner’s perspectives and thoughts are a must to make this technique work.
Rules For The Speaker:
Share your perspective in a concise and direct manner
This is not the time to drag in all the events of the past or to attack your partner’s character. By bringing up all of your partners faults or piling on other issues you may have, you distract from what you really want to accomplish, which is communicating about the issue or problem at hand.
This is also not the time to be excessively long-winded. Typically, we find that the longer you take to state your concern, the quicker your partner disengages. Stick to the current issue, try to state it as concisely as you can and make sure you stop frequently to make sure your partner is tracking with you.
Focus on conveying your thoughts, feelings or concerns about a particular issue, not what you perceive or think your partner is thinking or feeling.
Many couples get stuck in conversations when they play the assumption game. Avoid making assumptions about what your partner is thinking and instead focus on sharing where you are coming from. Jumping to assumptions about your partner will automatically make them feel defensive, like they are being attacked or judged. None of us like to feel attacked or judged, and typically respond negatively when we feel that is what is happening. To help your partner feel like they are engaging in a dialogue and not just rebutting to criticism, focus on what you think and feel.