With Facilitative Agreement, you state the parts of the argument that your partner has made that you can agree with before stating your own opinion.
Here's an example:
Jennifer and Tom are a couple who have a 3 year old named Jeffrey. Their budget is tight, but they are setting aside a small sum in a savings account for Jeffery's college education.
One day Jennifer comes to Tom and says that she wants to put Jeffrey in pre school three days a week.
Tom might say “I agree with you that giving Jeffrey a good start on his education is important. I also know that you are working very hard to be a good mother and take care of the house.”
Jennifer has expected a fight. Now, though, Tom has addressed her core concerns. At this point, he can make his argument.
“The only place in our budget for pre school would come out of Jeffery's college fund. Don't you think he will get more value out of college later than he would from pre school today?”
When you use facilitative reasoning, you tell your partner that you think he or she is a good person. You make a good faith effort to understand their point of view. It also shows them that you are open to a friendly, respectful discussion of the issue at hand.
Where they are expecting combat, they get conversation.
Supportive Statements are direct conveyances of empathy. Some examples:
• “I feel so sad for you.”
• “I'm so sorry about your loss”
• “I'm happy this has happened for you.”
Supportive statements are best used at the end of a conversation that has included reflective listening and facilitative agreements. Otherwise, your partner may feel that you are blowing him or her off. This also allows your partner to blow off steam and get the emotions out of his or her system.
Think about how you get a small child to behave in accordance with your wishes. You may tell your son that if he is quiet during the grocery shopping he can ride the mechanical horse afterwards. You do the same with pets. You teach a dog to fetch by offering a treat when he brings the ball back.
Positive reinforcement works in adult relationships as well. They can be verbal or non-verbal. Verbal examples include words like “Great!” “Way to Go” and even “I love you.” Non-verbal reinforcement can include smiles, touching, hugs and kisses.
When you are pleased with the way your partner has acted, be sure to let him or her know with positive reinforcement. As he or she does more of the desired act, the amount of reinforcement should be increased as well.
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So, when your husband cleans out the garage, he will expect that you will be appreciative. When your wife goes out of her way to look nice, she'll expect you to notice and comment on it.
Your relationship should be full of examples of positive reinforcement. Whenever your partner does something that you would like more of, find a way to reinforce it.
If you have asked your partner to make a change in his behavior, notice every time he succeeds. He has a choice. Make it easy and desirable for him to choose the action you desire.
Let's say you want your husband to take out the trash after dinner every day. One day he does it without you saying anything. Afterwards, you should say “Thanks for taking out the trash. I really appreciate it.” Do Not Say: “Well, you finally remembered to take out the trash on your own for once.” That doesn't reinforce the behavior you desire.
Tomorrows article will continue the series of articles on "The Nuts and Bolts of Good Communication".
Ps. It´s always right to appreciate everything you like instead of whining about what you dont like; more to
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