Procedures to Improve Relationships

Here are a few procedures which can improve relationships.

Focus on observable behavior—rather than on motivation. It is difficult if not impossible to correctly identify that which motivates a person.

Saying, “I would like to finish my thought; then it’s your turn” is more effective than saying , “You don’t want to hear me because you don’t agree.” This assumption of the motivation may not only be irrelevant, it may be totally wrong.

Break tension by movement. This can be by raising a hand, sitting down if standing, extending a hand with an open palm shaped to hold a drinking glass or some other kinesics (body movement) to momentarily alter the mood.

Have an effective, self-evaluative question ready. For example, when someone expresses anger, be ready to ask, “Are you angry with me or the situation?” This  prompts immediate reflection and often dissipates anger. This question can be used with anyone in any situation.