The 11 Rules of Good Relationship Communication
1. The speaker can say what he or she thinks needs to be said, except for derogatory statements, shaming words, blaming words and globalizing words. Nothing to inflame the conversation. Just facts, feelings and true and honest thoughts.
2. The listener fully listens to what is being said -- even when having a reaction. Breathing through the reactions, giving the speaker the respect of being listened to.
3. When the speaker is done, the listener will reflect back to the speaker a summarized version of what the speaker said, to make sure the speaker is fully understood.
4. The speaker will take this opportunity to further clarify what he or she said and will restate the goals of the conversation.
5. If the speaker provides new information, the listener will come back with a summarized version of what the speaker said, to make sure the speaker is fully understood.
6. Now the listener gets to switch roles with the speaker. The new speaker now speaks freely, truly and honestly, but carefully.
7. The new listener gets to listen fully and later summarize what the speaker has said.
8. Take turns until both of you feel resolved about the topic of the original conversation. Don't end the conversation before that point. Don't give up on what you want, need and feel.