7. Exercise: Listening to your partner’s concerns Purpose: Learning to listen to your partner’s complaint without getting defensive. a. The other partner picks a problem that is of concern about the partner who listened in the last exercise b. Share that concern with the other partner making statements within the following formula:i. “When I notice this—– happening, ii. I imagine ——–, iii. Then I notice myself feeling———-.” iv. Avoid any “you make me feel” statements. Take responsibility for your feelings. No one can make you feel anything you don’t want to. You decide what to feel. c. Then the second partner feeds back exactly what has been said i. Simply focusing on empathically summarizing what the partner has shared. ii. Think of it as listening to a best friend who is sharing something that hurt. iii. Try not to move into any defensiveness or discounting statements. iv. Simply summarize what your partner has shared and ask, “Did I get you?”
14. Exercise: Sharing Vision Statements Purpose: For each of you at several times a year to share and have recorded some of your dreams about the coming year. a. Agree to buy a journal book for recording your vision statements in the future. b. One person writes while the other person reflects. c. Name what he or she would be proud to have accomplished in the coming year. d. Let this include career goals, personal goals, recreation goals, volunteer goals, relationship goals and spiritual goals. e. Name what you might do if you had ultimate courage and if money were no object. f. Do the same with the first partner writing while second partner shares. g. Note: in the future begin this process i. By reviewing what you wrote last time. ii. By identifying what you feel good about doing since the last writing. h. Agree to a time when you will share this ritual next, for example: anniversaries, New Years Day, vacations, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, long week-ends, etc. Put it in your calendars.