Bridget Leschinsky

09 January 2024

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Transforming Relationships

Relationships are the threads that bind our lives together. However, disagreements are unavoidable, and how we handle them can make or break us .Transforming Relationships: The Power of Active Listening and Conflict Resolution are two crucial skills for helping any relationship. Let’s look at some quick and easy ways to harness the power of these technologies and promote stronger connections.

Active Listening: The Building Block of Connection

Active listening is about understanding and empathizing with the speaker, not just hearing words. Mastering this skill in the context of relationships can lead to increased understanding, emotional connection, and, ultimately, conflict resolution.

  1. Give Your Full Attention
    Being totally present is the first and arguably most important stage in active listening. Remove all distractions, put aside electronic devices, and make eye contact. This gives a strong indication that you respect the speaker and are eager to engage.
  2. Use Verbal and Nonverbal cues
    During the conversation, use both verbal and nonverbal signs to show your interest. Nodding, using affirmative phrases like “I see” or “Go on,” and mimicking the speaker’s emotions with suitable facial expressions demonstrate that you are actively participating in the conversation.
  3. Reflect and Paraphrase
    Reflect on what the speaker has said on a regular basis to ensure appropriate comprehension. To reinforce your knowledge, repeat their words. “If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re feeling frustrated because…”
  4. Ask Follow-Up Questions
    If something is unclear, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Open-ended inquiries prompt the speaker to elaborate and provide extra information. This approach not only improves your comprehension but also conveys your genuine interest in the speaker’s point of view.
  5. Show empathy and validate feelings
    Empathize with the speaker by acknowledging and affirming their emotions. Reflecting thoughts back to them, such as “It sounds like you’re really happy about…” or “I can see why you might be frustrated,” helps to develop a stronger emotional connection.

Conflict Resolution Communication: Bridging the Gap

Once active listening has been established, conflict resolution communication serves as a bridge to help people traverse conflicts and discover common ground.

  1. Identify the Problem Clearly
    Begin by identifying and defining the exact issue creating the conflict. To proceed effectively, both sides must share a common understanding of the situation.
  2. Express Your Perspective Effectively
    Encourage everyone concerned to share their views and opinions about the situation using “I” statements. This method helps to avoid blame and accusation, resulting in a more open and positive discourse.
  3. Practice Active Listening (Again)
    Active listening remains essential in conflict resolution. Each party should feel heard and understood, which strengthens the foundation of empathy and respect.
  4. Collaborate to find solutions.
    Investigate viable solutions collaboratively, seeking common ground and shared interests. Emphasize the necessity of reaching an agreement that addresses the needs of all parties involved. This collaborative approach promotes innovative solutions.
  5. Decide on a Plan and Follow Through
    Once a resolution has been reached, agree on a specific course of action. Outline the exact steps that each person will do to resolve the problem and prevent it from happening again. Regular follow-ups establish accountability and allow for changes as needed.

Active listening and conflict resolution communication are effective techniques for transforming relationships. Incorporating these basic steps into your relationships creates the foundation for stronger connections, mutual understanding, and the resilience required to weather the inevitable storms. As a certified divorce coach and family mediator, I’ve witnessed how these abilities can improve relationships by laying the groundwork for healthier connections in the future.

Take advantage of a FREE 30 minute discovery session with The Bridging Coach to ask questions and get help.

Bridget Leschinsky is a CDC Certified Divorce Transition and Recovery Coach®
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash 


For specialized materials on active listening and conflict resolution, you may refer to resources, including:
“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver – A book that delves into relationship dynamics and communication strategies.
“Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High” by Joseph Grenny (Author), Kerry Patterson (Author), Ron McMillan (Author), Al Switzler (Author), Emily Gregory (Author)
The Art of Active Listening: How People at Work Feel Heard, Valued, and Understood by Heather R. Younger (Author)
High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out” by Amanda Ripley (Author)

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