Connecting Families: A Relationship Enhancement Program

Show respect
¡ Be specific
4. Using Slide 4, focus on ways to short-circuit
anger’s escalation. Mind-reading is a behavior
that often triggers anger. No one likes to have
another “think that they know what they are
thinking.” Mind-reading often leads to untrue
assumptions. If one believes the worst, then they
feel slighted and become angry. Ask, rather than
mind read. Using naming and blaming language
puts one on the defense.
When in a defense stance, one looks for and believes the negative more easily. When
being attacked, there is no room for compromise. Speaking for oneself, showing respect
and being direct in language leads to creating a clear understanding of the situation at
Steps for Successful Negotiation
¡ Recognize and define the issue
¡ Seek information to identify
potential solutions
¡ Use consensus to agree upon a
¡ Be reliable
¡ Negotiate based on equality &
respect for each other
5. Use Slide 5 to introduce the steps of negotiation.
Reinforce that the steps are recognizing and
defining the issues, seeking information, using
consensus, being reliable and respectful of
Negotiation Skills
¡ Use “I” statements
¡ Use the speaking – listening
¡ Check frequently to make sure each
other’s feelings and ideas are
clearly understood
¡ No blaming, name calling, judging,
or withdrawing
6. Review Slide 6, focusing upon key elements that
assist in negotiation. Distribute Handout 1, “I”
Statement Summary, and use it to remind the
group of the “I” statement technique. Review
the speaking – listening technique using Handout
2, Speaker – Listener Technique. Negotiation is
a process that works the best when those
involved are willing to seek solutions to
disagreements from a win- win stance. Showing
respect is key to promoting understanding, trust,
and cooperation.
Connecting Families Penn State Cooperative Extension
Planning for Success, Session 4 41 2004
Rachel and Ben
¡ Rachel has been upset with Ben all
week. He had promised to finish
the work he started in the
basement but it was not done. She
was irritated with all of the mess
and his lack of taking time to get it
done. Ben couldn’t understand why
Rachel had been so short tempered
and distant all week long.
7. Introduce the “Rachel and Ben” situation by
reading Slide 7 for the group. Ask the group to
form teams of two, in which one will be taking
the part of Rachel, the other Ben. Using “I”
statements and speaker – listener technique, ask
each team to prepare their illustration of
negotiation to resolve the issue.
Negotiation - Skill of Relationship Building
¡ Recognize and define the issue
¡ Seek information to identify
potential solutions
¡ Use consensus to agree upon a
¡ Be reliable in carrying through
¡ Negotiate based on equality &
respect for each other
8. Remind the group of the steps of negotiation
using Slide 8. Secretly ask two groups to use at
least one of the barriers – blaming, name calling,
judging, or withdrawal. After each role-play, ask
the group to identify the steps of the negotiation
process illustrating with examples from the role
play. Evaluate the outcome. Identify the
negative behaviors in the two situations. Talk
about what impact the negative behaviors had
upon the process.
Goal Setting for Future Success
¡ Purpose of goals
l Provides purpose and direction
l Guides decision-making
l Helps set priorities
l Increases chances of success
9. Introduce the need for couples to have jointly
held goals. Using Slide 9, review how goals
affect a relationship. Goals give direction to a
relationship. They are like a road map to be in
control of where our lives are going. If we want
to get to California would we just jump in a car
and take off? Or, would we get a map and plan
what routes to take? Goals are life’s map. If we
run into a detour to California, we get out the
map and take an alternative route.
Life is a lot the same. When we run into a barrier to our goal, we need to make a new
plan. We take control by deciding how else to achieve our goal.
Goals are Steps to Success
¡ Immediate Goals –Now Steps
¡ Long-term Goals – Where or What
10. Using Slide 10, define what immediate and longterm
goals are. Immediate goals are the first
steps one needs to accomplish in order to move
forward to achieve a long-term goal that will
happen in the future. The immediate goals are
like the foundation of a house. They form the
building blocks to raising the structure. For
example, to be able to buy a house requires
saving money for a down payment, selecting
Connecting Families Penn State Cooperative Extension
Planning for Success, Session 4 42 2004
where one wants to live, choosing a house size, plan and neighborhood. It also means
obtaining a job that will permit one to earn enough money to afford the house. It takes
achieving many immediate goals to reach the long-term goal of owning a house.
Goals Glue a Relationship Together
¡ Nurtures a relationship
¡ Provides direction
¡ Supports commitment
¡ Assists in making sacrifices
¡ Builds a future together
11. Goals are powerful tools to assist a relationship
to bond and remain strong. Use Slide 11 to
review the ways jointly held goals cement a
relationship. Use Handout 3 Goals Analysis
Activity to assist group members to evaluate how
clearly they have defined their goals for their
relationship. After completing the activity, ask
the group participants if they learned anything
new about their personal goals? If as a couple
you think you need to revisit your goals, this is a positive finding that can help strengthen
your relationship. Often couples get so caught up in day to day tasks that they never find
time to talk about their goals or future. Life slips by and they feel cheated because “there
were so many things that they wanted to do but never got to.” Introduce and conduct the
Goals Analysis Activity.
Goals Analysis Activity
Distribute the Goals Analysis Activity, Handout 3 sheet. Ask group members to think
about their personal relations hips, and identify their immediate and long-term goals.
Remind them that goals provide purpose and guide our decisions and planning. Goals
can pull a relationship together when both partners are working together to achieve them.
It is critical to have both personal and couple goals to feel satisfaction within a
relationship. Achieving goals are milestones of success. After completing the handout,
ask couples to compare their responses. If the group is predominately individuals without
a partner, ask group members to share one long-term goal. Frequently group members
share similar goals. As a group recognize the similarity. Ask those individuals without a
partner in attendance to take home a sheet for their partner to complete to be used to talk
about the couples shared goals.
Signs Glue


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