I recently read this book on the recommendation of a highly respected local therapist, Marsha Schechtman. Marsha provides services such as co-parenting counseling and divorce coaching. This book is an excellent resource for anyone desiring more effective communication in any number of settings, including co-parenting with an ex, within a relationship, or at work. The book is an easy read, and can significantly improve conflict resolution skills.
The authors break all conversations down into three components:
1) What happened – who said what, who did what, who is at fault?
2) Feelings – are my feelings valid, should I ignore them, what are the other person’s feelings?
3) Identity – what the situation means about us. Are we a good or bad person, competent or incompetent, etc?
The book then gives helpful tips for each component of a conversation. For example, in the “what happened” part of a conversation, it is most productive to recognize that there is no “truth”, that each person has a different perspective, and to stop arguing about who is right. Instead of trying to persuade to get your way, try to understand what happened from the other person’s point of view, explain your point of view, share and understand feelings, and figure out a way to manage the problem going forward.
The tips in this book can significantly help those who are struggling with communication within a relationship or after divorce regarding co-parenting, and I encourage anyone with these struggles to check out this easy read and implement the simple tips to communicate more effectively.
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