People want to feel loved. They want to be given attention, to be heard, understood and respected. It doesn’t matter what form the relationship may take:
-a manager who is communicating with employees
-a home maker who wants a harmonious family
-a traveller with his dog
-a monk praying to the divine
Humans are social beings and how we feel about ourselves is strongly influenced by our relationships. How others respond to us and to our needs is extremely important to us. Literally a matter of life and death for many people. The very importance of a relationship can become a problem. As the writer Joss Whedon makes his character Adelle deWitt say: “When we are dating we are hiding our imperfections. When we are in a relationship we are hiding our disappointments. When we are married we hide our sins.”
There is a thin line between adjusting and lying, not just to others, but also to ourselves. We all enter relationships with pre-existing needs and desires and we should accept that sometimes a relationship cannot offer us all what we need or want. The other is not an a la carte menu, but a package deal and love, although essential, is by itself not enough to make a relationship work.
To be able to have a healthy relationship several ingredients are essential. Coaching is an important part of improving relationship skills. A few of the most important skills are:
–Communication. Making yourself understood and understanding your partner. Not just using verbal communication, but also communicating through actions and body language.
–Conflict resolution. There will always be disagreements. If you both handle them well the relationship won’t suffer because of them.
–Self management. Your partner won’t be able to provide everything you desire when you desire it. Learn to enjoy, but not be too needy or dependant while respecting your own wishes.
–Trust. Without trust you will always be trying to ‘manage’ the relationship and your partner. They are neither your enemy nor your toy, they are your most valuable ally. Learn to work with them on the basis of trust.
–Wisdom. Learn to understand your partner and to respect their nature. By exercising good judgement you can adjust your expectations and will realize any relationship’s potential and limits.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship at the moment, preparing for one or learning lessons from previous relationships. Relationship coaching is valuable tool to improve all types of relationship.