An Easy Tip for Quickly Improving any Relationship
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We tend to speak from habit rather than from intent.  Look at how intent affects your ability to communicate.  Think about a long term relationship that you are involved in (romantic, work-related, family, friendship or otherwise);  the likelihood is that patterns of behavior have occurred over time.  Each of you supposes something about the other based on past experiences.  If you were ever labeled a derogatory name when you were younger, and then set out to better yourself thus eliminating the accuracy of the tag name, you have probably witnessed how difficult it is for others to notice the change and remove the label.  

It is equally difficult to notice a change in others.  To encourage positive change in others and thus improve your long-term relationships, you have to make room for the change and then notice when it happens.  The first step toward this success is to choose your intent carefully before you speak.  

Here’s an example:

Suppose your teenage son’s room is typically far below your standards.  When you speak to him about it, what is your intent?  To relieve yourself of the frustration of keeping after him?  To force him to clean it?  To encourage him to want to straighten it?  As you can imagine, each intention will be revealed in very different language packages, such as:

1.  I do everything for you and this is the thanks I get?  
2.  I can’t believe you!  You are so lazy!  Clean your room or else… 
3.  You can go Steve’s tonight, but first I want your room straightened.

The third statement shows that your intent is to have him clean his room.  There is no anger, no resentment, no name-calling or belittling him.  With this strategy, he will understand that his privileges are connected to his responsibilities and you have allowed him to improve his actions.

Know your intent before you speak, especially when you want to overcome a standing pattern that has not been productive.

Your focus on your intent is more beneficial than just guiding you in choosing words that have the ability to garner a better result.  Your intent also changes the energy between you and another person.  The energy becomes more free and loving.  This energy alone, without words, provides an environment in which positive change can happen.  It is the fertile soil in which a seed can grow.

This month, in addition to focusing on your intent before choosing your words in relationships, also choose your intent for interactions even while wordless.  Positive change is welcome when it is intended.

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Karen L. Garvey, MBA - Author, Intuitive, Personal & Professional Coach