The Rules of Engagement

BY BOB SHENEFELT

 

How does one create The Ultimate Relationship?

The first step of The Rules of Engagement is to create a Safe Space. What is consistent in that Safe Space is to be aware of the verbiage we use with each other. Don’t use the words “if only,” “should,” “could,” “better” or any and all forms of exaggeration. Which means that rather than saying “I can’t work out because I’m just too tired,” you can say “I choose not to work out because I’m just too tired.” Do you see the difference? Get into the habit of it and you will take more responsibility for your actions. You have chosen this life. Accepting who you are is the first key to changing habits.

Speaking From Experience is a key aspect to creating The Ultimate Relationship… instead of saying “you did this” or “you did that,” it is “I get frustrated when I don’t get what I need out of a relationship,” or “It hurts me if someone says those things to me.” I am taking accountability and responsibility for my feelings and that takes the fire out of the conversation.

Listening To Understand is key to The Rules of Engagement. To be aware that you’re not a listener who’s simply waiting to respond whether it’s to validate or question one’s point, but you’re a listener who strives to understand. You’re a listener who asks questions to begin to understand where the other person is coming from and learn from them and then to have a conversation around that.

The second part of The Rules of Engagement is to establish boundaries. Letting each other know that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it, and to understand when you need it. It’s okay to ask for what you want and it’s okay to give permission to be reminded. That is wisdom.

The third key to The Rules of Engagement is to implement structure which means using meeting rhythms, use a process or a tool and to HAVE FUN.

By doing these three things it allows us to create The Ultimate Relationship with our spouses, with our employees and bosses, with our friends and with our clients. Then as we are practicing how to create the ultimate relationship we tend to create the ultimate relationship with ourselves and be happy with who we are, to know who we are, to enjoy life fully and the potential to further develop the ultimate relationship with the universe, God, the community and those things most important to you.