Relationship Fitness

S14: Communication Skills E1: Plan Your Game Plan

In “Relationship Workout for Men,” Season 14 Episode 1 titled “Plan Your Game Plan,” Vince initiates a deep dive into refining communication skills within relationships, anchored by the core question: “Can you two discuss and resolve issues without drama?” He outlines the objective of any challenging conversation as resolving the issue fairly and with minimal drama, underscoring the foundational role of strong communication in achieving lasting happiness in relationships. Vince introduces ten essential communication skills aimed at making difficult conversations easier, from staying non-defensive and judgmental to maintaining a safe environment for honesty. Through this episode, Vince sets the groundwork for the season, encouraging listeners to engage with these skills actively to enhance their communication prowess and, consequently, their relationships.

Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner, and being a better partner for the person they choose.

Season 14 Episode 1: Plan Your Game Plan 

Now that you have the Relationship Workout Communication Basics under your belt, it’s time to get your communication game plan in order, as we continue to explore answering the Relationship Workout Core #12: Communication fundamental question: “Can you two discuss and resolve issues without drama?”

I’d argue that at a high-level, regardless of the issue, the objective of any conversation in your relationship where some sort of resolution needs to be made is always the same:

  • Resolve the issue, meaning the issue no longer comes up again for either one of you;
  • Fairly, meaning you both feel comfortable with the resolution; and 
  • With minimal drama, meaning you’ve both minimized the amount of time spent triggered and attacking each other and limited the number of negative emotions surrounding the issue.

Said again: When you need to have what might be a difficult conversation, your objective should be to resolve the issue fairly and with little to no drama.

After all, if in the future you can resolve all your issues in a mutually agreeable way with little to no conflict and drama, then how could you not state your relationship is strong in communication? And it’s not too much of a stretch to say that happy, long-term relationships are built on strong communications as a foundation.

Yeah but often easier said than done – resolving all issues fairly with little to no drama that is — especially when it comes to the most difficult of conversations.

To help make this easier, in this season, we’ll discuss ten communication skills that if you can put into practice could very well make difficult conversations easier for you and your partner. Many you may already be great at, but my hope is you may also find at least a few you might realize could use some improvement. I know that’s the case for me.

In any case, here are the 10 communication skills I think everyone would do well to be good to great at when it comes to being a stronger communicator in their intimate relationships:

1.     Hang with Your Wisdom by becoming neither defensive nor judgmental: Learn to breathe and not to let the current life situation trigger a Demon inside of you, transforming you from nice guy to a subtle or overt ass. Often these Demons show themselves through defensiveness. Put another way, don’t take what’s being said personally – a sure path to blocking effective communications.

2.     Set the Cooperative Intention: You’re on the same team and care about each other. Remind each other of this before engaging and throughout the conversation, especially if things start going sideways.

3.     Be Aware of Your Communication Style: Non-verbal cues can speak volumes. Makes sure you’re aware of which ones you’re communicating.

4.     Learn Each of Your Patterns when Triggered: Learn how you both behave when dancing with each of your Demons. Become skilled at seeing these patterns and speaking to them when they appear. 

5.     Stay in the Present Moment: Accept What Is. Don’t let fear of what might happen, or dwelling on past pain ruin what you have right now.

6.     Keep It Safe to Tell the Truth. Don’t attack the other person for speaking his or her truth. Maintain a safe environment for honesty to be shared.

7.     Know What to Talk About. Know what topics to cover to have an effective conversation. We’ll devote all of season 15 to discussion 10 of these topics. And, by all means, tell the truth.

8.     Have an Effective Conversation. Let each person share his or her point of view: openly, without interruptions, and without judgment. Be curious and listen.

9.     Resolve the Issue by Being Creative and Open: All the information is now on the table; it’s time to roll up your sleeves and come up with creative solutions. Maintain both of your gumption levels until final resolution is reached.

10.  Keep Your Commitments: Okay, so you both have come up with a cool, mutually agreeable resolution. Now keep your commitment and execute on what you agreed to.

I will say in all honesty, mastering all ten of these skills is not easy, but stick with it! Every bit of improvement in your effectiveness as a communicator can help to improve not only your relationship, but also your quality of life.

Over the next ten episodes, we’ll explore each one of these skills in more detail, starting with Relationship Workout Communication Skill #1: Hang with Your Wisdom, the topic of our next episode.

Scroll to Top
Powered by

More Fun, Less Drama