Relationship Fitness

S14: Communication Skills E3: Set the Cooperative Intentions

In “Relationship Workout for Men,” Season 14 Episode 3 titled “Set the Cooperative Intentions,” Vince discusses the second crucial communication skill, which focuses on establishing a mutual understanding of cooperation and respect at the beginning and throughout challenging conversations. He emphasizes the importance of starting discussions with expressions of love or partnership goals, such as a shared commitment to finding resolutions that work for both parties, and maintaining sincerity to avoid manipulative tactics. Vince highlights that effective communication should aim for fair cooperation, reminding listeners that prioritizing the relationship over individual issues, even in disagreement, lays the groundwork for a healthier, more understanding partnership. This episode encourages men to approach conflicts with kindness and an openness to learning from mistakes, setting a positive tone for resolving differences.

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 3: Set the Cooperative Intentions

In this episode, we discuss Relationship Workout Communication Skill #2: Set the Cooperative Intentions.

In this second skill, you want to state your cooperative intentions and feelings for each other both at the beginning of the conversation, and during the conversation’s difficult moments.

For instance, if you love each other, then start by reminding each other of your love for one another. You might say something like: “I really love you and want to figure out what’s going on so we can figure out something that works for both of us.” That said, don’t just dish out a bunch of butter as a tactic to butter her up and get your way. Be sincere at all times.

If you think about it, effective communication is about facilitating fair cooperation between partners. After all, if both people do not consider any resolution derived from the conversation to be fair, then at least one person isn’t going to be truly happy with the solution.

Now, if once in a blue moon one or both of you don’t feel the conversation netted a fair resolution, you might want to just let it go. You can’t expect all resolutions to be perfect. However, if unfair resolution is more the norm, your so-called budding partnership may very well blossom into full-fledged resentment.

That said, remind yourselves of the principles to fair cooperation described in Season 7: Kindness, and make sure you both abide by these principles during your conversations.

By all means don’t be hostile, disrespectful, or rude. This type of behavior just creates more obstacles and challenges to resolving the real issues.

Basically, just be nice to each other! Yes, you two have differing opinions but continue to see the big picture by putting more value on the relationship than the issue, even if you’re upset.

But regardless, an issue is on the table and needs to be resolved. Truly caring about each other’s needs — even if they are different (and they probably will be) — is a great start and demonstrates your commitment to Relationship Excellence. 

In fact, if you only care about getting your own way, your partner probably won’t feel her needs are very important to you. After all, the message you’re sending is that your needs are more important than hers.

And even if it’s discovered that you or she did royally screw up, no worries. Neither one of you should expect the other to be perfect. When both of your intentions are to cooperate, you both see mistakes as opportunities to learn and to grow from the experiences, ultimately adding lessons learned to each of your banks of Wisdom.

So that wraps up Relationship Workout Communication Skill #2: Set the Cooperative Intentions.

In the next episode, we explore Relationship Workout Communication Skill #3: Be Aware of Your Communication Style.

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