a couple of years ago

How To Enrich Your Relationships and Empower Your Level of Communication

Dear all,

On this special day of 15th of Feb 2015, I wanted to take time to write to you about relationships. “Valentine’s day” is actually quite irrelevant because to me any day is a fabulous opportunity to express gratitude for our relationships. But ask yourself, what could you do right now to express some recognition to the people who count for you? what could you do to put a smile on someone you don’t know? Doesn’t it feel good to just be kind and warm? I bet it does!
For the ones who have the privilege to be in a relationship, I wanted to give you the opportunity to do something that could make a valuable difference in your couple. I have been using this for 2 years now, you could call it the “couple compass”. When I mention it to other people I must confess that they often give me a strange look, but I can promise you that it has had an incredibly deep and powerful effect on my relationship with my wife by considerably improving our level of communication.What is it all about? The couple compass is a very simple process that allows the two of you to express your needs, and to provide feedback on how to make each other more fulfilled in your couple. I am here to tell you that it takes a lot of courage to go through this on a regular basis (we do it each month), and that is why it is so good.
So here is your opportunity:

  • take 15 minutes with your partner and ask this: “What is important for you in a relationship?”
  • write down 4 – 5 key values for your couple and then switch roles
  • You now have a solid set of values that you can discuss each month
  • The rule while doing the review is the following: while one person provides feedback on one of their specific need, the other person has to listen until the end, thank the person for the feedback, and then express what they are willing to change in the future.
  • Do this in turn until you have discussed all points
  • The numbers are just there for bringing some fun to this, I encourage you to appreciate that the point is to communicate and re-enforce the couple and that points are less relevant
  • It is important for me to be able to feel a sense of absolute trust towards my partner
  • It is important for me that we communicate in a calm and peaceful manner with each other, demonstrating the highest level of respect for each other
  • It is important for me that my partner surprises me in life by bringing me in new territories where I would not go on my own and making me live new experiences
  • It is important for me that my partner is present for me, makes me feel understood and supports me in accomplishing my life’s goals

I have created this file to facilitate the discussion: couple compass

To give you a concrete idea, here are some of my personal examples of what I am asking from my partner:

PS: If you are not in a relationship at the moment, you could still apply this process with someone who counts for you, it works just as well with friends and family. Also, having a clear set of couple values could be instrumental for the day you meet someone!

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.” Confucius

Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.