by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna
There are many factors which contribute to creating win-win relationships, but one of the most powerful ones is to understand and practice the power of acknowledgment.
Acknowledgment means the willingness to offer honest, positive feedback to another about what they are doing and how it is affecting you. Usually, we focus upon other individual’s negativities and how irritating they can be. We gossip about these to friends and family and dwell upon them ourselves. However, when we decide to practice acknowledgment, we turn all that around.
Bring the Benefit of the Doubt to Your Relationships
In this practice, we start by giving the other the benefit of the doubt. This is not a matter of burying our head in the sand, but first acknowledging to ourselves that we are upset, and then consciously choosing to stop and offer the benefit of the doubt about what is going on.
Not only is this beneficial to the other, but it assists us in feeling calmer and clearer. Rather than focus on our upset, or possible negative reasons for the behavior, we focus upon that in the person, which is positive, and then assume the best in the present case.
In this process, we do not blame others for difficulties or for the mess we are in, but take radical responsibility for our own upset feelings. Usually when we’re upset, we automatically shift responsibility to others for the mess we are in.
As we practice acknowledgment, we become aware of our own part in it, acknowledge our own needs and feelings, so things are equalized. As we do so, it is important to always remember to not only focus on what is troubling, but to continue to acknowledge what is good and right in the situation and the relationship, to communicate that and offer thanks for it.
Inevitably, others notice this, and are impressed and appreciative for the space we are giving them. In this process the atmosphere turns around, and in an environment of basic good will, it is easy to talk things over and work them out.
For Win-Win Relationships: Never Give Up On A Person
Another step in creating a win-win relationship is to never give up on a person. This means to go with the person as far as you can. Often we discard an individual or their efforts way before we know all they can really do.
By making the decision to relate to their strength and ability, and to stay through the thick and thin with them, individuals in relationships feel safe to grow and learn. They also realizes that mistakes are not fatal, but part of the process of exploration.
When we are free to make mistakes and not be cast out for it, the level and quality of our relationships grows beyond all expectation. This level of support and understanding creates a foundation for developing an individual’s full potential and his feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment which allows him/her to give their all.
Answer the following questions, then think about them and answer again. Do this all week.
How willing are to never give up on a person?
How much are you willing to go through with them?
What is your cut off point?
What behavior can’t you tolerate? Why?
What makes you believe in someone in the first place?
What is it that takes this belief away?
Has anyone ever been there for you throughout thick and thin? What did that feel like?
What happened when they decided it was enough, and went away?
Write down the name of one person you are willing to never give up on. What is it about them that allows you to do this? What is it about you?
Little by little can you increase this list? What would you need to allow you to do so?
From Sarah: I discovered Dr. Shoshanna just a few weeks ago and quickly got her permission to reprint her articles…she’s amazing, and you’ll love her book “Save Your Relationship.” Just go here to read more about Dr. Shoshanna and get quick, new help for your relationship–>>