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5 Steps To Mending A Broken Relationship In A Family Or Business

At some point, many of us have had a breakdown in communication which has resulted in a fragmented relationship with a family member or colleague.

During the actions and conversations below, it is important to notice your own emotions which may be rising. Breathing and noticing how your mind and body is reacting is important. Stay relaxed and if you feel anger arising, notice it and do your best to relax again and stay calm. Being in this mental state will give you more stable cognitive function, reasoning ability and will help you work towards the best possible outcome.

If you want resolution, here are 5 important steps and some coaching questions to use to help you start to repair the relationship.

1. Reach Out And Offer To Listen

Reach out and offer to listen. Questions you can ask and language patterns you can use to help initiate the conversation are below:

  • I would really like to understand your point of view. Are you open to talking?

  • It would be great to resolve this for both of us. Are you open to working together on this?

  • Are you open to collaborating for mutual resolution?

  • How can we come together and listen to each other to fix this?

2. Think Of What The Other Person May Be Thinking Or Feeling.

Stepping into the shoes of the other person, being in their reality and really understanding why they may be thinking and feeling this will help you really understand why they may be responding the way they are. This can also help you with your mindset when working towards a solution for both of you. Are they fearful of something? Is there an external reason for their behaviour?

Also think about what YOU really want? How much do you want to fix this? If you really do, then taking a different approach and really understanding the other person’s “why” can be life-changing.

3. Use A Collaborative Approach When You Talk To Each Other

Using language which indicates you want to work together to find the solution is important. Some questions and language patterns you can use are below:

  • How can we work together to find a solution for both of us?

  • What happens if we don’t find a solution? What are the outcomes positive and negative?

  • What happens if we do work together and find a good outcome for both of us?

  • What needs to happen for this to work? What can we both do to help us move forward?

4. Use Reflective Language And Active Listening

A study in 2016 showed that reflective language, repeating the words the other person had said to show active listening had a great positive impact during mediation. Firstly, really do listen. Focus on what the person is saying. Show that you are really listening and not just waiting for your turn to talk. Some phrases and questions you can also use to show you are listening are below:

  • I hear you, it sounds challenging. What can we do to move forward?

  • When you say XXXXX I understand what you are saying. What shall we do next for resolution?

  • Let’s talk and really hear what we are both saying to each other. Then collaborate to move forward with a solution.

5. Finally, Follow Up And Have Integrity With Your Next Actions

The most important final step is to have integrity and honesty with your actions. Keep communicating and following up with the other person. It can be a challenge to be the initiator, but doing so and being sincere in wanting to work together for a great outcome can be ultimately rewarding.

Caroline Langston is the Co-Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for performance success, wellness and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery. She is also a Professional Certified Accredited Coach (International Coaching Federation), has a Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC and further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level.


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