Helping People to Understand You (The Communication Wheel)

In a conflict situation it’s easy to get entangled in what the other person is doing that upsets me. But that’s not helpful — it only adds to my anger or shame and makes things worse. When there’s tension in my relationship with Bill or someone else I take out The Communication Wheel. It’s simple…

Communicating Emotion to Invite Empathy

Often in marriage or another relationship we think we have an intimacy problem when really it’s more about a boundary problem. Boundaries between people get blurred if either one tries to share their “feelings” by sharing their perceptions of the other person. This blurs boundaries and leads to conflict. Instead, if you share your personal…

The Soul of Sex

“Sex” and “soul” are both very popular in our world today. But we have no idea how to put them together. Sex is everywhere in our society. To be sexy is the way to attract attention. It’s how we feel good. It’s how we bond — even with strangers. It’s how we sell things. The…

A & B Conflict Resolution Tool

Here’s a little tool that offers BIG help for resolving conflicts in marriage and other relationships: “When You Do ‘A’ I Feel ‘B.’” It’s a method for “speaking the truth in love”(Ephesians 4:15). Kristi and I have used this approach for many years personally and in our marriage counseling with couples. (Also Henry Cloud and…

Guarding Your Heart in Ministry

“We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). This is the Valentine’s Day message that Kristi wrote on the chalkboard in our powder room. It’s also the foundation of Gary Smalley’s talk on Guarding Your Heart in Ministry that we enjoyed together the day before Valentine’s Day. He taught on Jesus’ treasure principle:…