You Can get Your Partner to Change

You can get your partner to change. Really, you can!

Of course there is a catch; to change them, you have to adopt new approaches. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those extremely unusual people who already acknowledge positive occurrences, ignores most negative actions and strategies without getting emotionally reactive. But if so, your partner probably no longer has many habits that annoy you.

Even when a person has no intention of changing to please you, or is unable to control their own actions or emotions, they are susceptible to your power to hand out effective forms of positive acknowledgements. They may fight your accusations and ignore your pleas but they will tend to follow the rainbow to the pot of good feedback. They may dismiss the silliness of you saying thank you, but changes will sneak into their routines and respond to your attention.

You can start the process without being particularly good at it, and as you get better the results will show up more quickly. You can tell them what you’re doing or hide it from them, and unless you’re just fishing for their acknowledgements, they’re likely to change over time.

This technique is particularly effective when both partners are working at it from their own end; no need to agree on what changes to work toward, although it may help, just acknowledge away when something that you like happens. That’s really the key – if you want it to happen again, show a little appreciation.

A coach who practices strength based or appreciative coaching will model how to do it. The odds are it will go down really nicely and you’ll find yourself hoping for more. Then you can ask how to get started and with a couple of simple strategies you’re on your way to learning a skill that is transferable to children and bosses