I often get feedback from core training participants that when they tried to use the Dialogue Road Map with their partner the other person reacted badly saying things like, ‘don’t use that stuff on me’ or ‘you’re not at work now’.

My response is simple. ‘If you’re getting that response you’re not using the Dialogue Road Map’.

Let me explain. If I am in a long term relationship with a significant other then we will have built up a course of dealing. This is usually an unspoken contract between us which may be dysfunctional but it’s how we are together. It is what we both know and have consented to even if it doesn’t work and we never made a spoken agreement.

If I go and learn something new and then go home and try to use it without seeking consent, I am essentially trying to change the contract without having had any conversation about trying to do so.

So attempting to use the Dialogue Road Map in a relationship would start like this:

‘I was wondering about how we communicate and I’m telling myself it isn’t working as well as it could, would you be willing to talk about trying something new?’

Of course, that could lead to an opening to try something new or it might provoke resistance or hostility. The response is the measure of how much collaboration and support we are going to need to improve communication between us.

Details of our next core training is here

If you enjoy reading this blog, please consider making a donation to the Centre for Peaceful Solutions.  If you think someone else would enjoy reading this blog post, please share it.