The Son Shine Ministries' Board of Trustees, team members, and several close friends recently celebrated Daniele Shaffer's 30 years of ministry with Son Shine Ministries. There was great fellowship, a delicious meal, and a special honoring which included video messages from Daniele's sons Nathaniel and Jonathan and Nathaniel's wife, Gabrielle.
We all thank Jesus for Daniele's passion and commitment to serving God with her whole heart. Her love for the Lord shows in how she loves and ministers to those around her. Here's to the next 30 years!
Truly Being Heard
Researcher John Gottman has identified conflict avoidance as the #1 predictor of a failed marriage. As Son Shine Ministries actively trains on communication and conflict resolution, one of the most important skills needed is active listening. When done well, it communicates respect and makes your spouse truly know he/she is heard.
Active listening begins when your spouse shares with you something of importance, including the emotion connected with it. After listening intently, you then paraphrase back to your spouse what you heard, identifying the emotion that accompanied it. This is not the time to express an opinion. The key to this stage is to make sure your spouse is truly heard. The next step is that the original "sender" evaluates the paraphrased response, fine-tuning it to make sure he/she is truly understood. In conflict resolution, it is important for both spouses to take turns doing this before possible solutions are discussed. Besides escalating initial reactions, it is in the active listening step of paraphrasing where we often see couples go off course. Active listening is a learned skill (i.e., it takes practice).
Jeff Daly's oft-quoted statement, "Two monologues do not make a dialogue," is true, but two monologues (with active listening) often begin a dialogue. Communication is vital in relationships. Is this a strength in your marriage? What small thing could you do today to improve it?