I was finishing a coaching session with a couple and decided to ask the question, "So which of your strengths would you like your partner to ask you to contribute to your marriage more often?" What followed was 45 minutes of profound, deep, honest, heartfelt sharing between both of them.
She stated that from the beginning of their marriage, when she had tried to organize and activate him around one of their tasks, he had told her not to nag him.
"I realized at that moment that because I never wanted to be a nag in our relationship, I simply stopped contributing my strong achiever strengths. But I realize right now that I am extremely strong in being able to activate things, get things done and organized. I really want you to ask me to use those strengths on our behalf as a couple, for our sake together."
He looked at her, some tears in his eyes, and said, "I can see that now - this is your area of powerful strength. You were being sensitive to my feelings. But now I want you to know that I deeply honor your strengths and I want to ask you to use them freely on our behalf, to make us even stronger than we are."
In turn, he said to her, "I want you to ask me - to trust my deeply relational strengths - to use my abilities to pull people in, to go deeper with people, to include and help build deeper relationships, even in our relationship with each other. I want to know that you truly honor and respect these strengths and their wisdom in me. I want you to ask me to use them even more."
I sat there, realizing that I was witnessing a powerful sacred moment - two people truly "seeing" each other, truly being seen by each other - two people honoring and respecting the pure goodness and strength in each other.
I've seen again and again that this is what happens when couples take the time to
- identify their top strengths,
- to share with each other what those strengths are,
- to affirm and validate each other's strengths and how each person is using them,
- to engage in dialogue and discovery about how their individual strengths can work together in creating the strongest, most authentic, and effective relationship,
- to apply this discovery to developing a relationship mission statement, along with specific ways (goals) to moving forward as a couple in building on that mission,
- and to truly honor who they are as a couple and the unique, relational presence they can have in the world around them.
It's a powerful things to observe!
That's why I'm offering a four hour workshop to help lead couples through this kind of experience and process together (and it also includes a personalized 90 minute skype session with me after the workshop). The potential of building an even stronger relationship is powerful, especially when you focus on your strengths. It's about learning how to leverage your strengths in a way that transforms your relationship from mere survival to thriving. Who among us wouldn't want that for the most important relationship in our lives?
Go to the Events page on my site for more information.
No matter how long you've been in your committed relationship, no matter your age, no matter your hang ups, healthy and strong relationships take intentionality, focus, honesty, and energy. This workshop will offer you that space and some important tools to engage with each other. And it will be fun, informative, and possibly even transformational.
Both of you are worth it! And so is your relationship! Feel free to share this opportunity with others you know.
Looking for a Speaker or Coach?
If you or someone you know in your organization is looking for a keynote speaker or workshop teacher for events in your company, congregation, or association gatherings, I would be happy to come speak on this theme or others like it. And interested in strengths coaching? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look at the Speaking or Coaching pages of this site.