- Identify the problem
- Brainstorm solutions
- Choose a solution
- Evaluate the solution
- Make a follow-up action plan
When you are problem solving together, take turns talking. Stay focused on the topic, rather than side-track the conversation by raising other issues or concerns. Try to hear the positive in what your partner is saying. Try to understand one another’s point of view even if you don’t agree:
“I can understand why you’re angry that I asked my parents over for the weekend without talking to you first.”
Offer suggestions or examples rather than dictating what to do or trying to force your partner to change.
Review your progress by discussing what worked well, what didn’t work, and what could change.