This article was featured on healyourlife.com on February 15, 2017
Try This Experiment For Measurable Results
If you want to enhance your relationship with your spouse, partner, parent, child, colleague or friend, or another person in your life, we have an experiment that will improve your communications in just two weeks.
For this experiment, it’s best to choose someone you’ll see or talk with every day, or almost every day.
Setting Up Your Experiment
STEP 1: Pose your experimental question:
For the purposes of this experiment, we’ll use the question: “What, if any, will be the results in my relationship with this person by engaging in certain specific attitudes and behaviors with them over a period of two weeks?”
(For example, Seeing the Loving Essence, Heart-Centered Listening, and Perception Checking will probably work really well. See our book, Remembering The Light Within, for more on these concepts.)
STEP 2: Set up a tracking system that accomplishes two experimental objectives:
Measuring of results
Measuring quality of a relationship is not the same as measuring something physical like weight loss for which there is a handy little device known as a scale. For this, we need an internally referenced scale. This scale was developed by a University of Santa Monica student several years ago.
Overall Quality of Relationship:
Daily Rating Scale Intention for this scale: I choose the rating that best describes my perception of the current state of my relationship with [Name] as I experience it inside of me.
1. Either very negative communication or none at all Very strong judgments Strong feelings of upset, anger, and/or guilt No experience of caring or appreciation
2. Communication is very difficult Strong judgments Frequent feelings of annoyance, frustration, and/or hurt No experience of caring or appreciation
3. Very little real communication Judgments present although less intense Feelings of annoyance, frustration, hurt No experience of caring or appreciation
4. Some communication Judgments still present although continuing to soften Feelings of annoyance, frustration, hurt No experience of caring or appreciation
5. Some communication More aware of choice between acceptance and judgment Feelings of upset are less intense Open to possibility of expressions of caring or appreciation
6. Some communication at a more honest level Acceptance more frequent than judgments Feelings more pleasant Open to possibility of expressions of caring or appreciation
7. Communication is more free and clear More acceptance of our differences Still occasional upset but generally positive feelings Some experience of appreciation
8. Communication is very free, honest, and sincere Acceptance is now the predominant mode Feelings of warmth and compassion Genuine expression of caring and appreciation
9. Communication is magical, Healing, and Heartfelt Unconditional acceptance Strong feelings of loving and compassion Deep appreciation and loving expression
Assuring your participation
This involves using a calendar so that you can track the number of days in your experiment, including the steps taken each of those days, so that you have a clear record of what you have actually done. This involves simply taking a calendar and marking it accordingly. For example, let’s say that you commit to conducting your experiment for 14 days, beginning on June 2 and ending on June 15. On your calendar, you mark “1” in the box of June 2, “2” in the box of June 3, etc.
STEP 3: Design an experiential process: the carrying out of which will provide you with data or evidence regarding the question you’ve posed. For this experiment, you might choose the process of having a conversation every day with a particular person, during which you’ll practice the Soul-Centered skills of Seeing the Loving Essence, Heart-Centered Listening, and Perception Checking.
STEP 4: Carry out the experiential process: Then, based upon your measurements, evaluate your results, reach your conclusion, and determine any further experiments on this subject you might wish to explore. Ready, Set, Go! Here’s how you would carry out the suggested two-week experiment in this Practice.
Day 0: The day before you begin your experiential process, take the temperature of your relationship with your chosen person. Review the nine-point Overall Quality of Relationship scale at the beginning of this article, and honestly choose the rating that best fits the current state of your relationship.
Write that number down in this date’s box on your calendar.
Days 1–14: For these 14 days, you’ll be carrying out your experiment. Engage in conversation with this person while utilizing the Soul-Centered skills of Seeing the Loving Essence, Heart-Centered Listening, and Perception Checking.
Be sure to do this Practice daily, or as often as possible. Mark your calendar to keep track of the days, and be sure to journal about each of your conversations. This record will anchor your experiences and provide you with learning that may be useful in future relations.
Days 15: The day after you have completed your experiment, again review the Overall Quality of Relationship scale. Select the rating that now best describes the current state of your relationship with that person and compare it with the rating you chose before you began the experiment.
There are only three possibilities: the new rating will be greater, lesser, or pretty much the same as the old rating. In any case, you have now likely learned a great deal about yourself and your relationship with this person.
As you evaluate the results of your experiment, take special note of what you have learned, rather than focusing on the particular number of the rating. We strongly suggest you write about it in your journal.
For more information on this exercise and others in our Course on Soul-Centered Living can be found in our book Remembering The Light Within.