What does a worksheet accomplish?
- Worksheets help couples to develop a heart connection with each other.
- Worksheets help couples to understand each other’s personal journey as they interact with the Scriptures, principles, discussion questions and practical applications.
- Worksheets allow couples to interact with their coach to experience encouragement and learn how to apply the Scriptures, principles, discussions and practical applications to their personal lives and relationships.
- The coach responses help couples to go deeper with their personal reflections by asking questions such as “what godly characteristics do you see in your life?” and “what godly characteristics do you see in your spouse, fiance or boy/girlfriend?” (coaches should review the Follow Up Response Questions for Online Coaching, in the training manual).
What are the steps to complete a worksheet?
A worksheet is fully completed when the couple:
- Responds to the questions connected to the Scriptures, principles, discussion questions and Practical applications.
- Coach makes comments and asks clarifying questions.
- Couple responds to the coach comments and questions.
- Couples reads their personal responses, coach comments and his/her answers to the coach questions to each other.
- Couples then completes the Couple Worksheet Section.
What does the coach review during the coaching session? (physical coaching session- not online)
Coaches should briefly review the the first half of the worksheet know as the man/woman’s section by asking these questions:
- What did you learn about yourself as you completed the first section of the worksheet?
- What did you lean about your spouse, fiance, or boy/girlfriend as they read their responses, and coach comments to you?
- In what ways did the first half of the worksheet influence your relationship?
- Did the worksheet have a positive influence on your life or relationship?
After the couple answers these questions the coach asks: “would you like to complete the Couples Worksheet Section?” The coaches will briefly review the first section of the worksheet. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes. The main emphasis on the physical coaching session is discussing the “couples section” of the worksheet and how the couple were able to apply the two questions to their relationship.
Coaches should always instruct couples who are working on the Couples Section of their worksheets to hold hands. Physical touch creates safety and closeness. As couples hold hands they are more inclined to engage their hearts in the steps of active listening. The book: The Normal Bar reports that holding hands lowers blood pressure, mental and physical stress. Physical touch can be very beneficial as couples are resolving conflicts or problem solving.
Active listening empowers couples to communicate more effectively and respectfully as they follow these six steps. Active listening involves each person equally in their conversation. As one person is speaking the other person is listening. The person who is speaking wants their spouse/partner to hear their words rather than interpret what he or she is saying.
- The person who is speaking should limit their talking to two minute intervals and should not exceed three intervals equaling six minutes,
- The second person (listener) responds after each two minute interval by saying, “What I heard you say is…” This person (listener) is responsible to use the same words as the speaker.
- Once the first person acknowledges that the second person has heard them accurately,
- The second person is now able to give his or her opinion or response to the topic – not exceeding three two minute intervals.
- The first person is responsible to respond to the second person, “What I heard you say is …,” after each two minute interval.
The goals of active listening are:
- Each person is able to express their ideas or concerns regarding an issue or topic without being interrupted,
- Validation means that each person’s ideas or concerns are important and need to be respected.
Complete at least two strength worksheets before assigning improvement needed or disagreement worksheets.
Coaches will be more effective in helping couples resolve conflicts or areas of improvement by emphasizing the strengths in the relationship. The conflicts for many couples are fueled by a history of blame-shifting, stonewalling, or criticizing each other. These types of behaviors result in a loss of validation. Many couples would prefer their coaches to advocate for his or her side of the conflict. Coaches can avoid being triangled into conflicts by asking the couple, what are you committed to bring into a resolution process such as, is the man committed to a peaceful resolution. If so, then he must be committed to extend peace to his spouse or fiancé. Coaches can then support the man’s commitment to extending peace.
He must learn to experience the peace of God in order to extend it to the other person. Coaches may ask the woman is she is committed to a respectful resolution process. If so, coaches can support her commitment to ensure that each person is respected. The characteristics of peace and respect are strengths than can be encouraged and nurtured by the coaches. Couples will find that resolution begins by extending the spirit of peace and respect toward each other.
What should you do if a couple does not complete their worksheets?
The first time that a person or couple does not complete the worksheet before the physical- in person coaching session:
- Let the person/couple know that incomplete worksheet will hinder the effectiveness of the coaching session.
- Ask, “what made it difficult to complete the worksheet?” There may be a major issue going on in the relationship or one person is under a lot of stress.
- Express compassion and pray as appropriate.
- Have the couple complete the worksheet during the coaching session.
- Let them know that they need to contact you if they are unable to complete the worksheet before the coaching session.
Responding to key words from Scripture in a Strength worksheet
Responding to the Principle section of a Strength worksheet
Responding to Couple’s section of a Strength worksheet
Responding to Scripture responses for an Improvement Needed worksheet
Responding to a Principle from an Improvement Needed worksheet
Responding to a Couple’s Section from an Improvement Needed worksheet