The 10 Relationship Powers You Need

The 10 Relationship PowersEvery relationship involves a balance of power.  Between two friends, two business associates, two family members or two lovers, that balance is often tipped in one direction.  One person feels more powerful and the other feels less powerful.  One of the reasons we adore our precious pets and our developing babies is that we have an enormous sense of power and control – at first.  However, if you do not develop the 10 essential relationship powers, you may soon start to feel powerless – no matter how that relationship began.

Today’s post was inspired by a special continuing education lecture sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida.  Dr. Scott W. Allen, psychologist and negotiator, shared with us his knowledge, experience and unique insights into the best ways to handle crisis and hostage negotiation.  In this type of dangerous crisis situation, the negotiator has to be clear, decisive yet empathetic, curious and non-threatening to the perpetrator. The skills he talked about are no different from the skills required to build lasting, fulfilling and satisfying love relationships, business partnerships, parent-child relationships and friendships.


1.The Power of YES

When we say “Yes” and know we will figure out how to do it, we feel energized and empowered.  We may have to reach out to others, do some heavy research, study, plan and step out of our comfort zone.  When we say “Yes” we are expanding our horizons, developing new skills and getting into creative flow.  However, if we tend to say “Yes” to everything, to more than we can handle, to more than we really want, then our energy gets watered down, drained and eventually depleted.

2.  The Power of NO

We don’t often think of saying “No” as being in a state of power.  I remember hearing a quote from the super trader Warren Buffet.  When asked what he does differently, he said  in no uncertain terms:  “I say NO more often.”  Saying “No” enforces our sense of self, our boundary of what we find acceptable vs. unacceptable.  Saying “No” gives a strong signal to others that we know what we want and we know what we don’t want.  Unless we have a consistently negative mindset, saying “No” affirms that we are being true to the values, beliefs and principles by which we live.

3.  The Power of Letting Go

There is certainly strength and courage involved in going after what we want.  And then there comes a time when enough is enough.  We have tolerated emotional abuse for just so long and now we are ready to leave.  We have tried to get this other person to love us but finally we realize it is a losing battle.  We have pursued a certain occupation and we have had no luck in securing a position or attracting enough clients and customers.  At some point, if we follow clearly evaluate our outer circumstances and our inner guidance, we may decide it is time to let go and allow a new vision, a new partner and a new goal to emerge, one that is more aligned with our life purpose.

4.  The Power of Curiosity

When we are curious, we ask questions.  And when we ask open ended, curious questions, we learn what is available for us to learn.  We discover what our partner desires, needs, fears and wants.  We learn what our boss, co-workers, employees are willing and capable of being and doing as well as what they want and need from us.  Curiosity leads to discovery which leads to creative problem solving and mutual satisfaction.

5.  The Power of Self-Disclosure

In some sales techniques we are taught to ask questions, to get as much information as we can about the other person without revealing anything about our own self.  That may work in some sales situations, at least for a short while, but it does not work in long term relationships.  When we disclose our fears, our doubts, our strengths, our past confusion and our future hopes and plans, we open the possibility for the other person to feel safe enough to share personal information with us.  A bond develops that strengthens over time if we continue to share what is true for us with an open heart and mind.

6.  The Power of Listening

Most of us are listen-starved.  Everyone seems to talk at us, to tell us about them self if we give them a chance.  Everyone’s favorite subject of conversation is Me, Myself and I.  Knowing that truth, become willing to listen, really listen, without the need to jump in with your own opinions, perspective, judgements and personal stories.  Listen first.  Pay attention.  Hear what is being said.  Ask questions to clarify your understanding.  Allow the other person to feel listened to, heard, and acknowledged.  There is a boomerang effect.  The time may come when that person is eager to hear what you have to say, and able to sit and listen attentively.  If not, you can reconsider whether this is someone you want to spend your time with.  Listen and learn.  It will serve you well in all your relationships.

7.  The Power of Clear Communication

So much of our daily communication with others is unclear, murky, and not quite upfront.  We often share only a piece of a story, leaving out some significant detail that could drastically alter the message heard.  Not being clear about what we want and how to ask for it, we may drop hints, harbor secret expectations and then build resentment without ever actually telling the other person.  We may hide the truth in the moment to not hurt another person, but we are laying the groundwork for a break in trust.  At some later point, when this person accidentally discovers the whole truth,a bond that has taken years to develop can be instantly severed.  Develop clear communication skills.  Practice telling your truth without apology or backing down.

8.  The Power of Saving Face

As you learn to be more direct, authentic and truthful with the other people in your life, there are times when you may cause someone to feel hurt, embarrassed or even humiliated.  If you cause others to feel backed into a corner, they will naturally get defensive and either lash out at you or shut down.  A better approach is to always begin with something positive before telling the way this other person’s words or behaviors have affected you.  Safeguard the other person’s sense of self as you attempt to push them toward more open and honest communication.

9.  The Power of Body Language

Pay attention to the sensations and symptoms in your own body.  Do you sometimes feel a sudden jab in your back, in your stomach or in your neck when your partner or boss speaks to you?  Observe the non-verbal responses of the people around you.  Does your partner stand tall and speak clearly or cross arms, tense up and look away when you are asking or telling something you feel is important?   Our bodies reveal to us what is really going on, even when our words are saying that all is okay.  Your body is your friend.  Listen to it.  And observe what is not being said but is apparent in another person’s facial expression, posture, movements, breathing and eye contact.

10.  The Power of Modeling, Mirroring and Reinforcement

Would you rather learn how to love from someone who is so loving that you can’t resist feeling good around that person or from someone who is angry, judgemental and easily upset?  If you want your partner to treat you in a certain way, begin treating yourself and everyone in your life in that certain way.  Become of model citizen of what you want and expect in others.  Mirror, imitate and reinforce the positive and loving actions of others.  Do not mirror, imitate or reinforce their unloving behaviors.  Pay much more attention to what is working.  Let the non-working, difficulty, upsetting behavior patterns gradually dissolve in your loving presence.

Learn how to negotiate in your relationships.


Dr. Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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16 thoughts on “The 10 Relationship Powers You Need

  1. Hi Erica,

    Since I commented on this post before, I will think on another of your key points. I am slowly working on self-disclosure on social media sites (I think I came here from another planet 🙂 ). I am aware that revealing information about yourself to others is an important part of transparency. I recall reading about a study that found that college professors who shared personal information were perceived as more credible than those who did not.

    • Rachel,

      I have also discovered that self-disclosure helps to build interactivity and trust. But some people reveal so much that I find it unpleasant. There is a certain amount of professionalism that can still be maintained.


      Dr. Erica

  2. I love this article and thus return to add so more insight which you always seem to bring out. I reviewed just on area which kept returning to my thoughts these weeks.

    The Power of Saving Face

    This is one area I fail to notice during my whole life. I was to believe that telling it like it is was my style of communication. I do not like to deal with emotion in my communications other than those that manifest naturally like enthusiasm.

    If I am speaking and clearly need to share truth with someone. Their feelings are removed as are mine. That is something as “The truth hurts”.

    Something that allot of us had been taught it is the way it has to be. Most people who are offended are pampered when scolded and that was to me a huge problem showing weakness in their upbringing. That is what most were taught and still believe. Allot of people never experienced true loss or lack of purpose in the true meaning of survival.

    This is a subject within it self and I would love to continue it?

    Thank you Dr. Erica with bringing this to light.

    • William,
      Not everyone has been brought up to tell the truth in the moment. Some of us were taught to be polite, to consider the other person before expressing what is true for us. If you are always just blunt and in the other person’s face, you may be limiting the number of people you can connect with, associate with, and share your message with. If you are blunt toward someone with a history of abuse who is highly sensitive to criticism, you will lose that person’s trust before you even begin to relate. There is an art to relationships. It is not just black and white, do this/don’t do that. Every one of us is an individual and needs to be treated and respected as such.


      Dr. Erica

  3. My weakest relationship power is listening. I know better. But I do not do better. Interesting how I took so many classes in college in the art of verbal communication: how to give a speech, make a presentation, chair a meeting. But not much focus was placed on listening. The only time that I really focus on what someone is saying is in the coaching relationship and when someone needs my compassion. Otherwise, I am guilty of half-listening, rather than being fully present. I think that is one of the reasons people hire coaches, counselors, therapists, etc–people are so starved for someone to just hear them.

    • Rachel,

      Most of us are not good at listening. We all want and need to be heard so that when someone else is talking we are preparing what we want to say in response. However, the best gift we can give to another person is to truly listen and only respond after they have completed saying what they want to say, and then responding by asking questions to assist them to gain their own clarity. Listening is truly an art and a skill to develop.


      Dr. Erica

  4. Hi Erica,

    So many wise words for a Monday morning and to start off the week. Thank you. Years ago I attended a self-assertiveness workshop and it did wonders for me. I felt if I said No, people wouldn’t like me. I finally realized you can stand up for yourself, be yourself and still be okay.

    Thanks again for the reminder.

    Have a great day, Monna

    • Monna,

      I still have difficulty saying “No” and feeling good about it. But I cannot possibly take on everything that is offered and the more I clear extraneous activities away, the more I can focus on my true purpose and intentions.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Erica,

    This is a fantastic way to build strong relationships. I just love the power of NO! It took me many years how to learn how to do that one! But once I mastered it, there was less confusion with communication.

    The power of letting to comes pretty easily for me. I guess it is just part of my personality. But I cannot understand holding on to something that just causes tension.

    The power of listening is something that people sometimes refer to as a learned art form. But once you resign yourself to practice listening, you find yourself asking questions, getting deeper into your partner’s thinking and feelings.

    These are wonderful tips for all of us to practice! Thanks so much for another brilliant post!


    • Donna,
      The art of listening goes way beyond our intimate relationships and friendships. Even and especially in business and networking, when we listen we are more likely to gain the other person’s trust and we learn whatever we need to know about them – before attempting to sell them something or enroll them into our opportunity or service.

      Dr. Erica

  6. This is allot of information for most to take in who have not had some kind of training with the human thought.

    I for one, focus with body language as I have been taught and put to use in the service of our Nation. Even when one is interacting on the phone you can hear and feel the emotions of the other party if you focus. Try smiling more when you are on the phone and watch the response of the other party.

    Being aware of so many effective ways to influence others is an art. You have to practice the fundamentals to get serious. The basics is what you have to learn, practice and then model.

    Great share Dr. Erica one that I will be revisiting for reference.

    • This is allot of information for most to take in who have not had some kind of training with the human thought.

      I for one, focus with body language as I have been taught and put to use in the service of our Nation. Even when one is interacting on the phone you can hear and feel the emotions of the other party if you focus. Try smiling more when you are on the phone and watch the response of the other party.

      Being aware of so many effective ways to influence others is an art. You have to practice the fundamentals to get serious. The basics is what you have to learn, practice and then model.

      Great share Dr. Erica one that I will be revisiting for reference.

    • William,

      How interesting that you learned to pay attention to body language while serving in the armed forces. I learned about paying attention to body language in my studies of body therapy methods and combining counseling with gentle touch therapy. You are so right, none of these “powers” happen naturally and easily. They need to be learned. Although I must say, young children are very good at saying NO – and being very definite about it and they are also very good at discerning the meaning of body language, facial expression, energy level and tone of voice. But the rest of the powers can take many years to develop.


      Dr. Erica

  7. Hi Dr. Erica,

    Great topic with great tips. I was especially intrigued by the “Power of No” section where you shared about Warren Buffet and his ability to say more NO than YES 🙂

    I also believe that we must say NO when we need to say NO although it’s not easy and definitely requires us to know what we are doing before we can have a power in our NO’s.

    Thank you for sharing these awesome tips while we are getting ready for a brand new week.


    • Kumar,
      I just attended a workshop a few days ago in which Loral Langmeier (best selling author and millionaire coach who originally appeared in “The Secret”) teaches the value of saying “Yes.” But some of us say Yes to too many things and often to the wrong things, and then we do not say NO quite often enough. There is certainly a balance and we can sometimes make a mistake, but saying No to daily distractions can catapult us toward success.


      Dr. Erica

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