3 Simple Steps to Giving Direction So Your Partner Will Listen

Have you ever been in a situation either with an employer, lover or family member where you felt constantly criticized? I have, and it leads to me feeling self- doubt, and discouragement. If it goes on long enough, I can even feel despair. The message I got growing up, was that you focus on what’s wrong and complain until you get it changed.  Even though I knew the ill effects of this technique, this is what I learned from observing my mother and other women.  So in the past, when  I was the one needing to offer correction and direction,  I turned into either a nag, or a bully.  The people around me felt like they could never get it right, so why even try. I felt constantly thwarted, and ungratified. The good news is, that I have learned new ways to request change that are more loving, more fun, and way more effective. Today, I’ll share them with you.

Suggestions for Changing People without Offending Them

Being a leader, whether it is in your home, or the workplace, requires you to train people. The renowned motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, listed these suggestions for changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment:

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

The POP Training™ Technique

3 Simple Steps to Giving Direction So Your Partner Will Listen

I use a technique I call POP Training™.  The goal is to offer direction in a way that both parties win. You get what you want, and the other person gets to feel great about themselves for succeeding. It’s a three step process.

  • Step one, offer praise, or acknowledgement.
  • Step two, give the person a concrete action they can take.
  • Step three, acknowledge even the slightest movement in the direction of your correction or request.

Here is a real-life scenario.  I send my husband grocery shopping.  He buys dozens of items, but gets the wrong type of apples.  The old me would have said “I can’t believe you got red delicious, don’t you know I hate red delicious, I wanted fuji. Fine, I’ll live with them” All the while, my poor husband who thought he was a hero for literally, bringing home the bacon, is shrinking.  And growing gradually more deaf. Also, he is not too inclined to go shopping the next time!

Utilizing POP Training™,  it would look like this: Praise, Offer direction, Praise again. “Wow, honey, thanks for doing the shopping. Next time, can you get fuji apples? They are my favorite.  Fantastic.” And the next time he brings me a fuji apple. . . wow, thanks for getting the fujis these look fantastic!”

In the workplace, this might look like “Susan, thanks for getting those figures to me so quickly. Can you put them in a spreadsheet format? Excellent job, this layout makes it so easy to read.”

That second statement of  praise is key to the success of the process. And if you want to give a second direction, it needs to be sandwiched between two acknowledgements of it’s own.  No fair going from Step 3 of the previous cycle directly to step two of the next one.  That feels like constant correction.

This technique is really effective at home.  It works particularly well in the sensual arena, where there is a wide divergence between what people like.  One women’s “oh yeah” is another’s “oww you’re on my hair.”  The POP Technique™ can help you “find the spot” without breaking up the action.

A Real Life Example

Imagine your partner is having a hard time finding your clitoris. Instead of lying there getting frustrated, or subtly trying to shift yourself to the right place, you could say, “Your hands are so nice and warm, could you rub a little to the left? Thanks that is so much better.”  (If they are still not on the spot, stick with it!) “You are using just the right pressure, could you rub a little more to the left? Aah that’s perfect.” You’ve praised, corrected and praised again.  You get stroked just how you like it.  Your partner feels like a rock star.

A secondary benefit of this technique is that it brings more to your awareness all the things you have to appreciate. My mentor, Victor Baranco says “It’s nice to feel enthusiastic about life.” The more you focus on what’s good, the more of that you get. Thank you for reading so attentively. Would you share this article with your friends using the share bar below?  That’s awesome, you’re a fantastic audience, I feel so loved.


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