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How To Have A Memorable Vacation As A Couple.

How To Have A Memorable Vacation As A Couple.

Many couples believe they’re perfect for each other, they move in together or get married too soon and regret their decisions fast enough.

How do you know if your partner is the right person? They say traveling together is the best way to understand one another. A memorable vacation strengthens any relationship.

1. Be Excited and Don’t Hold Back On Ideas

When I’m planning for my annual vacation, I’m as excited as I’m on Christmas morning. A month or sometimes two months before our vacation, we each have a list of countries we want to go to. Though finances often come in between, we always set our goals and work towards it. Our schedules are tight, but we always take the weekends to plan our vacations. Excitement and ideas is what gets us to look forward to our trip and gives us a sense of hope.

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Some may say that excitement is overrated or even hold themselves back from being excited, but this rush of endorphins and adrenaline is what takes your relationship to the next level. Understanding and working together becomes the fun part of the whole planning.

How do you do it? Never hold back on your ideas. Always sit and do your research together, this will create a sense of communication and trust. This by itself becomes the start of an amazing vacation.

I think we all familiar with the phrase, “As Hardworking as an Otter.” Sometimes everyone needs a break, even otters take breaks during winters.

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2. Always Choose Places of Mutual Interest

Sometimes during planning it’s hard to come to a decision. As individuals, we all have our opinions and sometimes it’s just hard to accept a NO. The world is a big place and choosing one country to explore can be difficult hence, always decide on what would you want to do during your vacations.

Every couple has their own style and rhythm, some prefer a relaxed vacation while others prefer adventure. My partner is a precise planner, I’m a spontaneous adventurer and often times this causes a huge clash during planning. Hence we divide our holidays: the first 2 weeks for adventure and the last two weeks for historic explorations and relaxation.

This form of communication allows us to understand each other and choose interesting places. The more exotic the places are, the more fun we have trying to communicate the languages and experience new food. The more interesting stories you have together, the closer your bond would be and your relationship would transcend towards a harmonious connection.

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3.Being Organized Is an Important Quality

As a person who’s generally the least organized, I can emphasize on its importance. Being a creative it’s hard to constantly be organized because my brain is drawing a complicated map of its own, hence whilst traveling my partner constantly struggles with my tardiness. Sometimes this leads to huge arguments and ruins our day. Such negativity and arguments lead to unnecessary tension and makes it harder to keep a harmonious relationship.

We all learn our lessons, and that’s the reason why I constantly emphasize on myself in being organized. I tend to keep things categorized, filed and scheduled and often times set tons of reminders to not create chaos. Hence, if one of you finds it hard to be organized, try working together to fix the problem. You complement each other with your best and worst qualities, that’s what makes your relationship unique.

4. Explore The New Country

Flying or taking a train to a new land can be exciting, it’s made even better when you’re traveling with your partner. Try embracing every moment, from the terrible flight food to the most intense train ride, often times this becomes your best memory.

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In a new country, language may become a huge hurdle especially if the locals aren’t familiar with English. However, this is the time where you have to work as a team, navigating using sign language and moving your way across Google Translate. Sometimes reading signboards and getting lost may seem like a frequent problem, however, try to enjoy being lost and find a random restaurant which serves strange local food. Explore to the best and enjoy every moment of a new country. Remember this will change your perspective as well as your partner’s towards your relationship.

In a nutshell, every relationship is unique. We all thrive under the same basic beliefs which are understanding, trust, and teamwork. If you’re able to attain this, you can create a blissful version of Romeo and Juliet in your own life.

Featured photo credit: Google Images via fluentin3months.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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