My father, Scott Felten, leads a marriage group with his wife, Barb, at Veritas Church. He was so kind as to share with us some knowledge about the five levels of communication.
Fifth Level of Communication
Needs- Now that we have trust and we have expressed our feelings, we can discover the most important part of all relationships… Needs! Here is where the best relationships soar – the ability to discover our partner’s needs is like the string on a kite. Just enough tension on the kite so that it can be in the perfect position to use the wind to lift it in the air.
The skill to uncover our partner, friend, and spouse’s needs is to listen and listen through each of the levels of communication. Often times their need is for you to listen and this starts with feelings. Having that trust in the relationship offers the safe space for them to share what they are feeling. And if you are patient enough, long enough and refrain from offering solutions – you will uncover their needs.
In the video “It’s Not About The Nail”, you see a man being patient with his wife – he fights his reactions of helping and of course, she is coaching him through it. Here she wants to be understood. She wants him to accept her feelings as legitimate, and focus on her and not the problem.
Now it is our responsibility to turn to Jesus to get our needs met. But when it comes to our closest friends, it is also our responsibility to be there to listen, to encourage, to pray and support them when needs arise. Some needs can be met with action while others are met with listening and letting the other person know you are there and care for them.
When this happens, you know that your relationship has arrived… not at the destination, but at the starting point of all good relationships. And like any investment, you get out of it what you put into it. Why not make it a point today to listen more, fix less and take the time to communicate that you are there, they are worth it and you will continue to pray, encourage and support them?