Couples: Try this Effective Communication Technique for Couples and Marriage

Speaker Listener Technique

Couples: Try this Effective Communication Technique for Couples and Marriage

Couples: Try this Effective Communication Technique for Couples and Marriage


Do you have problems in your relationship because of a lack of effective communication?

In discussions,  are you actually listening or are you just waiting on your turn to get your point across?  Do many of your discussions turn into arguments?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone.  Many couples struggle in their relationships because of lack of effective communication.     

So,  why is this a problem in so many relationships?

We’ve all heard the saying Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.   Science says,  Men and women think and process information differently.  Men are more practical thinkers and women are more emotional.

But, does this really have anything to do with productive and effective communicating?

When I feel like I’m not being heard I get upset.  When I get upset, I am no longer interested in trying to communicate.  Once this happens all bets are off,  I have tuned out and it doesn’t matter what the other person is saying because I am no longer listening!

And Just like that, the lines of communication close,  the problem is not solved,  and the relationship suffers.  Sound familiar?  I would bet that this sounds familiar to many of you, regardless if you are male or female.

So how do you fix it?  Well,  it takes work from both people and the willingness to try a new way of communicating.

Here is a Technique that I would like to share with you that really works.  It’s called the Speaker Listener Technique.  Have you heard of it?

Hears how it Works……..

Speaker Listener Technique:

There are two roles in this technique.  One is the Speaker Role and the other is the Listener Role.

First,  find an object like a TV remote, or a Pen, if you are at a restaurant it can be something like a salt shaker.  The person holding the object is the only one who can speak.  Then,  pass the object back and forth so that each person can express their feelings without being interrupted.

The Rules:


The Speaker

  1. The Speaker has to communicate his/her feelings on the subject being discussed using the term “I”  when speaking.
  2. The Speaker can not  use terms like “you” or use an accusatory tone when communicating.
  3. The Speaker has to speak on his/her feeling only.  Do not assume what the Listener is thinking.
  4. The Speaker has to keep it short and only speak on a 1-3  points at a time.  When done pass object to Listener


The Listener

  1. The listener has to paraphrase what the speaker has said.  [Ex.  “So you’re saying that…..1-3”]
  2. The listener has to stick to what the speaker is saying.  Do not rebut, this is not the time.
  3. The Listener has to listen respectfully with no interruptions.
  4. The Listener has to refrain from  making facial expressions or actions that would be considered offensive by the speaker.


***The Speaker has the floor until the Listener has paraphrase what the Speaker has communicated to him/her correctly.  After this is achieved, Switch places.  The Speaker becomes the Listener and The listener is now the speaker.  Follow the rules until both parties have communicated their feelings/points.


This Technique allows both people to be heard without being interrupted.  It also promotes listening.  Knowing that you must repeat what the speaker is saying forces you to focus on what’s being said.

You are not looking for solutions at this time, this technique is for both parties to effectively be heard.  This will lead to better communication and in turn makes working on a solution easier.

There are no quick fixes to relationship problems.  You have to start by making an effort to do the necessary work to make things better,  which also includes doing things to keep the Spark  between you two alive.

So, Don’t give up, put the work in and invest in your relationship.












photo credit: JayD Photography Felix and Irene via photopin (license)

10 thoughts on “Couples: Try this Effective Communication Technique for Couples and Marriage

    1. Thanks,
      Tom/Audrey it’s a great technique for couples to stop and listen. Sometimes when in a heated debate we stop listening and are only waiting to get our point across. This is one way to improve communication.

      1. You are so right Toni. Some days we are better at listening then others, lol. Its that darn pride and ego thing getting in the way. The steps you present are so good. A great book we are reading now is “Love and Respect” by Eggerichs.

          1. So do I! I love psychology so much. These are the types of books I find myself reading also. There’s so much to learn.

          2. We certainly try. But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again seeing examples of experienced couples like you guys, my parents, and others are great example for us.

          3. Thank you Toni. We can all make a difference in this world when we lead by example. I know as we fall down we just get back up and try again…lol. Lots of bruised knees, LOL.

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