Practicing Conversations with Milan Yerkovich

Click here to download this informational pdf.

These videos can be watched on

Practicing Conversations: The Tools Needed (Part 1) dated September 23, 2015
Practicing Conversations: Knowing What to Say (Part 2) dated September 28, 2015.



  • Then ask the speaker to stop and let you summarize if it gets too long.
  • Repeat back in your own words what you heard and check for accuracy.
  • Ask questions that will broaden your understanding.
  • Respond with empathy, … “I see what you are saying” or “I can see how

you might feel that way.” Ask them what they need from the resolution options.


  • Pick a word from the soul words list that fits with an event in your day and tell me about it.
  • Tell me about the best thing in your day and the worst thing in your day.
  • Choose an area in our life—work, relationships, church, friends, hobbies, and so on—and then pick a few feeling words that describe your current experiences and feelings about that area.
  • Pick a feeling and tell me about a childhood experience when you felt that emotion.
  • Choose the feeling your felt most during your day and tell me about it.


  • Tell me more, I want to understand.
  • What can I do to make it safe for you to open up to me?
  • How long have you been feeling this way?
  • Are you feeling anything in addition to the emotion you just shared?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how strong is your feeling?
  • Can you give me an example?
  • What did you do when _____________ (your parents were fighting).
  • How does that make you feel? (When you see a feeling, reach out and touch.)
  • Are there other times you have felt this? Are there times you felt this as a child?
  • What are your Hopes? Expectations? Desires?
  • Ask: Where? How? Who?, What?, questions. Don’t ask “Why”? (It is often accusatory)
  • Stay with feelings and refrain from problem solving.
  • Tie the memories to the current reactivity.
  • If you are wrong, don’t apologize until you have fully listened


  • I understand how you could feel that way.
  • From your perspective, your feelings make sense.
  • I would probably feel the same way if I were in your situation.
  • I see your tears, and I see how hurt you feel.
  • I see how angry you feel and how upset this makes you.
  • It makes sense to me that you would feel ________________.
  • I can’t imagine what it would be like to ________________.
  • I can see why _____________.
  • Reflect what you see in his/her eyes right now. I see ______________.


  • OWNERSHIP “I need you to admit and own the problem, infraction or mistake.”
  • APOLOGY OR FORGIVENESS: Acknowledge what painful feelings you caused before saying, “I’m sorry.”
  • LITTLE OR NOTHING “I don’t need anything right now, I feel better having gotten that off my chest.”
  • REASSURANCE “I need to know that things will be OK, or that you will work on this or that you still love me!”
  • AGREE TO DISAGREE “While we still do not agree on this I do feel like we understand and accept one another.”
  • COMPROMISE: Can you offer a compromise?
  • ANALYSIS / PROBLEM SOLVING “Would you help me figure out how to solve or fix this reoccurring problem?”
  • COMFORT AND NURTURE “Would you please hold and comfort me?”
  • TEST A SOLUTION: If one spouse is reluctant to proceed with a plan or proposal, agree to try one possible solution for a specified period of time. Set a date to review how the idea is working. Make adjustments after evaluating or try the other partner’s idea for a specified time.


RECONNECT EVEN IF YOU DON’T RESOLVE: Praise one another for making the effort to listen and grow.

Milan and Kay Resources Inc.   From How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich © 2006

10 Ways You Can Overcome Anger

1. One of the key steps to overcoming anger is to identify the object of your anger. Many people who struggle with chronic anger aren’t even sure what they’re angry about. When you identify what you’re angry about you can begin the process of dealing with it.

2. One of the goals of an angry person can be to draw attention to themselves. They often feel that negative attention is better than no attention at all. If you don’t feel loved or needed, this may be a root cause of your anger.

3. Accept the fact that most things in the world are out of your control. If you try to continually control your family, friends or circumstances you will find the result frustrating.

4. The root of your anger may lie in a lack of forgiveness. If you’ve never forgiven someone who’s hurt you, you’re caught in a vicious trap that will ultimately destroy you.

5. Many who struggle with anger hate themselves. Self-hatred can be used as a tool to control your emotions. You may need to learn new skills to control your emotions in a positive way.

6. You may be angry about things your family or friends have done to you in the past, even decades ago. This is called residual anger. It is possible to resolve this anger and move on with your life, but you must be willing to spend time identifying the root of your problem and choosing to forgive those who have hurt you.

7. There are some legitimate physical causes for anger. If you suspect your problem may be related to a chemical imbalance in your body, be evaluated by a qualified psychiatrist.

8. In truth, no one can “make you angry,” even though they can provoke you. You can control your response to people and circumstances.

9. There is a place for “righteous anger,” when one of God’s principles is violated. Remember, being angry is not a sin, but what we do with our anger may be. Scripture does admonish us to “not let the sun go down on our anger” though. In other words, when you feel angry, it is important to deal with it and move past it as soon as possible.

10. If you or a family member is struggling with anger issues, they’re not likely to go away by themselves. It is necessary to identify the cause of the anger and take proactive steps to resolve it.