In order to have a constructive discussion, both parties must feel safe and have the discussion during a time that is acceptable and appropriate. Trying to discuss an important matter while he is dressing to go to the station or she is trying to put the kids down for a nap wouldn't be appropriate. Also, back to command presence, make sure you don't let the cop stance creep in. Neither party wants to feel they are being backed into a corner. Keeping a neutral posture and maintaining equality in body positioning can keep things comfortable. Establishing ground rules, such as only one person will talk at a time or the ban on discussions while he or she is in uniform can be helpful.
4) Take a Listening Stance into the Interaction
Going into a conversation with your wife is not the same as going into a dispute resolution between two citizens. No matter how much you wish, one of the solutions will never be, if we can't work this out one of the parties will just be going to jail. Entering the conversation with an active listening stance can do wonders for understanding and being understood. Active listening responses should include: encouragement, clarification, restatement, reflection and validation.
5) Assert your Needs Clearly and Specifically
It is easy for an officer to revert into interrogation mode and also for significant others to feel like they're being interrogated when blaming or challenging statements are used instead of delivering the message while staying focused on your ideas and feelings. Use first person messages and build from what you've heard.
6 - 8) The last three steps include approaching problem-solving with flexibility, management impasse with calm, patience and respect and building an agreement that works. Each of these steps require a neutral approach with the focus being on meeting each other's needs as closely as possible while maintaining individual integrity. Being aware of a return to using command presence and also asking for feedback when it's perceived can improve communication within police relationships. Command presence might be a survival skill on the streets but it will kill good communication within an intimate relationship quickly.