Quick Exit


Effective communication is key to healthy relationships and can help couples navigate challenges together. Being able to express thoughts and feelings, as well as effectively listen, are some of the most important skills that couples can build.

What can you do to improve communication within your relationship?

Things to consider…
  • Trying to understand your communication style and strengths, as well as areas that you would like to work on.
  • Asking a friend what they think your communication strengths and areas to grow are.
  • Thinking about, and figuring out, the best times to have important conversations.
Do you want to know more about this?
Below you will find information to help improve communication. Click on the following 5 flip cards for some practical tips and skills.
Exploring Communication Styles

(Adapted from “The Communication Styles Inventory (CSI): A Six-Dimensional Behavioral Model of Communication Styles and Its Relation With Personality” by R. E. de Vries, A. Bakker-Pieper, F. E. Konings, & B. Schouten, 2011, Communication Research, 40(4), 506-532.)

Download: Exploring Communication Styles

Planned conversation time
  • Together, set aside time when both of you are at home this week for a planned conversation.
  • Choose a time and a place where you would like to have the conversation (e.g., at a comfortable spot in your home/yard, during a walk together).
  • This is a scheduled opportunity to practice your speaking and listening skills and enjoy some couple time together.
  • Consider setting aside time for a planned conversation each week for the next month.
  • Following one month, reflect on your experience with planned conversation time.

Need Something More?

Check out our self-directed Spouse or Significant Other Wellbeing Course.

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References for this page (click to expand)

Corcoran, J. (2005). Building strengths and skills: A collaborative approach to working with clients. Oxford University Press.  

Dattilio, F. M. (2010). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with couples and families: A comprehensive guide for clinicians. The Guilford Press.  

de Vries, R. E., Bakker-Pieper, A., Konings, F. E., & Schouten, B. (2011). The communication styles inventory (CSI): A six-dimensional behavioral model of communication styles and its relation with personality. Communication Research, 40(4), 506-532. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650211413571