"My daughter is very stubborn and does not listen to my instructions," a parent complained to me in one of my workshops. Another complaint came from a spouse: "My husband is just not interested in me and in what I have to say."

We usually tend to make up our mind about the qualities of the person with whom we are communicating, even if it is a person we have never seen before. We do this even more when it's someone close to us and we're certain that we know everything there's to know about him or her. We communicate from a perspective of judgments like, "He's not interested," "She's stubborn," "He's not smart," "She's not capable," and so on. Our communication is thereby affected by our perspective, whether we realize it or not. The person listening to us will inevitably receive a message that is affected by our judgment of them. Thus, if you believe your husband is not listening to you, the message he will receive is that your communication is not interesting. If you believe your daughter is stubborn, the message she will receive is, "I don't need to carry out my parent's request."

Real change can only happen if we are prepared to give up our old set of beliefs about the other person. It may well be that, in the past, your daughter had behaved in an obstinate manner, or your husband gave you reason to think that he was not interested in what you have to say, and that ever since then you have been operating out of that paradigm, never budging from your old perspective.

"Give them a new chance," I said. "Throw away your old beliefs. Start talking to your daughter as if she will obey you. Believe it with all your heart and soul. Most importantly, do not look for evidence to support your old way of thinking. Instead, allow yourself to see signs on cooperation and good communication."

If you're skeptical about the effectiveness of this approach, try it for one week. For seven days, communicate with your child out of a space of no labels and no prejudgments. You will see your relationship reach new heights.

Try it, it works!