The 5:5:5 Method

At a recent retreat I was at, I learned about the 5:5:5 method for enhancing communication. Immediately after trying it, I knew I had to share this with all our intended parents and surrogates.

This practice can be used by intended parents and their surrogate, between both intended parents or a surrogate and her partner. It truly has been a game-changer in my own relationship, and I hope that after trying it, you’ll feel the same.

Communication is key

In today’s busy world, it is often tough to settle into our conversations and I often hear from people that conversing with loved ones can be hard, or that they just wished to be “heard”. So — in comes the 5:5:5 method!


This exercise takes 15 minutes to complete and is super easy to start!

To prepare, take off your watch so it can be seen by the two of you, or set your phone to airplane mode so you’re only using it as a timekeeper. There would be nothing worse than dinging phone interruptions during this exercise.

Starting the 5:5:5 Method

During the initial five minutes, the first participant talks. No interruptions, no responses, just the one person speaking their heart out. Then for the following five minutes, the second participant talks. Lastly, the final five minutes of this exercise is an engaged conversation between both participants.

Seeing the value

It sounds so simple, but having witnessed many doing this, it’s actually anything but simple. So many of us don’t feel heard or seen in our daily lives. This shows typically at minute three when we are looking for acknowledgement or approval of what we are saying.  Allowing ourselves to show up and be seen truly is so vulnerable and brave.

Listening not to respond, but to solely listen is also a gift that we often don’t give ourselves or others, as we have been programmed to reply, respond, and know what to say. It is humbling in so many ways to not have instant responses like we are used to.

I invite you to try the 5:5:5 wherever you see it may be valuable, and in any relationship, as it may bring greater intimacy and understanding.