Among the many powerful exercises at the weekend workshop was a partner activity in which one person tells another person for 90 seconds some of the things they like about the other person. The other person just listens. No comments, no disclaimers, no "aw shucks." When the speaker can't find a detail to mention, they say "what I like about you is everything." And they keep repeating that until they get unstuck. At the end, the listener says, "Thank you. I know." Then they trade roles: speaker and listener.
This simple exercise was so transformative. The few couples or pairs of friends in our group did it with each other, but others worked with a stranger and somehow almost everything that occurred to them to say was right on the money.
I'd done this before but I hadn't noticed so clearly how it completely shifted the energy in the room to one of joy and appreciation.
The exercise can be done over the phone but it's lovely to do in person. It's great to do with spouses and children and grandchildren and friends and coworkers and bosses and acquaintances. I highly recommend it.