N4L 124: "I Hear You" by Michael Sorensen

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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

SUMMARY

After learning important communication skills, author Michael Sorensen decided to “pay it forward” by writing I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships. Especially powerful is the skill of validation, which Sorensen packages in a 4-Step Validation Process.

KEY POINTS

  • Validation – showing we understand another’s emotions; the act of helping someone feel heard
  • Validating ourselves – practicing self-compassion; vital for getting past our own self-criticism and for allowing space to feel our emotions without judgment
  • Micro validation – a short comment or response showing engagement and understanding that affirms the validity of a person’s emotions or opinions
  • Re-validation – reiterating your initial understanding of others, including expressing appreciation for any vulnerability they may have exposed
  • “The iPhone Effect” – the mere presence of a smartphone can lessen the quality of a conversation—even if it’s just sitting on the table (2014 study)
  • Listening mistakes: leading responses with “I”; inserting “but” between understanding and your feedback; using absolutes such as “always” and “never.”

QUOTES FROM SORENSEN

  • “There’s a difference between being listened to and being heard, and…we as humans crave both.”
  • “Communication experts suggest that as much as 70 percent of our communication is nonverbal—meaning it’s delivered via body language, tone of voice, etc.”
  • “While rephrasing what you’ve heard is a valuable tool, validation shows an understanding of the other person’s emotions and the ‘why’ behind them.”
  • “Giving unsolicited advice or assurance—especially before you validate the other person’s emotions—trivializes their experience.”
  • “Claiming to know ‘exactly’ how someone feels nearly always puts the other person on defense.”
  • “Learning to identify your own emotions will increase your ability to feel empathy for others.”
  • “Matching another person’s energy is a critical part of effective validation.”
  • “When someone shares a personal experience or emotion with you, they make themselves emotionally vulnerable…in an effort to find support.”

BUY I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

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