Success in your career and the quality of your relationships at home are completely dependent on your ability to communicate well, because communication is the foundation of good relationships.
I will teach you a simple technique you can use in every conversation you have with anyone. It is completely universal and will not let you down. This technique creates mutually validating conversations that make everyone involved feel valued, honored, and respected. If you know how to have mutually validating conversations, there is almost no problem or situation you can’t resolve.
The first step to having mutually validating conversations is to choose to see the other people or person involved as the equal to you. Make sure you are not seeing them as better than you as or worse than you. Seeing other people as the equal to you lays the foundation for a conversation that respects and honors both people.
An amazing thing happens when you treat people as equals – even your partner, co-workers, children, friends and family; they begin to feel respected and safe with you, which makes them more cooperative, open, and easy to work with.
Making the other person feel valued, honored, and respected should be your number one goal in every conversation. After you have made the person feel valued and cared about, you can address your agenda or purpose for the conversation.
Before I teach you the communication technique, I need to define the word “stuff” in the formula. I call everything inside your head (your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, ideas, opinions, values, fears, and concerns as “their stuff”.
The formula produces amazing conversations because when you value another person’s stuff first, they are much more open to hearing about and honoring your stuff.
The communication technique
Objective: To edify each person you talk to and make them feel valued, which builds a relationship of trust in which respectful communication can happen.
- Choose to see the other person as equal to you. Not better or worse, not good or bad, intrinsically as equal to you.
- Set your stuff aside, open your mind and your heart and be willing to focusing on validating the other person first. Completely focus your attention on the other person.
- Ask introspective, probing questions and sincerely listen. Ask questions about their thoughts, feelings, opinions, ideas, fears and concerns. Actively listen to whatever they have to say. Do not agree or disagree, judge, interrupt or become physically agitated. Honor and respect their right to think and feel the way they do. Validating means honoring their right to see the world the way they see it and have their unique viewpoint. When you validate them it shows you value who they are.
- Ask permission to share your thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs, ideas, concerns and fears. Never give advice, share an opinion, or tell a story without asking for permission first. Here are a few examples of permission questions. “Would you be open to some advice on that?”, “Would you be willing to let me share my perspective, even if it’s a little different from yours?”, “Would you be open to hearing about something that happened to me?” If they say yes, then go ahead and share. If they say no, respect their right to not hear from you at this time.
- If you do have permission to share, speak using “I” statements and not “you” statements. Focus on their future behavior more than their past behavior. Use “I” statements because you can only speak for your own feelings and experiences. When you use “you” statements it triggers defensiveness. Instead of talking about past behavior, focus on future behavior you would like to see. When you do this the other person responds more positively.
Following these five simple steps can change the way you communicate forever. You also create more win/win solutions to problems because you come from love, not fear, ego, or the need to be right. If you use the technique consistently, all your conversations will be more productive.
The communication technique was created by Kim Giles and taken from her book Choosing Clarity. I am a certified life coach who teaches the Clarity Point Coaching method developed by Kim Giles. This method effectively teaches people to live stronger, more abundant, happier lives in a very short period of time. You can find out more about the Clarity Point Coaching method on my website, billconley.net. The first thing you want to do when you visit my site is to take the free personal values assessment. The assessment takes between 5 – 7 minutes and upon completion a 15 page report will be sent to you via your email.