If you came by hoping to walk away with a few tips to get your verbal empathy journey started, here ya go:
(1) When you find yourself in a conflict conversation try using the phrase ‘When you…’ vs ‘YOU ARE…’ (because the former will most likely guide you to an observation, and the latter will take you straight to hotel separation)
eg. An observation is the story of what happened (a direct quote or an observable behavior) so saying “When you said what you said, I felt…” will bridge the GAP more effectively than “YOU ARE AN IDIOT!” Feel me?
(2) This one is really interesting. It seems like we’ve been encouraged to connect with other people by expressing our feelings, but at times we end up disconnecting even more by speaking in metaphors rather than emotions. As soon as we say “felt like” “feel that” “felt as though” etc we are now farther away from connection than when we started. And if we believe we’re sharing our feelings while sensing disconnection, deep irritation is not far away and responsibility is usually placed on the person we’re talking to. See what I’m saying?
…so what can we do? Great Q, glad you asked. Just make sure you follow “feel” with an emotion and if you’re going to share a metaphor use “seems like” “think that” & “believe that”
eg. I feel BAD FISH (baffled, agitated, distressed, frustrated, irritated, sad, hurt, etc) vs I feel like you’re so disrespectful and so inconsiderate when I try to tell you…blah, blah, disconnected blah
(3) Last but not least, gratitude: The secret to verbal appreciation is recognizing that the ‘Circle of Love’ becomes connected when we learn how to both give (& RECEIVE) gratitude (To give a gratitude we say what the person did, how it left us feeling and what need of ours was met by it…to receive a gratitude we acknowledge that one was given, and express JOY for being able to contribute & help)
eg “When you did what you did it left me feeling happy & relieved, because it met my needs for consideration & respect…Wow, I appreciate you saying that. I’m glad I was able to help” 😉
Bridge the GAP (the communication gap) over BAD FISH RIVER
(G)uess what people are feeling & needing
(A)sk if they’re feeling & needing what you’re guessing
(P)ause on judgment & criticism by going back to (A)
*RIVER: 5 universal needs (Respect, Inclusion, Validation, Empathy & Reassurance)
#MindfulEmpathy is a way of speaking & being where we can change how we think, feel & behave, and learn how to connect to ourselves & others. My book (‘Excellence Off The Field‘ available here ➡ http://goo.gl/r9MCJF) is the original guide to Mindful Empathy and will help you be seen and heard your way🙏