We all need to be heard and listened to. There is certainly a time and place for advice and problem solving. However, more often than not, we communicate with others (at home, work, socially, everywhere!) as a means of connection. To feel validated, heard, understood and respected is very connecting. When we offer advice or solutions first, while very well-meaning (as this video clearly demonstrates), the other person does not feel heard and thus, does not hear you! Our emotional brains override our logical brains. Once our emotional needs are met (connection), we can be open to hearing solutions. So remember this formula when interacting with anyone today: listen (don’t interrupt), validate or acknowledge the other person’s perspective, then ask if you can offer solutions. Here’s a brief example:
Speaker: I can’t seem to get anywhere with this project. I’m about to pull my hair out!
Listener: It’s very frustrating isn’t it!
Listener: I have some ideas on how to simplify things, would you like to hear them?
Speaker: There’s all this pressure. I can literally feel it in my head. I don’t know if it’s ever going to stop. That’s what scares me the most.
Listener: Honey, that sounds so painful. It must be really hard.
Speaker: It is.
Listener: I think I know one thing that could help, would you be open to hearing that right now?
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