Understanding & Feeling Understood

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90 min — presentation, discussion in pairs, full group discussion

Why is it important to help others feel understood?

Everyone wants to feel understood by others. It's human! Unfortunately it's often a challenge to help someone else feel understood, even when you do understand someone's point of view. Strengthen your relationships by learning how to explicitly validate others.

What if I help others feel understood?

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Stronger Relationships - When your coworkers feel understood, you will both feel happier and more connected.

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Improved Productivity - You make better decisions when you can incorporate diverse points of view.

What if I don't help others feel understood?

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Feeling Isolated - When your coworkers don't feel understood, they'll feel isolated, like they don't belong.

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Reduced Productivity - Coworkers will feel discouraged, disconnected, and naturally can't contribute as much.

Is this for me?

When supporting someone, what do you do first: jump to solutions, or listen?

How did it feel the last time you felt deeply understood by someone?

Do you want to be someone people can come to for support? A better listener?

Learning Objectives

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Attendees will understand how important feeling understood is for our wellbeing as humans at work.

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Attendees will understand the four levels of active listening and three levels of explicit validation so that the other person feels understood.

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Attendees will be able to identify which level of validation they are using when supporting someone, and think of other levels they might use.

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Attendees will understand when to use which of the levels of listening and validation.

Resources

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Understanding Validation: A Way to Communicate Acceptance - A good high-level description of Marcia Linehan's 'Six Levels of Validation'