Understanding & Feeling Understood

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?

Stronger Relationships - When your coworkers feel understood, you will both feel happier and more connected.
Improved Productivity - You make better decisions when you can incorporate diverse points of view.

What if I don't help others feel understood?

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

Attendees will understand how important feeling understood is for our wellbeing as humans at work.
Attendees will understand the four levels of active listening and three levels of explicit validation so that the other person feels understood.
Attendees will be able to identify which level of validation they are using when supporting someone, and think of other levels they might use.
Attendees will understand when to use which of the levels of listening and validation.


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