The Odd Dialogue
You are Uninformed at that point when you think your partner is doing something odd or that “doesn’t make sense to you.” If you were informed, you wouldn’t think it odd, and you would see your partner’s sense. Only two things prevent you from seeing their sense: they need to tell you, and you need to listen.
Step One: Make an Appointment
Receiver (observer) requests an appointment using a phrase such as, “When you did that (mention the action, not your interpretation of it) I know it made sense to you (PreValidation), but it seemed odd to me or I didn’t understand what was going on for you. Could I make an appointment so that you can help me understand you?”
Step Two: Mirroring
Sender, make an appointment and, with your partner mirroring, tell your “entire story.” Include issues, values and any parts of your experience or history that might help your partner understand your motives, feelings and/or actions. Perhaps start with, “I made sense, and here it is.” Give your partner at least two “factors” that contribute to your “sense.” Ideally, you want to give your partner at least two “Oh. I see!” experiences. You want the receiver to be able to say, “I see why you did that….” Stay in mirroring until you feel you have told it all. (Keep this sending reasonably short as you can, but send it all. Practice sending in pieces.)
Step Three: Validating
Receiver, validate your partner. Using your partner’s words (and other information you are sure is correct from your partner’s point of view) speak about your partner’s sense. Don’t even consider agreement or disagreement. Just bear witness to their way of seeing and doing things. Perhaps start with “I see/hear your sense. You did that of feel that because for you ….” Check to see if they think you got it. Your partner should feel “understood” if you are successful.
Now, both of you fill in the boxes below. This is a learning experience and can be used over and over until your scores are high. (Read more on Validation.)