Do you know how you might be having an argument with someone and whatever you had been fighting about somehow turns into something else entirely. Instead of addressing one issue, a whole new can of worms opens up and there’s no clear resolution in sight.
In this lesson I’m sharing a communication formula that will help resolve any argument fast.
If you’re ready, let’s get to it.
Formula: in-situ awareness and validation
Step one >>> In-situ awareness:
In situ is a Latin phrase which means in position or on site, and it’s a term we use heavily in conversation analysis when analyzing utterances and speech acts in conversation.
You can also think of in-situ awareness as in the moment awareness, which is about being aware of the present moment. Are you grounded in the present? Are you experiencing the moment as it is or letting the past dictate the future? Engage the five senses to help orient yourself towards the here and now. You might even close your eyes for a minute and say the mantra, I am here, this is now, I am enough. You might even take a time-out from arguing and say this mantral aloud with the other person. Through this in-situ awareness lens, you are opening your senses up to how they are feeling and acting. What they’re saying in the present moment. Be perceptive so that you’re not only listening, but truly hearing. Pay attention to how they are saying what they’re saying. First analyze their nonverbal communication. What is their body language telling you? Are they using closed body language? How are their facial expressions? Did you catch any fleeting micro expressions? What are they doing with their hand gestures? And secondly, consider their tone of voice. Are they mumbling? Are they shouting? Are their words tinged with sarcasm? Are they being passive aggressive?
Step Two >>> Validation:
With this step there is more of an emphasis on what they are saying. What words are they using? Are they describing how they feel? This requires emotional resonance to be able to label the emotions. If they are not able to label their feelings, then you can ask them in an empathetic way if they are feeling X or if they are feeling Y and why. Alternatively, you can express how you are feeling and leverage emotional resonance to describe those emotions. This will help them also express how they are feeling and the underlying cause of those emotions. While it’s not crucial to label the emotions, it will help you validate their feelings. You have every right to be mad at me'' is less poignant than “I know you are feeling upset because I’ve been neglecting my house chores this week. It was not my intention to create more work for you, my new boss has been very demanding lately and I’m completely depleted by the time I come home.”
Validation is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Often overlooked, not many people tap into its power to defuse a potentially incendiary situation. Validating is showing acceptance for how the person feels. It’s about trying to create an understanding of the situation and what led them to show XYZ behaviors. When you’re validating a person’s emotions, you are not agreeing or disagreeing. Rather, you are accepting that they feel the way they do. It shows the person that they have been heard and that they are valid for feeling this way.
Alone these two steps are important, but together they are extremely powerful when it comes to resolving an argument fast.
In summary, step one is about in-situ awareness. In the moment you want to be perceptive to the person’s nonverbal communication by focusing on hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions. And secondly you want to leverage the tone of voice to gauge how they are feeling.
Alright Explearners that’s it from me today. If you liked this video be sure to give it a big thumbs up. If you prefer to listen to this lesson, check out our podcast. And head on over to our blog for the full transcript of this lesson.
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Happy Explearning ⚡