Reflections and encouragers prompt your conversation partner to share more about their feelings. They allow your conversations to go deeper, and lead to a greater understanding.
Your task is to assess how much more you can get out of a conversation by using reflections and encouragers.
✅ Step 1: Choose two conversations this week where you think you’ll be able to try out these conversation skills. They can be in your personal or professional life.
✅ Step 2: Before you join those conversations, skim this pathway to refresh your knowledge of reflections and encouragers. Take notes if you need to.
✅ Step 3: Use a reflection and encourager in both conversations you chose in step one.
A reflection will help confirm that you understand what the other person is feeling. The encourager will help them to elaborate, giving you a better understanding of their emotion.
Afterwards, note down what you noticed, return to this card and let us know how you felt it went.
Connected, but alone?, TED Talk by Sherry Turkle
Why reflecting feelings works (even on adults!), by Dr Brenna Hicks
Voice-only communication enhances empathic accuracy, by Dr Michael W. Kraus
A guide to productively communicating your feelings, by Psych Company
How to more clearly communicate about mental health struggles by SimplyOli, a podcast available from Apple and Listen Notes
Share your experiences in the comment section – did using these techniques improve your understanding? Did they change the outcome of your conversations?
Your mental health glossary
Don’t shy away from talking about diagnoses or symptoms just because you don’t understand the language involved. In this glossary you’ll find explanations of the most common mental health issues in the Western world accompanied by stats and essential links.
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