Acknowledgment While Talking and as a Communications’ Skill: Acknowledging goes with talking. When you acknowledge others in talks, they feel understood, even if you don’t agree. Three steps to acknowledgment when talking.
You are talking to a friend. He tells you a long story containing many itemsthat you don’t agree with. What do you do?
Often when your child, lover/partner, or friend tells you a story or voices a complaint, he/she is just asking for acknowledgment.
This does not mean that he/she wants agreement or compliance; it merely indicates a desire to be heard and understood. He is really talking to be understood.
Try these three steps to acknowledgment:
1. Repeat Back
Acknowledge by repeating back to your child, friend, lover/partner, what he/she has said in similar words to show that you have heard and understood.
“You were upset today because I was late.”
“You feel like I treat your sister better than I do you.”
“I understand that you are upset by what happened.”
2. Don’t Invalidate
It is not necessary to agree with the person you are acknowledging. You do not even need to feel that what he/she said is the truth. However, do not invalidate him or her.
Examples of invalidation include:
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You’re certainly wrong. I don’t treat your sister better than you.”
“There is no reason for you to feel like that.”
“That’s a crazy way to feel.”
3. Don’t Try to Change
Be satisfied just to acknowledge. Don’t try to change him or her.
Many conflicts in your personal relationships can be avoided if you will take the time to acknowledge other’s feelings and points of view. In fact, understanding is what talking is all about in this (and many) case.
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