Validation: The Best Communication Tool You’re Not Using (Yet)


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Michael S. Sorensen is a business executive by day and a bestselling author, speaker, and relationship coach by night. He has helped hundreds of thousands of people across the world heal broken relationships, revitalize their confidence, and become masters of connection in business, love, and life. Unique among others in his field, Michael is not a therapist, social worker, or medical professional. Instead, he gained his knowledge by going to therapy himself—1-2 times per week, for over five years—and voraciously consuming every relationship and self-help book he could get his hands on.

On this podcast, Michael talks about one of the most valuable (yet little-known) communication skills - validation. The subject of his book, I Hear You, validation is the key to calming fears and uncertainties, increasing feelings of love and appreciation in relationships, and giving advice and feedback that sticks. Michael shares his 4-step method for validating others (and oneself), talks about how to identify emotions, and shares why validation is such a simple yet powerful interpersonal tool.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Michael Sorensen:

[00:00:31] Book: I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships, by Michael S. Sorensen.

[00:00:43] Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Anna Dow.

[00:00:54] Book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, by Chris Voss.

[00:01:31] How Michael came to the skill of validation.

[00:03:38] Defining validation.

[00:05:16] Simon Marshall, PhD.

[00:06:49] Listening vs. validation.

[00:07:45] Podcast: The Postmenopausal Longevity Paradox and the Evolutionary Advantage of Our Grandmothering Life History, with Kristin Hawkes, PhD.

[00:09:37] Benefits of validation.

[00:11:25] Invalidating statements.

[00:14:35] When to validate.

[00:15:11] 4 step method: Listen empathically, validate, advice/feedback, validate again.

[00:16:56] How to identify emotions.

[00:18:16] Emotion wheel.

[00:18:56] Podcast: From Magic to Mindfulness: The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, with Jason Connell.

[00:19:23] Book: It's Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self, by Hilary Jacobs Hendel.

[00:24:52] Validation vs. reflective listening.

[00:27:23] Validating when you don't agree.

[00:33:05] Why it’s a short book.

[00:34:41] The I Hear You Relationships Podcast.

[00:35:35] Validating ourselves.

[00:37:32] Find Michael: Amazon,

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