A first step to a conversation is to acknowledge emotions to overcome difficult emotions. Identify where to start.
- The first step in the compassionate curiosity framework is acknowledging and validating emotions. And this, I think is the most important part of the process because it helps us to overcome those emotional barriers. And the way that we do this is by using a very simple formula by saying it sounds like, or it seems like, and the reason we do this is because when we label an emotion, the person needs to think logically in order to accept or reject the emotion and this cognitive process leads them to slowly calm down as they express themselves. So what does this look like in practice? So let's say one of your colleagues comes to you and confides in you with a story about something that somebody said to them that they found offensive. And so before we jump into problem solving, what we're going to do is we're going to acknowledge and validate the emotions. And we're going to say, it sounds like this really had an impact on you. And that's it. And then maybe we take it to the next level and say, that makes sense. That's it. So we're acknowledging the emotion by labeling it, and then we're validating it by saying that makes sense. And then once you see the person start to calm down, then you can transition to problem solving, but not before you handle the emotional issue.