12. Give an understanding response.
Using the understanding response (reflecting back feeling), three good things happen: 1) you gain increased understanding and clarity of feelings and problems; 2) you gain new courage and growth in responsible independence; and 3) you build real confidence in the relationship. This response has its greatest value when a person wants to talk about a situation laden with emotions and feelings. But this response is more attitude than technique. It will fail if you try to manipulate; it will work if you deeply want to understand.
In 10 succinct pages, Stephen R. Covey’s “30 Methods of Influence” contains some of the greatest wisdom I’ve ever read.
The methods fall into three categories: 1. Example: Who You Are and How You Act, modeling by doing (others see), 2. Relationship: Do you Understand and Care? (others feel), and 3. Instruction: What You Tell Me (others hear).
While I’ve posted a blog on the 30 Methods in their entirety, they are so powerful and have had such a profound impact upon my life and effectiveness that I am now posting them one by one, one each week. Profound thoughts are best if savored, wisdom is gained most thoroughly if absorbed over time.