The art of communication: The imago dialogue

The art of communication: The imago dialogue

I came across a communication technique developed by Sophie Slade called ‘ The imago Dialogue’. I’ve been practising this technique with my husband and found it really useful.

Often when we communicate, we don’t really listen. Our pre-conceptions and fears are an impediment from having good conversation.

Slade’s technique is based on the following steps: summarise, validates and empathizes. The listener is open, surrender completely to the speaker. The listener empty himself of fears and pre-conceptions.

First, the listener must summarise his understanding. The idea is to mirror what the other person has sad. ‘What I am hearing you say is…’ Making sure that the other person says all he/she wanted to say: ‘Is there more about that?’

After, we’re sure that we really understood the other person, we can validate the other person view by trying understanding his feeling: ‘It make sense to me that you feel like that give that.’

Finally, we can talk about our feeling, so the other person knows how do we feel about the situation.

A example of conversion I had with my husband using this technique

HUBBY: Are you available to talk right now?

ME: Sure. What up?

HUBBY: I would like to talk about Christmas. I know we decided to stay in London this year, like we did last year. This year, I would like to spend Christmas with friends. Last year, we didn’t organise anything special. I want to know your intention and organise Christmas with you.

ME: summarising: I see. So you want to discuss what to do for Christmas, because you didn’t like the way we spent Christmas last time. (In this last sentence I wasn’t listening and I did interpreted his thoughts.  He never said that he didn’t like last Christmas)

HUBBY: No, I want to organise Christmas with you. I know some of our friends will be in London; it will be nice doing something together.

ME: Validating: I see. Christmas is important for you, it does reminds you of family time, and therefore you want to spend it with friends.

HUBBY: Yeah

ME: I’m happy that you want to talk about Christmas. I didn’t realise how Christmas was important for you. Let’s talk about it.

Try this technique with your partner, friends, and at work. You will see the difference. 

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Phases of couple relationship

Being a couple is not always easy. Think about a couple like donkeys bonded by a rope, and you’ll understand that the following picture depicts the phases of couple relationship.

 

At first, the donkeys are moaning because they cannot forage food where they like. The rope that bonds them together doesn’t allow moving freely. When the desire to foraging where they want become stronger, their relationship suffer even further. Until the couple agree on supporting each other in achieving their desires.

 

An happy ending, until history repeat it self.