Listening is so crucial in daily life – it is a wonder why so many are so poor at it. Harvill Hendriks has developed an incredible and simple process to establish a level of communication that is unparalleled and can possibly resolve any conflict that results from ineffective communication.

Imago Dialogue

Crucial to the success of any relationship – in particular the intimate ones or close ones with the family. There is such a tendency, due to the familiarity  with the person, to take the process of listening for granted. It seems we do naturally invest more time in the listening process with strangers, or bosses than we do with others.

Failure to really understand the issues with these important people in your life leads to you cheating yourself and them from having outstanding relationships. Misunderstanding can lead to conflicts and endless conflicts can lead to breakdown or break up. This is unnecessary. Truth is, the universe brought you together because of a likeness. To lose this connection is devastating to the soul especially since it can be so readily resolved by real communication.

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What is real communication

1 create a safe space to communicate: display love and non judgment

  1. intent to listen wholly to the other person – ie. To hear all they have to say in the time frame that they can say it with the ability to hear what they don’t say and without intention to defend, qualify, justify, judge or respond. Simple listen to it all!

  2. the responsibility of the communicator is to stay on one topic at a time and complete the communication of all issues regarding that particular topic. If too much is communicated, the process becomes confusing and complex, hard to remember and most likely will fail and frustrate.

  3. as the communicator verbalizes – they do so in short phrases or sentences so that the listener can paraphrase them easily and without introducing new statements or interpretations but use the same words and phrases as much as possible.

  4. as each listener completes the paraphrase they ask – is there more? And if there is more the speaker answers with an affirmative (yes) and again delivers in the same fashion. This continues until the speaker has said everything they wanted to say and affirms that there is no more.

The listener now summarizes as best as they can using as much of the same language as possible without providing their own interpretation but rather repeats any meanings they feel the speaker has.   In this summary, the listener can ow introduce anything they feel that the speaker did not include that contributes to the overall monologue of the speaker. Additionally the listener admits their part in any of the story without explanation or defense or apology. This part is simply factual – not interpretive. Completing this the listener then asks if they got it all, and if the answer is no – the speaker adds whatever the listener missed out and any additional information that was left out.

If the process is complete – then the listener now verbalizes all the feelings or emotions that were expressed by the speaker including any emotion, feeling or concern that the listener feels the speaker left out.

This is complete once the listener asks if there is more and the speaker affirms with a no.

At this point the listener now asks to switch so that they now become the speaker and repeats the entire process with the roles reversed. The now new speaker begins by saying. “after hearing what you said, this is what I would like you to know.

This is a technique that must be credited to Harville Hendriks and the Imago Dialogue.   To fully benefit from this dialogue that has a 98% success rate, go to an imago workshop and get the book by Harville Hendriks: Get the Love that you want. This process s clearly a game changer for anyone who is committed to it. It is not a guarantee that it will resolve a conflicted relationship but it will certainly give you powerful tools to help it.