Tips, Videos, Handouts

Here’s What I Heard

There is always a difference between what a person says and what another person hears.

In this video Craig explains the concept and encourages you to begin a sentence with “I heard…” rather than “You said…”

The first is an “I statement.” The second is a set up for argument. “If you speak for yourself you are on solid ground,” Craig explains to his audience of people who coordinate foreign exchange students.

For more on this concept read Craig’s one-page Good Group Tip called Difference Between Launch and Land.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

There’s a lot of magic in speaking for yourself. Starting sentences with I: “I see, I feel. My American teenager…..” Because when we speak for ourselves we’re on solid ground. We’re not open up to defense.

If we start a comment like: “Well is your American teenager perfect?” This is the start of an argument. Now the other person is on the defensive. Or, if we start a statement like: “Well you said, blankety-blank.” What’s the next thing that’s going to come out of their mouth? It’s going to be: “No I didn’t. I said blankety.” “No you said…” “No I said….” And that’s not the real issue. So a safer statement is: “I heard blankety-blank.” And no matter what they said, that’s what you heard! You’re on solid ground.

There’s always a difference between what people say and what people hear. We don’t need to waste time establishing that. There is always a difference between what people say and what people hear! Don’t worry about that. Start from a position of: “This is what I heard.” Now you got something to talk about. You can develop understanding and the other person is not on the defensive.

So we have converted that opening salvo in an argument to an I statement. Now we’re on solid ground.

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