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I Hear You summary - available in audiobook and text formats 11m 6s

I Hear You

Michael S. Sorensen

What if making one tweak to your conversations could improve every relationship in your life? This book delivers the goods — a simple technique that's been proven to do just that.


The Bottom Line

Learn the simple art of validation — a basic but powerful communication skill — and improve relationships with your spouse, friends, family and co-workers.

I. Introduction

Some time ago, Michael S. Sorensen was on a first date that seemed to be going nowhere. The woman was closed off and he could tell something was up, but he couldn’t figure out what. It wasn’t until he let her know he was there to listen that she revealed the depth of her pain. Her parents were divorcing, she’d recently been in a car accident, and her sister was sick. Once she shared this, she and Sorensen were able to connect.

Looking back, Sorensen understands that what he’d done was validation — the act of making someone feel heard and understood. Turning around what was clearly headed for bad-date territory helped him see just how important validation could be. He’d first learned about the skill from his therapist, a doctor who worked with patients to help them live more honest and connected lives. Using the therapist’s validation tips, Sorensen began to notice that his conversations with others were becoming clearer and deeper. Whether in business or his personal life, people started commenting on how easy it was to talk to him and how good he was at listening. Sorensen wasn’t a therapist or an author — he’s a marketing executive — but he knew he wanted to share this knowledge.

The result is this bestselling book, which shows you how to master a simple skill that can improve any relationship in your life. Follow Sorensen’s four-step process to better connections with friends, family and work colleagues.

II. Why Validation Works

III. Validation 101

IV. Common Misconceptions — or What Not to Do

V. Sharpening Your Empathy Skills

VI. Steps 1 and 2 — Listen and Validate

VII. Steps 3 and 4 — Offer Advice and Validate Again

The Takeaway


Download the Athena app to access our expertly crafted "I Hear You" insight in text and audiobook formats.

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