Adapted from Harville Hendrix, Ph.D


LEVEL ONE (Content)

SENDER:  “I would like to have a dialogue with you about_______________.

                     Is this a good time?”

RECEIVER:  “Yes, I’m available now”    OR

                       “No, It’s not a good time for me now.  I’d like to meet at ________instead.

SENDER:        ………Sends message: When you did ........I felt.........and what i wanted to         

                        do/say was.................(or something similar, keep it brief, 1-2 sentences, you will 

                        be able to add more later if needed).

RECEIVER:  (Validates)  “If I got it (If I heard you right)…’re saying that…..........

                        At the end ask , “Did I get that right?

SENDER:        ……….Confirms reception as accurate

                        OR states what is accurate AND also corrects misperception

                        OR confirms accuracy and ADDS additional information….…

RECEIVER:    If new material is added “Validates”:  Ask, “Is there more about that?”

SENDER:        When message is complete and accurately mirrored says:

                        “No, that’s all about that” (Give accuracy check).

RECEIVER:    Summarizes entire message so far:  “Let me see if I got it all……..”

SENDER:        Confirms the accuracy of the whole message.


LEVEL TWO (Point of view)

RECEIVER EXPRESSES VALIDATION:  “You make sense because…….”

                        (state the logic of the senders point of view)

SENDER:  ….confirms validation when they feel their point of view has been understood

            as true for them.


LEVEL THREE (Emotions)

RECEIVER EXPRESSES EMPATHY:  “Well, I can see that you feel_______about this.

             OR “Are you feeling __________about this?” (If feelings are not obvious)

             OR “I imagine you might be feeling___________.  Did I get it right? “  If yes….

             ADD: “Is there more about that feeling?”

SENDER:…….Confirms the accuracy of mirroring. ADDS: “Thank you for listening.”


“You’re welcome! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to stretch for you.”

RECEIVER:     “I would like to respond now”. Switch roles, receiver becomes sender

Note:  All three levels must be processed for the sender to feel "heard". This will open them up to hearing the receiver when it is time to switch roles.  Start with the person who is most upset as the "Sender".   You do not need to switch roles at the end of this first dialogue if you do not feel it is appropriate. Instead the receiver can process what they've just heard, take a break, and come back later with their point of view for the sender.