Mirroring is a massively powerful technique that allows you to connect deeply to people and create trust. Repeating back what you are hearing can help you forge a bond with important people and win their trust. Important is only, that you actually care what you’re mirroring.
How does mirroring work?
You listen carefully what a person has said and repeat it with emotion, with an emphasis on the important words and feelings that were spoken, in order to give these words a special meaning. Thus you help the person feel heard and listened to. And you demonstrate that you care. Mirroring feelings here is much more valuable than mirroring thoughts. When you are good at mirroring, people will love you for it.
Mirroring works best when people are upset, angry and frustrated. When someone comes to you and says: “I am really angry now! Your service is a catastrophe!”, you can calm him through the right mirroring: “I hear you! You are really frustrated through my service! I will “work my butt off” to solve your problem immediately!”
Important is, that the other person feels “we hear her words and repeat them”.
Learn to experiment using the mirroring technique in situations in which someone is upset. At work, this might include customer service, sales department, or any disagreement. And at home, this might mean an argument with your wife or your friend.
Sharpen your listening skills and pay attention to people’s emotions. Show empathy. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and show that you totally understand how they feel by feeling their emotions with them.
Mirroring is a great way to help people feel heard.
The next step would be: Validation. It takes mirroring to a whole new level. Validation is the single most powerful way of connecting with other people.
What is the difference between mirroring and validation?
In mirroring you are saying exactly what you are hearing.
In validation you are interpreting the feelings you think you are hearing. When you interpret the situation totally wrong, you can achieve the opposite effect you want. Be careful!
WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN
One of the challenges of real validation is that with more practice, it can appear less genuine. Therefore learn to be always sincere in all your validation statements.
Authenticity and sincerity are two important skills when practicing mirroring and validation. Otherwise you don’t create trust – you create a doubtful atmosphere.