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Connection Request: Phrases to ask for a reflection or response

The practice of the connection request has been a difficult one for me to integrate into my conversations. The "dump and run" approach was much more comfortable for me. It has taken me until now to feel comfortable with this.

Why was so difficult for me?

  • I was protecting myself.

  • I didn't have the capacity to be present for someone else when my "jackals" were screaming so loud in my head.

  • I was scared of what they may say.

  • I was scared of what I may say in response to what they say.

  • I was scared that acknowledging their truth may hurt my already fragile self-concept.

  • I was scared to take responsibility for the potential impact of my actions and what that meant about me.

What change in me led to feeling more comfortable making these connection requests?

  • Deepening my ability to empathize (NVC style).

  • My own self-esteem improved.

  • Accepting that I don't cause other people's feelings. I'm not that powerful. I may have stimulated feelings and this doesn't mean that I caused them.

  • In that same respect, no one else is causing my feelings. The extent of power someone else has over my feelings is none. They may say or do things to stimulate feelings within me and those are MY FEELINGS.

  • Experiencing the connection request in an NVC trainers program and feeling how amazing it feels for someone else to make a connection request to me. The authenticity and deepening of connection that occurs just feels really good.

Connection Request: I Want To Understand You

Getting curious about the other person's needs.

"It is important for me to hear what matters to you...would you mind sharing?"

"It sounds like you have a lot of passion around this. I'd love to understand more before I respond."

"I'd love to know what comes up for you when you hear me say this. Would you like to tell me?"

"I'd love to hear how it is for you to hear this. Would you like to (or be willing to...) share with me?"

"I'm curious how this is landing for you. Would you mind telling me?"

"Would you be willing to share your (choose one: thoughts, feelings, perspective, needs, concerns) around this?"

"Your feelings and thoughts on this really matter to me. Would you be willing to tell me what comes up for you around this?"

"I'm curious how you would see this working?"

"Did I understand that correctly?"

Connection Request: Please Understand Me

Asking for the other person to reflect back to you what they heard you say.

"How is it to hear that?"

"I want to make sure we are on the same page and I am expressing myself as clearly as I intend. I'm curious how this lands for you?"

"I really want to make sure we have understanding and I'm not sure I expressed myself clearly...I'd love to hear what you heard me say?"

"I'm really wondering how this lands for you. Would you mind telling me?"

"I'm not sure I expressed that clearly. Would you mind telling me what you got from what I said?"

"Would you be willing to tell me what you are hearing me say?"

I am not sure I've communicated clearly, would you mind telling me what you understood me say?"

"I'd love to know what you are hearing is important to me in this?"

"I wonder if you would mind telling me..."

"I'm curious whether I am saying what I mean clearly. Would you help me out here by telling me what you are getting from what I said?"

'I'd love to check whether what I'm intending to communicate is what is coming across. Would you mind..."

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please share below in the comments!


Erika Baum

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