The following examples come from training courses we facilitated.

Words for Feelings

"When you think about that situation, does that make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable?", I asked.
"Very uncomfortable," the South Korean manager replied.
"Does it make you sad, angry or afraid?", I asked to see, if we could find another word for his feelings.
"Very uncomfortable," he replied. With his cultural background these words were probably already a stretch.
"So it made you feel very uncomfortable."
"Yes," he said with a sigh. I could see how relieved he was, that his words were both seen, heard and accepted.

Words for Needs:

Trying to understand why a man wanted a better relationship with his son-in-law, I asked: "Do you want connection?"
"Not really", he replied. There was no physical reaction. "It's just that he's important to my daughter. And when we don't get along, it's less pleasant when she comes."
"Do you want harmony?"
"Yes," he replied and everyone could see how his entire body reacted. "I really want harmony."

Finding Words

'How come, that every time you guess someone's needs, you seem to find the 'right' word in just one guess and it's so difficult for me to find it in three guesses?" a participant asked.

Pleasant or unpleasant?

Sad, angry, afraid, amazed, laughing?

Faster? Closer to the core message?

We think, that successfully finding the 'right' words to reflect the core message in the story of a speaker faster and deeper requires a combination of:

Is it easier to find the needs of adults?

In our training 'Finding Words' we offer you the opportunity to practice with tools and methods to find words for:

Why do YOU want to find the 'right' words?

As with all of our training courses we work with examples of the participants. Some participants find it hard to find words for feelings, whereas others find it hard to find the one core thought in a long story, that triggers the strongest feelings. Sometimes we need to raise the vocabulary of words for needs. Just as often it helps to reduce the amount of words and say (for instance) "it feels unpleasant' instead of finding the exact word for this feeling. And always we need to define what we mean by 'right' words, including the important notion that no word is always 'right'.

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