What is mirroring in communication?
Mirroring is a communication technique that helps build empathy in relationships. It provides insight and enhances their ability to share thoughts and understand one another.
The Steps of Mirroring: Checking for Accuracy
The receiver focuses on the sender's message and repeats it to make sure they understand it.
"So, you're saying you're angry at me for leaving the dishes in the sink."
If the sender corrects the receiver, he or she repeats the information to ensure it is right this time. In this situation, the sender may make another correction if necessary.
The Steps of Mirroring: Demonstrating Understanding
The receiver acknowledges the emotions of the sender to express empathy.
"I understand why you feel that way."
The receiver can always ask for further clarification if she does not understand the sender's feelings.
When the sender feels that the receiver understands, they switch roles. They continue to switch back and forth until they develop complete awareness of one another's thoughts and feelings.
Tips for Mirroring
Here are a few tips to help make mirroring work for you:
Take it slow. Listening requires a lot of thought and patience. It's ok if you need to reflect on the content from the sender before mirroring it.
Practice often. It won't be perfect the first, second, or third time. Improvement will come with repetition.
Use active listening. Make sure you're not tuning out while the sender communicates.
Be sure to have patience with yourself and your partner as you practice mirroring. It's a valuable skill, one that can help improve your relationships.