Explanation of the skill

To maintain our connection with the speaker when we are losing connection with how they are talking and/or to minimize the amount of "jackal" being heard by and potentially triggering the other person, it's often helpful to interrupt the speaker (either while they are talking or when they take a breath) by either going straight to an empathy reflection/guess or by expressing our needs and a present request. One of the biggest challenges we have found with this skill is finding the balance between meeting needs for freedom of expression and for maintaining connection.

Examples of using the skill

"I'm hearing there's a lot of pain in what you are saying. I want to come back to it, but I want to go back to finish this piece with A right now."

"Hold on, B..."

"Hold on, before you get to that next part."

"I'd like to hear the rest of this, but I'd like to reflect on what you are feeling so far."


Dyad practice with skill of Interrupting

     •   Request(s) to partner: Speak about someone in a way that is judging, blaming, etc. and keep talking until the mediator interrupts
     •   Mediator interrupts with an empathy guess
     •   Mediator interrupts with self---expression ending on present request