Demo Therapy with Julia LMFT: AVR Communication Game Changer is the third in our Demo Therapy Series and Julia LMFT discusses with founder Ed Jaffe, one of the lynchpins of successful communication, Validation. AVR is a therapeutic technique that confers validation between participants in our communications with others. Julia explains a method she uses with couples called AVR and it is a game-changer for conducting discovery conversations with prospects, obtaining consent to sell, (see Demo Therapy: How to Get Consent to Sell) and demoing.
Watch Demo Therapy with Julia LMFT: AVR Communication Game Changer
Transcript AVR Communication Game Changer
Julia: Validation is something that people like, it’s like a positive stroke, right? And it doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them, but you’re saying “I hear you and I understand what you’re saying and what you’re saying is valid.”
But you’re not saying, “I also think that way,” you don’t have to say that, but it goes a long way to validate somebody. So for example, I’ll give you one of the tools that I think would be actually very helpful for salespeople, but I give it to folks to use in relationships, couples. So it’s this tool for communication.
I call it a AVR. A is acknowledge, V is validate R is respond. So, acknowledge what it is they’re telling you is going on, it’s the, what. Validate, express, understanding of why this is a concern for them. This is the why, and then respond. And your response can either be a follow-up question for additional clarity or providing some type of explanation or information. In my case, oftentimes it’s providing an apology, but it’s a really useful tool because it gets somebody to slow down and rather than thinking of a retort really quickly, it slows them down and gives them sort of a template to follow, to show the person with whom they’re speaking that they’re following along, but they’re really taking in what the person’s saying and understanding them.
Is this also where you can reflect back , maybe some of the emotions that you’re seeing? Even if you don’t recognize the scenario?
That’s the acknowledge. That’s the what.
Ed: This is what’s happening, but I can see this is how you’re feeling about it.
Julia: Exactly. “Clearly that’s really frustrating.” Or “obviously that’s causing you to lose a bunch of money.”
“You’re losing productivity . I totally see that. And I understand that. You know, taking a loss because of this is a big concern. There’s a gap there that you clearly need to fill.”
That’s the validation -that’s the why, why it’s a problem, right?
The what is, what is the problem? And then the validation is why it is problematic for that person.
Ed: Do you need their consent to be able to reflect that back? – “I can see you’re feeling this way?”
Julia: I think that’s one of the things that you don’t need consent for, because literally this is a tool for demonstrating empathy and understanding. This isn’t a sales pitch. This is part of that rapport building and connection establishment. So once you provide that acknowledgment, that validation-and you may have to stay in those steps for a little bit and kind of go back and forth and let them really feel heard-
and once you get there and they do feel heard, then you can ask for the consent to go into the R and your R, your response, may be information of a possible solution that you can offer them, which is part of what you’re selling.
Ed: It’s basically what “big little feelings” says I’m supposed to do with my two year old.
Julia: Yeah. Yeah.
Which I don’t think salespeople want to hear, but it seems like it’s exact same “I see you’re frustrated, but we can’t go outside right now.”
Exactly. “I know you’re frustrated. I know it’s sunny and you’ve had a long day already and you just want to have fun, but we’re not able to just yet, we’ll be able to in another 20 minutes, once we finish this and then we can go outside and play to our heart’s content.”
But I think you also have to remember, and I say this to people all the time. I say this at talks- every single human being, this is how it helps me to view them as a human. I don’t know about you, but I’m almost 40 and I still feel like I’m 19. There are times where I feel like a kid. I don’t know that I’m adulting the way I’m supposed to.
And I think every single adult feels this way at various times. And there’s something to that. Adults, we’re all a version of ourselves, depending on what context we’re in. So, at work, we have to be very put together and professional and appropriate, but that doesn’t mean that there’s that playful, you know, lively part of us that just goes away, we leave it outside. No, it’s there. It’s just, that’s not what we’re trying to exude in the moment. And so I tell people all the time, grownups are just kids in grown up costumes. We all have this child part of us that when we sort of invite it in with humor or connection or that empathy and validation, it will come out and it kind of lets people take their guard down and that’s a really great first step because from there it’s going to be much easier to get their consent, to show them whatever it is you’re selling and it can feel more natural.