Episode 5: Connection Requests


Connecting Across Differences is a podcast by Dian Killian, Ph.D. of Work Collaboratively about having greater empathy for yourself and others, and how to hear others more deeply and make sure that you’ve been heard. Episodes are available on iTunes.

Listen to Episode 5 below:

In this podcast, Dian goes more in-depth on one type of request, the connection request. In the previous episode (#4), Dian gave an overview of making requests. To gain a better understanding of making requests, please listen to episode 4.

Keep in mind that the key distinction of making a request is that it is free of demand. This means that when making a request, it’s important to be open to hearing “no.”

The tagline for making a request is “Would you be willing…” or other variations of this.

Connection requests are key to collaboration. They are like getting a weather report–checking in about how the other person or party is feeling, especially after hearing what you’ve shared. The most common and classic connection request is: “How do you feel hearing me say this..?” By making a connection request of this kind, you’ll get valuable information about what’s going on for the other person. Once you know what’s going on for others, it’s much easier for find a solution that works for everyone.
During the podcast, Dian talks about other kinds of connection requests, such as requesting empathic understanding from others (“I wonder if you can imagine why I might be feeling this way…?”) and getting input and ideas from others: How are you seeing this? What are your thoughts? What’s your opinion? (Note: If you really want to hear how someone is feeling, ask how they are feeling.)
Once the other person has been heard and you’ve gotten their input, then you can move onto specific strategies. In fact, once both parties have been heard and trust that their needs matter, strategy requests organically develop. Focus on connection first, via connection requests.
For more about connection requests, be sure to listen to the full podcast.


In this episode, Dian references the story “Close to Home” from her book Urban Empathy. If you have the book you can follow along on page 58.

We’d love to hear what you’ve discovered! Feel free to post to the Work Collaboratively Facebook page.

You can also subscribe to the Connecting Across Differences podcast on iTunes. Please be sure to leave a review if you enjoyed the episode!

Thanks for listening– and be sure to tune in for our next episode in two weeks. If you’re enjoying our podcasts, please share them with your friends and family. The more people in your life who know how to connect with their feelings and needs, the easier you’ll find it to connect with them and come up with solutions that work for everyone involved!

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