At a time when we are so technically advanced, effective communication is getting lost in the process. Technology is meant to improve our lives, not hinder our relationships, but that is exactly what is happening. Communication is essential to the quality of the relationships you have with your spouse, friends, colleagues, and children, so learn better communication skills and keep practicing them.
Listen to one another’s feelings and the true meaning of what is being said. There are numerous roadblocks to to communication:
- Denying others feelings
- Commanding another to do something
- Advising instead of just listening
- Defending the other person being complained about
Roadblocks to effective communication tell us:
- You don’t really feel what you say you are feeling
- You don’t really know what you think you know
- You don’t mean what you say
Reflective listening (empathy) helps to:
- Clarify and understand our true feelings
- Know that our feelings are real and validated
- Get in touch with who we are as individuals
- Find the strength to deal with and move on from our situation
- Empowering our children to learn and understand their feelings
Acknowledging someone’s feelings doesn’t mean you have to give in to what the person wants, it lets the person know you understand and validate how they feel.
How to listen reflectively:
- Give the speaker your full attention and get down to eye level if talking to a child.
- Acknowledge the feeling being expressed
- Guess what your child is feeling or trying to express
- Give a statement (“Sounds as if you are feeling…”)
With these skills listed above being practiced, as much as possible, your relationships will begin to change into more understanding ones. The goal in your parenting is to be connected to your child, as much as possible, so start teaching proper communication skills young and your kids will stay close to you for life.