As a Youth/Young Adult Life and Relationship Coach, a mom, advocate and mediator I am often thinking about your voice and how or if it is heard. When you speak with your parents or when they speak to you how do you gauge the level of “hearing” that is taking place?
Over the years I have used three processes with my clients that I am happy to share with you today. They may sound simple and the key is to use them daily so you become used to using the tools. It’s like any mussel, you need to use it for it to become strong and second nature.
Get and give clarification
Making the assumption that someone understand what you are saying or you understand what they are saying is dangerous and can lead to many of our misunderstandings in our conversations. That can look very different depending on who it is you are speaking/listening to. It can be as simple and straight forward as saying “for clarification sake” or “To be sure I am hearing you fulling are you saying”. It can be that simple.
Asking open ended questions is a great way to get the other person engaged when you are trying to be clear as to what they are saying. It could look like, “When you say you’re frustrated what does that look like for you?” or If you like the color red how can I help you see it clearer?
When we summarize what we have heard others say or when they summarize to us it brings about a more solid understanding of what is being felt, said, and understood, giving those communicating a greater connection. This in turn can help build trust.
Empathize: Imagine yourself in this persons shows, coming from that place makes a ton of difference.
Ask Questions: Make sure they are open ended questions. Questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or a “no”.
Rephrase: Restating what you heard the other person say really nails down the message they are giving and offers an opportunity to get further clarification.
Summarize: This is a condensed version of what was said highlighting the main points.
As I do every week, I wish you blessings always and in always.