Do you have a parenting goal? Is your goal to be heard, or to be listened to? Figuring out what your “listening” goal is can transform how you communicate with your child, friends & loved ones.
What’s the difference between the two?
When you talk, *in order to be heard*, you tend to focus on getting your words out, only. You’re not really paying attention to how the other person is being impacted by what you’re saying.
When you talk, *in order to be listened to*, you’re observing the other person as you’re speaking so you can tell if your message is getting through.
Being “heard” usually means the other person is just waiting for their turn to speak. they hear you, but aren’t listening to you.
3 tips to help you talk *in order to be listened too*.
a. Check to see where the other person’s focus is. Are they fixing the car, making dinner or crying? Can you respectfully wait for them to finish before speaking? Ex: Most parents talk when a child is crying either to stop the crying or change the focus. This is not only fruitless; it also sends the silent message, “What I’m doing/saying is more important than your feelings.”
Solution: Wait until the crying slows down before speaking. This gives you a better chance of being heard and listened to.
b. How intensely are you delivering your words? Be mindful not to emotionally overload the other person/child. They may need a moment or two to digest what you said before you move on to the next point?
c. Observe the other person/child’s body language. Is their body language open or closed to what you’re saying?
When you observe how another is digesting your words you instantly know how fast to go, whether to repeat what’s been said, and all of that shows the child how to listen to you…like you listen to them.