Think about the last time you did nothing else but fully engaged 100% to the person talking to you. I mean really engaged. You weren't checking your phone or the time, you weren't thinking about what you were going to say next, etc. Most of us aren't doing that.
This article really resonated with me as a clinician and as a parent. It is worth reading, I promise! Listening is something that is almost always talked about in supervision with my masters clinical interns. They are always worried that they aren't listening enough because they are focused on what to say next. I share this quick video with them as a reminder to what active listening is. I love that these discussions keep me honest and practicing my own active listening. I am one of those that insist that I can multitask. While I may be hearing you, you will not feel heard when I am not actively listening. I want the students I work with to feel heard. And just as important, I want those close in my life to feel heard. This is something I plan to put more effort in with my family in 2020. The feeling of being heard is powerful.
I recently had Juliana Kunz, LPC come talk at the CCE Booster Club meeting. Here were her reflective listening tips -
1. Make time to listen that is predictable and free of distractions
2. Use attentive body language.
3. Focus on understanding your child’s world from his or her own perspective.
4. Match your tone and expressions with the emotions of what you’re listening to.
5. Reflect the emotions you hear and see.
“It’s so frustrating!”
“You’re sad about it.”
“You feel excited and nervous.”
“You really love that class!”
6. Summarize back what you hear in your own words.
“You got to play soccer in gym class and your team won.”
“She wouldn’t talk to you all day!”
7. If you can’t think of words, make sympathetic noises or nod understandingly.
1. Try to correct, impart information, problem solve, or teach a lesson. (If there’s a need, you can do this later, after your child feels fully heard and understood. It will sink in much better. And, oftentimes, kids will learn the right lesson or solve their problem on their own when they feel really heard.)
2. Criticize, punish, or blame.
3. Interrogate or ask leading questions.
4. Interject your own opinions or stories.
Stay Healthy, Chaps!
Katie & Kristi