Monday, June 16, 2008

Listening Skills

The class I am taking now is Theories in Counseling. One of the things we are working on is our listening skills. This is a skill that will help in bonding with our children so I thought I'd share some of the things I have learned.

Body language: Loving, accepting eye contact while they are talking, sit or stand facing them in an interested engaged manner, gentle touch when appropriate for the moment

Words: Reflect back what they say. Sometimes repeat it back. Sometimes reword it to make sure you have the meaning clear. Be thinking about what they are saying, not about what you are going to say next. If you ask questions use questions that lead further into the discussion. Do not use questions that answer "yes" or "no". Do not ask questions that side track.

Attitude: Absolute positive regard. Respect for them as an individual. Honor the fact they are sharing with you. Genuineness: This is not so tough for mom unless you are dealing with disrespect or aggressiveness. Maybe I should say this is true of me. Then stop and think about what fear is driving their disrespect or aggression and stay genuine. Empathy: Put yourself in their situation with their fears. How would you feel. Let them know you feel that. "Yes. It must have been so sad." (whatever they are trying to express)

We often are good listeners to friends or spouses. We often are too busy for our kids. Now I know that kids with RAD have a knack for trying to approach you when you are in the middle of something and cannot stop. Tell them you need 10 minutes and then will stop and listen. We need to be as good of listeners for our kids as we are for the adults in our lives. Have a healing day!


Rick said...

Good information here. All things I try to practice when I'm counseling people. I have to remind myself what my body language is saying to a person, because I tend to want to "cross up" just to be comfortable while listening.

Brenda said...

My issue is focusing on what the other person is saying and not think about what I want to say.

Denise said...

When I was in college the big statement for attunement was: "What I hear you saying is..." I got so sick of saying that in role play scenarios, so I am glad to see that after 20 years they put more emphasis on other aspects as well, like body language and eye contact. I am so glad you are sharing your "school work" with us. I can't wait for the day that I get my turn. Glad you are enjoying it so much!