Listen With Your Heart
You listen for unspoken fears, concerns and aspirations. You are listening for tell-tale signs of impending trouble. You will be listing to gain in-depth insight on her strengths and abilities. And last but not least, you have to listen without thinking how you are going to respond as she’s talking.
She needs your undivided attention. This attention requires observation and validation. Steps:
1. How do you listen without interrupting? As a parent we tend to want to interrupt and add important points. You can’t. She needs that observe my body language attention. If you interrupt you will never know the true intent of the point she was trying to make. She will change it based on your interruption. You will then miss out on her true concerns.
2. How do you listen without passing judgment? We give the look of disapproval thinking she should have used better judgment. Because your daughter won’t come right out and tell you if she is either upset or scared, you have to listen for signs in her conversation.
3. How do you listen without wondering how you are going to respond? You do this by putting your thoughts and emotions to the side. You’ll miss out on the best part, her conclusion.
Now that you have observed and listened it’s time to validate. It’s time to recognize the areas of her fears and concerns. It’s time to look back at the tale-tell signs of impending trouble. It’s also time to recognize your daughter’s strengths and abilities. You can now validate her.
Validation does not necessarily mean that you like or agree with what she is doing, saying or feeling. It means that you understand where she is coming from.
Now, that you’ve observed and validated. You didn’t interrupt as she spoke. You did not judge and you understood her point of view. And you did not have a heart attack.
What did you gain in the process? You gained a better relationship with your daughter and anyone else. In listening to her you have of course made her feel better, but it has also done something for you. This something else has changed the way you listen to anyone and anything.
It’s not what you can do for her - it’s what she can do for you.
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