5 Ways to Listen and Respond for Deeper Connection

Desire deeper connections? Check out this list of 5 ways you can increase your listening to foster deeper connections. ⁠⁠

1. Repeat their words back

Child: Mom, I am so sad, something bad happened today. 

Mom: You’re sad because something bad happened today. Do you want to talk about it? 

2. Paraphrase what you heard
Paraphrase with feeling words 

Even if you say a feeling word they may not identify with, they can correct you. Saying what you “think” they feel and them correcting you, helps them know/identify what they are actually feeling.

This builds connection.

3. Reflect what you heard—inflate the feelings words
The more feelings you add to the narrative you reflect back, the more they feel heard, validated, and understood. It produces an understanding that builds safety into the conversation. 

Actual script from my conversation with my daughter
“It sounds like you enjoyed your time at tennis and that you felt proud of your serve and confident playing with the older girls.”

4. Understand and Lead 
Help them come up with their own solution through open-ended questions (not telling them what to do)

Sounds like you are (feeling word) because (point out the problem, what they are unable to do, want to have done differently, etc), and if feels _____ because (point out the obstacle they mentioned). 

Ask leading open-ended questions such as…

If you had more time, what would you consider doing?

If you were able to talk to your teacher, what would you say?

If you could change this situation, what would you feel comfortable doing?

If you knew you would get solved eventually, what do you think you could do/try?

5. Ask permission 
Understand the role they want you to fill

Ask if they want your:

• help
• advice
• or if they just want you to listen.

Before giving any advice, ask if they would be open to a solution or if they want to hear what you think might help.

The beauty, this isn’t just for your business or motherhood—it works in all areas of your life. ⁠⁠


Define Your Role

Meet our aunt Jeanne. ⁠⁣⁠
When the girls were younger, she would watch my children when my husband and I went on overnight trips.⁠⁣⁠
When I was working as a teacher, she would pick up my sick children from school, check on them during the day and bring them soup. ⁠⁣⁠
She planned the most incredible bridal shower and attended Camryn’s small wedding ceremony. ⁠⁣⁠
She watches our cat and my daughter’s guinea pig when we go on vacation.⁠⁣⁠
She cuts down our overgrown bushes and takes me for soda and pedicures. ⁠⁣⁠
She brings us back souvenirs from her world travels. ⁠⁣⁠
She invites us over for dinner, delivers presents during the holidays, and even tells the girls to behave and use their manners. ⁠⁣⁠
Typical, right? That’s just what aunts do! ⁠⁣⁠
The thing is, 𝘴𝘩𝘦’𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 “𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺” 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘵. ⁠⁣⁠
We met her about 7 years ago and 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐝 she was going to be the girl’s aunt. ⁠⁣⁠
She tells everyone she’s their aunt and we of course do the same, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬. ⁠⁣⁠
At this point, it’s 100% the truth! ⁠⁣⁠
If there’s something you want to be, 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭 so! ⁠⁣⁠
The good, joy, and love it will bring to you and others you impact in your role can’t be measured! ⁠⁣⁠