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:
• 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.