Listening To Ourselves With Compassion

listening to ourselves with compassion

When we do something that later we wished we hadn’t, we rarely give ourselves the level of forgiveness and understanding that we give to others. If we evaluate ourselves and subsequently change our behaviors due to negative emotions–shame, embarrassment or fear, to name only a few–we are feeding self-hatred. We are our own worst critic. […]

Learning To Request What You Need

learning to request what you need

At the heart of our relationships is the need for effective communication. Our objective is to build a relationship based on honesty and empathy. The two basic components of effective communication consists of two skills: Expressing observations, feelings and needs honestly while withholding blame and criticism. Receiving information from others without hearing blame or criticism, […]

When Needs Are Not Fulfilled

when needs are not fulfilled

Effective communication is at the heart of strong relationships. Our parenting and teaching work with children is dependent on vital relationships and communications. Effective communication is based on two essential skills: The ability to express honestly how we are, and The ability to understand from others how we are, all without giving or hearing blame […]

Connecting Needs To Feelings

connecting needs to feelings

A critical aspect of effective communication is learning how to express our needs. In our efforts to communicate effectively with others, we need to learn how to observe behavior, without evaluating, to figure out an individual’s needs. For effective communication, we need to differentiate between feelings and thoughts. We need to be aware of how […]

Learning To Express Needs

learning to express needs

Be careful for what you ask for–you might get it. To communicate to the heart of our relationships, it is important that we learn to state our needs with clarity and positiveness. Negative requests can confuse the listener and provoke resistance. When we make a request in the negative–I don’t want chocolate ice cream–the request […]

Owning Our Emotions

owning our emotions

Victor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning writes about our freedom residing in the space between stimulus and response. Your child hits you. Your freedom lies in the space of time between being hit, the stimulus, and your response to being hit. That moment contains your power to choose how you receive the message and […]

Communicating Emotions

communicating emotions

A long-term study of college students, The Grant Study, tested their vocabularies while also asking the group to rate their level of happiness. For over fifty years the test subjects with the largest vocabularies declared the greatest satisfaction with their lives. For many of us the vocabulary to express emotions is limited to a few […]

The Heart Of Relationships: Effective Communication

observing without evaluating

To know who our children really are, we need to observe our children at work and play. J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, wrote that the highest form of human intelligence is observing without evaluating. The more I observe, the more I understand Krishnamurti. Observation and evaluation serve us best as separate activities. Observing people’s behavior […]

Announcing The Effective Communication Series

effective communication heart of relationships

Since 2004, I have written this Kids Talk newsletter and blog. The name, Kids Talk, comes from my desire to help adults understand what children need, if only children could express those needs clearly. When we, as adults, seek to understand our children, we must begin by observing their behavior. We then look for feelings. We anticipate […]