Communication is a three pronged event.
- Giving information
- Receiving information
- Taking action (or not) on information given and received
Most of us LOVE to GIVE information and we don't think too much about how it will be received.
I am a morning person. It's genetic. If I e-mail my brother or sister before 6 am, they usually e-mail me right back. I am NOT a night person.
My children have learned that if they ask for assistance or want permission for something it's more likely to happen if I have a cup of coffee in my hand. I also am more willing to help if it's not a verbal 'demand'. I respond better to a written 'request'.
After some trial and error, the kids have gotten into the habit communicating with me through the coffee maker. Permission slips, their phones to be charged (what happens to everyone's chargers, do they take up with the unmatched sock from the wash?), a note for laundry to be tossed into the dryer. Let's see how this works in our 3 Steps.
- Give Information - Teens remember stuff at night, they can give their information best when they can remember it!
- Receive information - I can receive information when I am fresh, not tired, have coffee in hand. I also am better with written down words - verbal requests get interpreted in my brain as demands.
- Take action on information (or not) - I am MORE likely to take action on the information if it's all right there in front of me and no one is running late or going to to miss the bus.
Where might we be giving information to our beloveds (children, spouse, family of origin) in a way it is UNLIKELY to be received, common culprits . . .
- Texting when our Mom responds better to call.
- Verbally demanding chores be done on OUR time frame, rather then texting a request to our teen with the caveat, 'Please do before bed!'
- Giving negative feedback in 'public' (this includes siblings and co-parents), people have a hard time receiving any thing that has even a whiff of criticism on it, ESPECIALLY in front of others.
- Giving unsolicited advice (even if it's super duper helpful and wise).
- Thinking they should know what we are thinking/feeling because we expressed it ONCE.
- Talking to them when it's NOT their time of day. (I LOVE to give information in the morning, teens not so receptive until evening falls.)
- Listening - the MOST important part of communication . . . . LISTENING!
. . . I FEEL ANOTHER BLOG COMING ON . . . . How to Communicate! Part Two: I'm Listening!
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