It was an honor to be the Keynote Speaker for an organization called Success 1st this past Saturday. Success 1st hosted the event called Let’s Talk, Listen, and Bond for children, youth, and adults. The planning committee was intentional about having youth leaders speak to children and youth as I spoke to the adults about connection and communication.
Connection and Communication is not always as easy as it sounds. In order to connect, it takes listening without responding and hearing what the other person says and does not say. It also takes thinking about the person that is talking. One of the first questions I asked was, “What are 3 questions that you want people to ask you about…you??
We all know that not all questions are created equal. Some questions people ask you often require wanting to find the nearest rock so you can hide under it. Can you all relate? I think we have all been there at some point in our lives.
We talked about the types of questions that keep the connection alive and the other person open to talk. Some examples of open-ended questions included:
Where do you want to travel?
What place do you want to go on vacation?
What are your favorite hobbies?
What inspires you?
During this conversation, we also recognized that not every person will get excited about the open-ended questions that are asked. Sometimes, we may ask a question that we think is inviting and the other person does not think so. This is part of the learning process we go through when connecting and communicating to other children, youth, and adults.
Connection and communication also include the 3 P’s : Perception, Presence, and Posture.
Perception: Listening to understand rather than to respond. It is important to ask questions and clarify with the other person about what they are saying to ensure the message is being heard clearly.
Presence: It is important to focus on the other person, remain present, and accept that silence is ok during and for the duration of some conversations, depending on the topic. For example, someone who is grieving will appreciate their presence but may not want to speak.
Posture: Posture refers to the communicator and speaker being on equal ground and heart to heart. For example, if a child is on the ground, we sit on the ground. If the other person is sitting in a chair, we sit down on a chair. It also helps to speak face to face and look at each other when speaking or listening. Posture may vary depending on cultural norms. It is important to learn and to have heart to heart connection and communication as much as possible.
Upcoming: Teens Supporting Teens 7-Day Challenge
If you know teens who want a safe space where they can have fun, build friendships, and learn, let them know about the 7-Day Teens Supporting Teens Challenge. This is a FREE event for teens that will happen 7 pm-8:30 pm July 5th- July 11th. The flyer below includes the link to sign up for the challenge. I can’t wait to meet all of the teens.
Register at: www.amandahelman.com/teenchallenge/
This blog provides some of the practical tools and tips that were discussed this weekend.
Additional tips about connection and communication will be shared next week.
Enjoy your week!