Want to know how to talk so kids will listen?
Heck, want to know how to talk so anyone will listen (husband, wife, boss)?
There are some specific strategies you can use to ensure your child, partner, or even your boss listens to you.
John O’Sullivan, author of Changing the Game, shares with us two specific strategies you can start using today.
Be An Active Listener
You’ve probably heard this before… but do you really know what it means?
Well for starters, it means that you ask kids good questions, questions that let them know that you actually are hearing what they’re saying. Try summarizing what they’re saying before responding or following up with a question of your own.
This is actually a great habit to get in with your spouse as well (may feel a little awkward at first).
In response to your child, it could look something like, “So you want to be able to attend this event because….” And then move on to further discussion and questions. Getting in this practice will reassure your child that you’re at least hearing them out.
It does NOT mean that you have to agree with them. But at least you’ve heard their case and you’ve explained why you made the decision you did. Which brings me to the next strategy, and this one can be a game-changer.
Know Your Child’s (or Spouse’s or Boss’s) Personality
As John explains in our interview, some kids want to know why they’re expected to do something. Others just want an answer and to move on.
And if you have multiple kids, you’ve probably found that every child is different in what they need.
That’s what makes personality tests so useful.
Once you know your child’s personality, you’ll know what communication style works for them and alter your approach.
For example, if your child needs to know details behind the why, you can be prepared with a list of reasons why you’re making that decision. Or perhaps your child just wants to know the basics of what needs to get done and then just wants to move on.
Or maybe your child needs a challenge to motivate him or her. So you have to take the “I bet you won’t…” approach.
There are a number of personality tests out there for free. John has partnered with Equilibria and their Personality Diversity Indicator is only 35 questions and takes just 15 minutes to complete. We are also a fan of the Four Tendencies Quiz, where you are identified as an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel.
If your child is a Rebel, you could simply challenge him to try to go an entire week where he makes his bed every day. If he wants to know why, and is a Questioner, this video may be of help.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen (and Your Significant Other)
A lack of communication is often the basis for problems in the home. It’s the reason why we started Dinner Table MBA. We wanted to bring families back to the dinner table.
And if you know how to better communicate with your children and partner, a lot of problems can be resolved or avoided altogether. And hey, you may just actually be able to get your independent teen to listen to you!
One of the best places to start is with active listening, where you repeat back to your child what they’re saying, in your own words, and ask additional questions. The other thing to do is have everyone in your family take a personality test to know how they best communicate! This will be a game-changer when it comes to knowing how to motivate your children (and your spouse)!