Skills of Listening
We communicate with more than just words. How we say what we say, when we say it, our voice tone and body language all communicate messages. How many times has someone told you, “I’m not mad,” but their body language indicated that they were? Consideration needs to be given to our nonverbal communications.
What does your body say?
- Are you being intimidating?
- Are you being open?
- Are you making eye contact?
Paraphrasing is repeating back to a sender of a message the essence of what was said. Try to use your teen’s language, but not too much. It will start to sound phony. Paraphrase in the form of a question. Keep doing this until the sender confirms that the correct message was heard.
For example: “It sounds to me like you are angry at me for….. Is that correct?”
Same as paraphrasing, only the focus is on how the sender of the message feels. In the above example, the receiver may focus on the emotion of anger, rather than the event.
Same as paraphrasing, only the focus is on what the sender of the message means. In the above example, the receiver may focus on the event (i.e. not being on time), rather than on the emotion.
reprinted courtesy of Tracy Todd, Ph.D., LMFT- Brief Therapy Institute of Denver.