How did you like the interview I did with David Horsager on his book, Trusted Leader? Link to the last post to see what I am talking about.

As I was going through the YouTube Comments, one came up that I thought was insightful and relevant to the interview.

It was in regards to this video, Communicating Effectively With Your Teenager / 5 rules. 

The comment was that these rules will help you communicate effectively with anyone. 

This viewer was so right. 

I seek to find principles. The principles I was highlighting are about communication. I applied them in the video to teenagers, but they can be applied to anyone. 

They also dovetailed nicely with the interview I did with David about leadership. 

The principles are about building trust in the relationship so we can communicate effectively. 

E F F E C T I V E L Y. We don’t want to just communicate.

We want communication to build the relationship. We want to create bonds that solidify our interaction. 

The 5 rules to communicating with your (teen, boss, spouse, partner, parent, child) are:

  1. Don’t show up as a bear. 

If we meet a bear in the woods we are going to have an immediate response: Fight or Flight.

This is not what we want the person we are communicating with to feel. We want them to stay so watch your body language. 

2. Don’t see a bear.

This is about how you are perceiving the other person. Are you seeing them as someone who needs to be battled? 

Calm yourself down (and your own fight or flight response).

Go into the interaction calmly and with mercy for the other person.

3. Minimize the noise.

This could be actual noise in the room, have a calm, non distracting environment. 

Calm the noise in your brain.

Do what you need to do with everything else going on to be present in your conversation. Put other things on pause. Focus on the person in front of you.

4. Listen to understand.

This isn’t listen to respond. This is listen to understand what they are saying, how they think. You may need to ask clarifying questions such as, “So when you missed curfew, you felt stuck in being there for your friend who had just gotten dumped by his girlfriend or be in trouble here at home for getting in late?” 

It isn’t about judging what they did, it is about understanding their thinking process and how they arrived at where they are. 

Most people don’t feel truly understood, and when they do, their defensiveness breaks down. They become much more agreeable.

(If you have trouble with this one, you aren’t agreeing with their decision, you are just understanding where they are coming from.)

We are at rule 5 and you haven’t had any reason to talk, other than to understand the other person. Now you get to talk.

5. Express to be understood.

Don’t do this until the other person feels they have been understood. 

You are doing the same thing. You aren’t trying to win the fight, you aren’t trying to persuade or rebut what they said. You are merely expressing your feelings and seeking to be understood by them.

That should create less stress for you. You don’t have to persuade anyone to your way of thinking, you are just aiming to be understood. 

Once that happens and both feel they are understood, then we can start to compromise. Once we have trust, we are willing to invest more of ourselves in the relationship. 

These 5 steps to communication will build the trust David Horsager talks about that will increase our leadership.

Dr. Paul