Improve Communication Skills by Speaking Your Message in Multiple Ways

“What did he say?” inquired the American.

“Qu’est ce qu’il a dit?” asked the French. (It means, “What did he say?”)

We roared with laughter all the more at their mutual translations AND growing frustrations.

“What did he say?” “Qu’est ce qu’il a dit?” “WHAT did he say?” “Qu’est ce qu’il a DIT?”

They did not change words, just the volume.  Even so, we could barely hear them we were laughing so loudly.

Here is the moral about communication skills:  If the message isn’t getting across, say it differently.  

[bctt tweet=”If the message isn’t getting across, say it differently.”]

Skateboard championships at base of Eiffel Tower
International skateboarders compete looking out onto the Eiffel Tower
French communication skills: a show
Behind Notre Dame
Teenager commemorating Napoleon
Showing off Napoleonic attire.
World map made of flowers
A globe made from flowers, covered in glass. Alive and fragile.
New York City skyline taken from Empire State
From the top of the Empire State Building
Times Square in New York City
Times Square in New York City
Teenager at Wall in DC
At the Vietman Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Improve Communication Skills by Re-Phrasing Your Message

Do your kids respond, “WHAT?” to “I love you.”  Try, “Daaaaahling, you are so precious to me.”

Repeating the message with different words is a fundamental communication skill taught in multi-cultural contexts.

Are you feeling the generation gap too? Our children are from another culture!  When you don’t understand your kids, ask them to rephrase for you.  Teach them effective communication skills.  “Whatever, Dad” does not cut it.

Hone Communication Skills Using Varying Love Languages

Chores need to be done and calling out her name is not generating the desired response.

  • Is she sensitive to touch? Go to her, give her a 30 second shoulder massage, and tell her it’s time for the chores.
  • She responds better to gifts? Write her a note and fold it up into a paper airplane to remind her dishes are waiting and need to be done quick as air mail.
  • She loves shared moments. “Honey, while you put the dishes in the dishwasher, I’ll ____ (choose from your looooooong list) in the kitchen with you.”

You come up with the ideas for affirmation and acts of service or learn more about love languages, these highly effective communication skills.  They are fascinating.  And they make a difference.

Communicate by Captivating Additional Senses

Have you noticed how at work we “sell ideas” by engaging multiple senses.  PowerPoint is this communication tool par excellence.  Receivers SEE and HEAR simultaneously.

Yet at home we speak instructions (sell ideas?!)  When that does not work, we use more voice.  (Reinvest in our losing strategy?!)  And, if you are like many parents, we scream!

Ooooops.  How does that rank in modeling positive communication skills?!!

Try these Power Pointers show-and-tell guides for your children. Some folk need to see to believe.  The kids may have heard parents repeat it 1000 times, when they see the photo of children brushing teeth, they respond, “Oh, yes.  I do have to brush my teeth.” 

Maybe your child needs to touch it to understand it. One mother walked into her child’s room, tied a string to his bed, and walked out unrolling the string. He got up and followed her! (Pied Piper or Wacky Mother. Either way, it’s worth discovering.)

Improve Your Communication Skills

Hummmm.  This might be embarassing.

Do you sound like a broken down record?  Try to express the same message in a multitude of ways:

  • You probably already tried asking nicely (a.k.a. The Command)
  • As a question
  • With simpler vocabulary
  • As a game (“Time to brush teeth.  Race you to the bathroom!”)
  • Without words (a kiss, taking her hand, and walking to the bathroom together.  When (!!) she resists, pause, smile, get eye contact, and start up again.)
  • With humor (“Dear Wall, Do YOU hear better than my kids?  If I had a magic wand….”)
  • With love.  “Thank you, sweetheart.”

Overcome Communication Blockage

[av_one_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’][/av_one_fourth]

[av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’]
[av_image_hotspot src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Optical_Illusion_Lady.bmp’ attachment=’3817′ attachment_size=’full’ animation=’no-animation’ hotspot_layout=’numbered’ hotspot_tooltip_display=” hotspot_mobile=’aviaTBhotspot_mobile’]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-right av-tt-align-centered’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=” custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’54.1,48.6′]
Old lady’s mouth.  Chic one’s necklace.
[/av_image_spot]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-above av-tt-align-left’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=” custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’89.5,57.2′][/av_image_spot]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-above av-tt-align-left’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=” custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’63.5,11.4′][/av_image_spot]
[/av_image_hotspot]
[/av_one_half]

[av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’][/av_one_fourth]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

Is she a beauty or passé?

Use this optical illusion to show your child that intelligent people like you and he can interpret the same black lines in multiple ways….and both are right! Could be true of issues in life too. This article is a sequel to Listening with Open Minds.

The Wife and Mother-in-Law go to Harvard

Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, shares an example from a Harvard Business School class. Half of the class received a drawing of a young woman to look at for 10 seconds. The other half previewed a sketch of a haggard, old lady. Then all were shown the drawing on your left. When asked whether they would enjoy her company for an evening, a heated discussion ensued. Half the class exclaimed, “NO WAY!”  The others insisted it could be fun.  Voices grew louder.  Some comments were aiming below the belt.   “You want to make me suffer?!” and “What are you talking about? It’s what you like. I’m doing it for you.”

Finally, some students (remember these are future leaders!!!) humbled themselves enough to explain themselves, ask questions, and listen.

“See this line.  That’s the old woman’s mouth.”

“Oh, for us it is the chic lady’s necklace!”

(One of the Hotspots on the image.  Scroll to end for all the hints.)

And exploration ensued until all the students could identify BOTH women depicted in the optical illusion.

Are you and your child at each others’ throats unnecessarily too?  How to overcome that blockage?

Try this zero-pressure, neutral-subject confrontation to introduce the concept of varying viewpoints on identical data.

[/av_textblock]

[av_image src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/wine-face-495×400.jpg’ attachment=’3822′ attachment_size=’portfolio’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

[av_image src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/parallellines-495×400.jpg’ attachment=’3823′ attachment_size=’portfolio’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

[av_image src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/men-or-pillar-495×375.jpg’ attachment=’3819′ attachment_size=’portfolio’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

Optical Illusion Resources
  • Science Kids (www.sciencekids.co.nz) is a great site to spark children’s curiosity.  I love their comments regarding these illusions.
  • Octavio Ocampo (see below) is one of Mexico’s most prolific artists.  His works are characterized by detailed images integrated to fit into larger figures.  Click here to view a collection of his intriguing works.
  • Consider having a book of optical illusions at home.  Pull it out when communication needs smoothing out.  We love this book:  Optical Illusions
  • Have fun!!!!  Your joy and interest is one of the GREATEST resources for your children. 🙂

[/av_textblock]

[av_image src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Octavio_Ocampo_Optical_Illusion-495×400.jpg’ attachment=’3821′ attachment_size=’portfolio’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

Helpful Hints to turn Optical Illusion Discussions into Optimal Communication Exchanges
  • Let your kid go first.  You listen.  She talks.
    Invite your child to interpret it first then take the opposite stance. Be adamant (playfully) about your viewpoint. (Max 5 minutes. The buzz of the kitchen timer can help smooth the transition.)
  • Two “correct”.  No “wrong”!  How can that be?
    Introduce the possibility that you both might be right. Ask your child to describe what she sees. Then you can point out how the young lady’s chic choker is also the old woman’s toothless mouth. And those bags under the old lady’s eyes are the young one’s delicate nose and finely shaped ear. (Hotspot 3)
  • Intelligent people can have different opinions.
    Remark together that identical facts (same black lines on the same white paper) could represent something totally different to very intelligent people like yourselves.  (Let her know she’s smart.  Thinking on one’s own is GOOD.  Talking nicely about differences is marvelous too.)
  • No lectures!!!
    Resist the temptation to turn this learning opportunity into a lecturing one. Stop.  For now.  Let them savor the fun of this exchange. (“Thanks for the good laughs.”)  They’ll be willing to hear more later.
  • Follow up later.
    Find a future calm moment to bring up some issues where you might not see eye to eye. Schoolwork, for example. (“Remember, darling, when we looked at that sketch of two ladies in one drawing? Maybe a textbook has multiple meanings too. What does this picture of an open textbook mean to you?”) To some parents completed homework represents future opportunity, freedom to have choices. Their own kids might perceive it as repression of opportunity (less time with friends) and servitude (imposed time tables, parental intervention …).
  • Less stress = more open mind.
    Talk it over during the holidays, while school stress is low.

[/av_textblock]

[av_one_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’][/av_one_fourth]

[av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=” margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’]

[av_image_hotspot src=’https://sosooper.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Optical_Illusion_Lady.bmp’ attachment=’3817′ attachment_size=’full’ animation=’no-animation’ hotspot_layout=’numbered’ hotspot_tooltip_display=’av-permanent-tooltip’ hotspot_mobile=’aviaTBhotspot_mobile’]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-below av-tt-align-left’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=’#1cb3e6′ custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’54.1,48.6′]
Choker necklace for the youth and toothless mouth for elderly lady.
[/av_image_spot]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-below av-tt-align-left’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=’#1cb3e6′ custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’89.5,57.2′]
Left ear for the Diva and sagging left eye for the Déjà Vu.
[/av_image_spot]
[av_image_spot tooltip_pos=’av-tt-pos-above av-tt-align-right’ tooltip_width=’av-tt-default-width’ tooltip_style=’main_color’ link=” link_target=” hotspot_color=’custom’ custom_bg=’#1cb3e6′ custom_font=’#1cb3e6′ custom_pulse=” hotspot_pos=’63.5,11.4′]
Petite nose for Mademoiselle and sagging right eye for the Madame.
[/av_image_spot]
[/av_image_hotspot]

[/av_one_half][av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’][/av_one_fourth]

Listen with Open Minds

Dad and daughter may be looking each other in the eye, but they’e not seeing eye to eye.

Explore paradigms, those personalized mental maps, that explain how different people give opposite interpretations to the same facts. Try the fun ways to unblock communication gaps.

We listen through our ears… and through our paradigms.

Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) presents paradigms as mental maps that describe the way things are (realities) and the way they should be (values).   Amazingly, highly intelligent people can

  • encounter identical facts,
  • interpret them completely differently,
  • AND both be right!

You and I have a mental map. Kids have theirs too, and they differ from their parents’! (Did you notice how when kids play house, parents always get to do what they want all the time?!)

We act according to our beliefs.

Take the Christmas story. For some, the angel’s conversation with Mary seems absurd. Angels belong in stories or in snow. We know how babies are made, and it’s not that way.  John Lennon and Yoko Ono may have thought that way.

Mary and Joseph also knew those facts, yet central to their paradigm was the belief in God, the one who keeps his promises and makes the impossible happen. When they heard the incredible news about Jesus’ conception, they could be overwhelmed and still believe and act on those convictions.

Yes, our beliefs impact our actions.  Including on our style of discipline.

Knowing your paradigm and understanding your kids’ revolutionizes the way we correct.  What if we could travel our child’s mind map and help uncover some hurtful beliefs?!  By tweaking the misunderstood assumptions, the desired behaviors naturally follow.

When differences don’t attract…

Covey presents two basic paradigms:
– the Personality Ethic (success is a function of our public image) and
– Character Ethic founded on principles such as integrity, temperance, courage, justice, and the Golden Rule.

Imagine the “collision” of these two paradigms!

Junior wants to look KOOOOL in the latest shoe fashion.  It happens to cost a small fortune.  Mom and Dad desire to teach him financial responsibility.

Clash.

Junior’s Fashion Ethic oulook values spending.  Mom and Dad’s principle of living within one’s means finds worth in thoughtful spending.

How do you identify these paradigms?  Get started with these fun family activities.

Use these fun family activities to discover each other’s paradigms and to communicate more effectively and pleasurably.

Decipher Optical Illusions

Try this zero-pressure, neutral-subject confrontation to introduce the concept of varying viewpoints on identical data.
Read on…

Draw Your Hopes & Uncover Paradigms (best with younger kids)

Compare your view of the “perfect” living room to Junior’s. Are the cushions on the sofa or on the floor? 🙂
Read on…