“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.”]
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.”