Listening Skill #1: Acknowledging
“You can attract more flies with a spoonful of honey than a barrel of vinegar.” Anonymous
This old saying illustrates a profound truth: a little kindness goes a long way. Kindness is a lot more effective than bitterness. This idea applies to many aspects of life, but to none more so than relationships.
There is no better way to build or strengthen a relationship than by listening to another person, including a child. When anyone speaks, it is for the purpose of being heard, or listened to, including a child. Acknowledging is the first and simplest way of conveying to another person, including a child, that you are in fact listening. And conveying that simple fact is, by itself, strong encouragement for the child to keep talking. And this is what you want, if you accept the idea that listening is 90% of communication–or at least that listening is critically important to effective communication.
What Does “Acknowledging” Mean?