As parents, guardians, grandparents, carers, teachers or support workers, we can find ourselves relating to personalities that can be quite different to our own. In most cases we are trying our best to do the right thing for the child, so that they can achieve what we perceive to be the best possible outcome.
The challenge is that our values, our priorities, our way of doing things and our goals might not match those of the child. If we really want to help them to be the best person they can be we need to understand them, to communicate effectively with them and to accept that our way might not be the best way. Effective communication can have a considerable impact on their confidence and self-belief.
The tone of our voice, the words we use and our capacity to take time to actively listen to children can all contribute to their development. Simply by saying much the same thing in slightly different ways, we can alter the response, encourage independent thinking and help children to take on a degree of personal responsibility.
NLP is a technique that has been widely used to help to develop effective relationships. Many teachers, coaches, counsellors and trainers who are working directly with people have found it a valuable tool to help get the most from the people they are working with.
On NLP courses, people gain an understanding of communication. They consider the impact of language, tone, body language, active listening and other aspects of communication. They learn how simple changes to communication can alter the response.
Feelings and Actions
We all know that we can feel elated and motivated after talking with certain individuals, whilst others leave us feeling deflated or frustrated. The two conversations may be about much the same thing, but are response will be different. Our feelings typically translate into actions, either a desire to do something positive or negative.
If we spend a lot of time with the people that listen, recognise our achievements, engage in two way conversations, ask questions, seek our opinion and value our skills, we can find ourselves living life to the full. We gain confidence, learn how best to utilise our skills, make good use of our time and are driven to do more.
Conversely, if we spend more time with the people that ignore us, fail to notice our contribution, pick up on our faults, always expect us to do more and speak at us, rather than with us, we soon start to feel bad. We might stop making an effort, or we might become angry and channel our energy into more destructive activities.
The Challenge of Getting It Right
Few parents or carers want to be the ‘bad’ guy, but it is easy to be distracted by the demands of home and work life. In trying to give children new opportunities, we may be pushing them to always do more and be better. In trying to protect them, we may stifle their ideas, their independence and their ability to cope. In guiding them along our path, they might miss their true calling; the opportunity to really showcase their talents and realise their potential.
If you are a parent, a carer or a professional working with children, NLP could prove to be a valuable tool in building positive relationships. To find out more about NLP courses, click here.