Are we as parents of teenagers doing all we can to prepare them for high school, college or for the workplace?
Are we collectively doing all we can to best support the next generation to function the best way possible in the real world?
Are we supporting the next generation by way of offering them pivotal life skills?
What I’m talking about is helping our teenagers develop face-to-face communication skills, in an age where it is becoming a lost art.
We are all experiencing a unique time in history, no doubt about it. We are also searching to create a new sense of normalcy as well. We need to connect and interact socially now more than ever. And eventually that will be face to face again!
Many of us are scrambling to fill our days in positive and productive ways.
A few ideas to consider to help our teens:
-It’s never a bad time to improve communication habits
-There are numerous cancellations all around us…CONVERSATIONS should never be canceled!
-Conversations are pivotal in our day-to-day relationships at home, school, and in the real work world.
Face to face conversations are important on so many levels throughout our lives. Here are quick tips for both you and your teen to have mutually beneficial conversations:
Listen more, talk less
I will make a basic assumption that we all like to be understood. One main factor to really understanding someone is by listening. To fully engage ask clarifying questions. It is always OK to ask questions of anyone you are talking with… such as, “I really want to understand your point, would you mind saying it again for me?”
Or you can ask them to rephrase what they just said in a different way so that you understand. Instead of offering (pretend) nods of understanding, ask for clarity. Don’t interrupt, listen more and talk less.
It’s easy to talk and share what we already know…but when you truly listen, you may learn something. Ask more questions and listen to the answer. Listening is vital to reducing unnecessary conflict at any level.
Have difficult conversations in person
Most of us inevitably will need to have a difficult conversation with someone. Whether it’s with a parent, a child, a teacher, a coach, a manager, or a co-worker The easy way out is to run for the hills. But we should all have the skills to have these difficult face to face conversations.
Strive for having challenging conversations in person, rather than by text or email. It allows for the natural give and take that a conversation should have. Sending a message over social media or electronically will lead to more drama than you need. Online dialog rarely carries the same intent and tone you intended because it’s only a one-way communication.
When you don’t communicate face-to-face intent is lost, spirit and tone are gone, and miscommunication often occurs
There’s so much to gain and at the same time so much to lose if you don’t have real face-to-face conversations or encourage your teen to have them. Whether your teen needs to interview for a summer job, impress a college admissions officer, or navigate a social situation, knowing how to have an effective face-to-face conversation is critical!
About the author/blog sponsor:
Matt Crevin , Founder of Talk Shop, is a single dad with two boys living in the Seattle, WA area. He launched Talk Shop in 2019 to deliver strong interpersonal communication skills to today’s youth through interactive online workshops. Matt noticed that teens who have grown up with devices in their hands often lack the basic ability to communicate effectively in person.
With his vast experience and background in the sports industry, Matt brings tremendous insight and a fun and engaging delivery style that creates impact with today’s emerging adults. Contact Matt at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website.