Okay, I talk fast. I admit it. Honestly, I cannot talk as fast as my mind can talk to me, but believe me, I try. And, I am beginning to think that all my fast talking is no more persuasive than the car dealer on the corner.
What is it that I think I am conveying to the audience of children I speak to? None of them can take more than one instruction at a time. Do I think that if I cram three instructions into the time it would take a normal speaker to convey one instruction, they will magically understand? Dream on!
Last Saturday I took a class in responsive learning – wonderful method that is at the core of the curriculum in place at my children’s school. And I of course learned, that there are many things I continue to do wrong, a few I am doing right and a handful that I frankly don’t care about. But I took one very important message away.
I noticed that the way people were demonstrating their communication with children, was slow and steady – not fast and frenzied. My background is in T.V. Production where barking out orders in rapid fire pace is the order of the day. And if you couldn’t take it, then it was time to hang up your clipboard!
Well, “Momville” doesn’t work like that. Yes, I hear you chortling – those of you who know I have a 17 year old! No, I haven’t learned yet, but I am working on it … and as soon as my youngest is ready to retire, I am hoping to have this one figured out.
Here are some steps to help make you SLOW down:
- Acknowledge children cannot receive information given if piling too much at one time – As anyone knows who has ever had a PB&J with too much jelly, more is not always better! You can end up with strawberry jam on your pants.
- Limit to one communication at a time – In order to do this, I keep a list for each child and when I think they can handle another morsel, I slip it in.
- Delivery doesn’t have to feel like a 911 call – I remind myself that unless the information I have to give them is going to save their lives, I probably don’t need to make the delivery feel like a 911 call.
- Listen more than talking – As my children grow, I realize that the impact that I make when I listen to them, is more important than anything I have to tell them.
Jamee Tenzer is an executive and life coach, specializing in empowering women to optimize their lives at work, home and play. In 2002, she founded CMQ Coaching, a private coaching practice with a focus on professional women and working mothers. Jamee holds a PCC Credential from the International Coach Federation and is also a Trainer with the International Coach Academy.