Blog Archives

Talk to Connect

December 18, 2012

This post appears on The Communication Blog, the blog by Dr. Joseph A. DeVito, Hunter College professor and author of multiple communications textbooks and articles. I thank Dr. DeVito for allowing me to guest post on his valuable blog.

[caption id="attachment_1107" align="alignleft" width="240"]talking vs technology, social media, connecting through technology, facebook talk, criticized for talking, judged for talking a lot, talks too much Talking is still the most intimate way to connect.[/caption]

I like to talk. I talk to connect and get closer to people. What I’ve realized is most people like to talk – and talk a lot. People talk. A lot. Connecting is human and talking is still our most genuine way of connecting. In a world with changing personal contact, where interactions through technology reign, talking is still a precious gift to join hearts and minds with others.

Over the years, I’ve had to grin through painful comments about my talking, sometimes disguised as jokes, other times delivered more directly. Some close friends may comment endearingly but I’ve received critical, judgmental and hurtful remarks. Yet, as rude and cutting as it feels, such frank statements make me think.

When Okay isn’t Okay

August 6, 2012
[caption id="attachment_430" align="alignleft" width="234"]mom talking with boy, parent and son on couch, serious discussion with kids, when okay isn't okay, saying okay to kids, “Clean your room, okay?”[/caption]

About 12 years ago I read a little blurb in a parenting magazine about the one word parents shouldn’t use with their children: the word Okay. I didn’t retain the details of the article but it made sense and I consciously decided not to end my sentences with “Okay?” when speaking to our then one-year-old.

When we tell our children to do, or not do, something, then say, “Okay?” it implies that we are seeking their input or opening an invitation to discussion. If we say, “Johnny, come here,” it is much more effective than, “Johnny, come here, okay?” the simple “okay” gives Johnny a choice we never intended to give him.

In communicating with children, from very young ages, we cannot be ambiguous, we need to be succinct and specific. We’re much more likely to get the results we’re after (good listening is on every parent’s wish list) if we deliver a clear directive: “Do not touch the plant.” Even a pre-walker can understand what his parent wants. He may test you, but repeating the same, concise message with a gentle removal of his hand will teach him that you mean what you say without question.