Does it seem like your kids never follow your directions?
What if I told you that there was a technique that would help ensure that they understood your instructions and almost guaranteed they would follow through without needing to scream like a maniac who lost his keys.
The solution is easy as pie, but it requires extra time and starts with you. It always begins with you.
Being in grocery management for 15 years taught me that miscommunication was common. I assumed they were just terrible employees. Some were, but many others were confused, and it was my fault as their manager. There’s hope.
Let us begin.
- Be clear on what you need to be done.
- Make sure they’re paying attention. See the whites of their eyes. Throw the devices out the window. I’m kidding. Throw them in the trash.
- Explain what you need to be done. Give details, list out the sequence, and any timing that may be appropriate. Tell them why it’s important.
- Now comes the magic.
- Ask them to repeat back to you what you just told them. Listen for accuracy. You’ll confirm if they were listening. You will also discover that you are not very good at communicating clearly.
- Let them ask questions for clarification.
- You both now feel better about what needs to be done.
It’s that simple.
But it works for anyone at any age, not just kids. It’s common to think you made yourself clear, but you didn’t. Assuming that they understood you is what gets us all in trouble.
As fathers, we want to be obeyed because we’re big adults, and our word is the law. It turns out, our word is a suggestion at best, and our kids are confused because we lack clarity.