Talking can be hard.
I have three teenage daughters who have extremely different personalities. Because of this, and many years of psychology classes and continuously learning, I recognize the need to talk to each of them in a different way. We spent time together differently because of the varied interests of each child.
The problem I have recently run into is that while the daughters all recognize that the communication is different, they don’t all understand the “why” it is different. This has resulted in accusations of favoritism and “not listening.”
After a recent course in team communication as part of Boys and Girls Homes’ commitment to continuous quality improvement, I realize that a big part of the communication breakdown happening is a failure on my part to provide timely feedback to conversations. Two of my daughters are feeling like they aren’t being heard. So I am working through the ways to make sure that I provide the feedback with each interaction to make sure that they understand that the different communication is intentional, but not for the reasons they are assigning.
This is a skill that is required for all of our Cottage Life staff at BGHNC. They need to be able to provide the support each youth in care needs, but also provide the immediate feedback as to why it may sometimes feel different when watching a fellow youth receive their support. With the Waccamaw Way, each youth has an individualized plan and a treatment team that is actively involved in the creation and implementation of that plan every day.
As the youth move through the Phase System within the Waccamaw Way, there are new privileges and responsibilities. Making sure that everyone understands that because it is an individual process, the timing moving through the phases varies. Watching our Cottage Life staff help guide the youth through this process and the emotions is incredibly impressive. They communicate in a way that ensures understanding and ongoing support.
So my question for you today is, how do you talk?
Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.