On Thursday in our wonderful Q/A session, I promised to post information about LISTENING PARTNERSHIPS. Since you are ALL committed to using the Hand in Hand Tools, this is the perfect place to connect with another parent to exchange LISTENING TIME. To get the most support and release from your time together, it is imperative that you follow these GUIDELINES:
By following these guidelines, you will create SAFETY. That safety allows us to offload old hurts and fears, and think well about your families. Here’s how a session should go…
1. Decide on the amount of time you will each take
2. Start with what’s going well
3. One person shares, while the other person listens, while thinking the thought the person sharing is good and they will figure it out. Your warmth, presence and good thoughts are enough.
NO ADVICE! NO FIXING! NO REFLECTING BACK!!!
4. When the timer goes off, the listener asks the talker a detailed inane question, i.e. What are the designs of some of your socks? what’s in your junk drawer? name the colors of the rainbow? etc This helps your partner to reconnect to the thinking part of their brain, the cortex, and get their attention up and out, so that they can listen to you.
5. Then switch. As you listen think that your partner is GOOD and they will figure it out. When the timer goes off, ask the person sharing a question so they can get their attention back up and out.
6. If you can, set a time when you’ll meet again
7. End with something to which you are looking forward, something you appreciate about yourself, or something you appreciate about your partner
8. No talking about what the other person said – NO REFERRING!!!
9. No chit-chatting or asking for parenting advice – as much as you would like to – it can erode the safety of your time together
Here are the 5 principles which you can keep in mind as you are listening. You don’t have to do any of these things actively.
1. Respect your listening partner, and the power of your own attention
2. Pay attention to your partner’s issues, not your own during their turn
3. Identify the upset that your partner has chosen to work on.
4. Help your partner to release the emotional tension they talk about
5. Counter the feeling or behavior left by the hurt
Here are two articles that can help: