Could Connecting Be This Simple?

I coach a lot of families with teenagers. For many, they find me because they are having trouble connecting…truly connecting and feeling like they “know” each other. LIfe is moving fast, and is typically relegated to dealing with the day to day, completing the tasks that have to get done and just making it through. What is missing, many times, are those moments of real connection.

So how do you create that real connection without having to take a course, learn a new technique or spend tons of time figuring it out??

The answer is…give more acknowledgements. 

Many times, with so many demands on our time and attention, we forget to compliment or acknowledge one another. We forget to tell someone what we see in them that is meaningful to us – we assume they know that we love and appreciate them. Assumptions get in the way of creating the connection that is so very needed.

Before I go on, I want to make the distinction between compliments and acknowledgements. Compliments are wonderful to receive, and usually point to something a person has said or done. Compliments are focused on “doing”. Acknowledgments are different. Acknowledgements are about how you “see” the other person. It is about their “being”. While we may compliment someone on the way they look, or the result they achieved on a test or a project, an acknowledgement is different…it feels different. An acknowledgement is when we dare to tell someone who they are to us. For example, “You are such a kind person” or “You light up a room when you tell a story.” Can you feel the difference between that and something like, “I like your shirt” or “Great job getting that A!”

If you are ready to create deeper connections in your family, compliments are great, and acknowledgements are even better. Dare to declare the impact that your family member is having on you and see what happens. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Make this a consistent, daily habit and watch for the results – I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at what happens!