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Sometimes listening is the best answer

December 14th 2018

Sometimes listening is the best answer

You never know when a young person might open up to you. Whenever it happens. Wherever it happens. Just be there. Be present. And listen.

We asked people on the street to pull a Christmas cracker with a twist. 

You don’t need all the answers. Don’t worry about that, it’s OK. You don’t have to be an expert, just a listener. 

Allow time for communication

This is a biggie. It’s critical to really give young people time and attention if you want them to experience you as a good listener. If you are not in a position to listen attentively to a young person, it is better to tell them and try to find a better time.  

Don't judge 

You’d be amazed at how often we are all guilty of doing this. Young people often feel judged by adults or fear that they will be judged by adults, so they don’t tell us what is really going on in their lives. We can also fall into jumping to conclusions. Once we start jumping to conclusions, we have stopped listening and are making up the ending in our own minds.

Keep an open mind and allow your ears to really hear what is being said, not what you think is being said or will be said. 

Don't dismiss their concerns

As adults, we can very easily forget what it’s like to be a teenager or young adult. From our perspective it might not seem like a big deal but it’s the young person’s perspective that matters. If they have gotten the courage to talk to you, don’t dismiss their concerns. Appreciate the effort. Acknowledge it. And listen.  

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