Getting Real With Jennifer Poole

One of the most important things we can do for those we care about it just listen, but you have to active in this process. Here are some tips to help you become an active listener, which will assist you in communicating with your significant other and your children. You can remember the steps as CRAVES:

C is for clarify. Ask who, what, when, where, and how to help you get the details about the issue. Avoid asking “why” because this can be seen as judgmental and make the person defensive.

R is for Restate and Reflect. Restate or paraphrase what you heard them say and reflect the emotion you think they are expressing.

A is for attend which is your nonverbals – eye contact, head nods, facial expressions etc.

V is for validating. We all like to hear something positive about ourselves especially when we are in a conflict.

E is for empathize. Put yourself in their shoes and express how you would feel if the roles were reversed.

S is to summarize the stories and emotions that have been expressed.

The following puts it all together is a simple, but somewhat cheesy, example:

“I am so frustrated that this house is such a mess and I am always cleaning.”
Clarify – What areas are frustrating you the most? What can we do to help?

“I get so frustrated to come home and have toys etc all over the house and people just sitting on the couch. I am not the maid!”

Restate/Reflect – You feel disrespected when we sit around and don’t help clean.

Attend – head nodding and turning off the football and focusing on her.

Validate – You are the best wife and mommy and shouldn’t have to do it all yourself.

Empathize – I would be frustrated if I wanted help and no one was stepping up.

Summarize – So you are feeling frustrated and disrepected since we haven’t been helping with the housework and we need to come with a plan to help you out.

There is still work to do to resolve the conflict but this open the lines of communication. We will discuss how to resolve the conflict in Assertive Resolution.