One good conversation can shift the direction of our lives forever.
Have you stopped and thought about how exciting and amazing it is that we can socialise and enjoy conversations with people? I want teenagers to use the incredible benefits of conversation to help them grow and develop into the adults they will become. I want them to build well-being, resilience, self-confidence, and understanding of perspectives and problem-solve through connections, relationships, and conversations.
In our lives, we have different conversations with different people and for different purposes. Our conversations with friends, teachers, co-workers, managers/supervisors, and parents differ. That is a good thing. We don’t want our friends to act like our parents, and we certainly don’t want our teachers to act like our friends. Conversations with these different people who know us in different capacities can offer great insights into our lives. When we understand the incredible power of conversations, there is so much we can get and learn from them.
Teenagers’ conversations about important topics are usually reserved for their parents or people they feel closest to.
Through conversations with their friends, they have the opportunity to belong, connect, to socialise. But at the same time, they get the chance to learn more about themselves, share in the teenage experience, and learn how friendships evolve, which is the power of conversations.
They learn more about themselves in the work environment through conversations with co-workers/managers or supervisors. When they interact with people in a work setting, they have many different conversations and learn about professional conversations.
We all know what a conversation is, but what about a deep, meaningful one? A conversation where you get something out of it, where it propels you forward instead of keeping you in the same place?
There are both listening conversations and two-way conversations. In a conversation, there is an initiator and a responder. You want the conversation to flow and gain momentum as the teenager builds understanding and acceptance and learns about good communication. An idea or perspective can grow and develop from many conversations or discussions.
When someone shares their situation, experience, and emotions in a listening conversation, it’s their time to talk it through or “vent”, if you will. It’s a wonderful way to gain conversation flow; this could be the perfect opportunity for previously unexpressed emotions to have their chance to get out, and the person speaking might find solutions and clarity simply by sharing.
The other person in a listening conversation gives that person the space to share. There is no judgement or interruption unless there is a need for clarification. For example, if it is the teenager and their parent having a conversation, this is the chance for the teenager to feel independent when they do the talking. Teenagers might need a listening ear to try and understand what is happening to them. They want to know that someone is there for them and that they have a safe space to share all their feelings, thoughts and experiences.
In a two-way conversation, both sides are taking part and actively listening to the other. Each person is interacting, and it’s a back-and-forth process. Of course, the older and more mature the teenager is, the more they understand this back and forth. Quality time and conversations are the essences of relationships; the better we become at them, the better the relationship is with ourselves and everyone we meet.
In the teenage years, the responsibility begins to shift in the conversation. We often don’t think about having a conversation with our young people about how to have a conversation; this is one of the conversations we have. When I connect with teenagers, we learn about a wide variety of conversation models and styles, and more importantly when and how to use them. It is incredible when we get the opportunity to support our teenagers throughout their lives, from childhood to adulthood.
You can have conversations with young people about my two latest books that have been newly published:
The Ultimate Experience: Discovering Me
The Ultimate Discover Journal
They can both be purchased now online.
Or connect with me through Facebook and Instagram: The Resilience Tutor.