This weekend I saw a news piece about a video that’s gone viral on YouTube. “Every Opportunity,” published by the Atlanta Speech School, contains a powerful message about how adults talk to children. In some instances, the adults in the video ignore the communication efforts of the children and we can see how dejected they are. Sometimes, it’s not what the adult says, but how they say it- such as in the example of the cafeteria worker. The second half of the video shows the same scenarios, but with the adults responding APPROPRIATELY with positive, affirming communication.
In the news piece, the reporter made the “profound” statement about how important it is that adults really consider how they speak to the children in their lives. I remember thinking, “duh,” (note sarcastic tone here), I’ve told that to audiences for years. However, ignoring communication, sarcasm, aggressive tones, and hurtful comments are just as hurtful and damaging to adults, especially if it occurs repeatedly. The employee who is told he’s a slacker and the coworker on the receiving end of her peers’ sarcasm, are just as negatively impacted by harmful communication.
So I ask you to take the time to watch this short video and ask yourself if any of the negative examples look or sound like you when you’ve communicated with a child, your spouse, a peer, or an employee?
I’m embarrassed to say that I have probably looked, sounded, and acted like just about all the poor examples in the video at one time or another in my life. However, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be reminded of the RIGHT way to communicate every day when I write articles and blog posts and speak to my audiences from the classroom and the stage.
This week, after viewing this powerful video, I hope you’re reminded of it every time you’re in a hurry, in a bad mood, or frustrated by those around you and you take a deep breath and respond with positive and affirming examples like those demonstrated at the end of the video.