The Power of Connected Relationships

3 minute read Jun 02, 2016

May has flown by and we have had the good fortune of speaking all over KZN over the last six weeks - from Hilton College to Umghlanga College and from the Kinesiologists Association to the Professional Speakers Association, NAPTOSA and Winterton Primary School!

The central tenant of our talks, lately, has been the power of emotions and relationships in our lives. Healthy relationships require a healthy emotional intelligence in order to grow and to feed us in a way that brings out the best in us and those in our lives. This is relevant for parent to child, educator to child, child to child or adult to adult relationships.

Choice breeds respond-ability
When we are aware of our emotional states and we can process and navigate what we are feeling it gives us choice of how to respond. It is in these responses that we often either make or break relationship. Choice breeds respond-ability. Lack of choice breeds reactivity. In our anecdotal research we are clear; flying off the handle never leaves anyone feeling great! So the first step towards achieving freedom of choice is to know how you are feeling.

Connection is the optimal condition learning
We are also finding more and more teachers are resonating with our message. Educators can expand upon the opportunities in the classroom to bring out the best in children through authentic connection. Conversely when teachers are shouting, punishing, slamming a hand on a desk, humiliating, shaming or blaming, kids' brains are put into their primitive fight, flight or freeze response and the optimal brain states for learning are lost. The same area of the brain that moderates relationship also moderates learning, motivation and memory. This makes connection the optimal condition for learning.

Three simple ideas to build relationship are:

  1. Pay attention to your own emotional states
  2. Golden Silence
  3. Use Questions


1. Pay attention to your own emotional states

If we are not aware of what emotional state we are in we may sacrifice connection at the hands of frustration, exhaustion, anger or resentment. If we know what we're feeling we have a choice to wait and respond rather than flying off the handle.

2. Golden Silence
Try and allow children space before we charge in with judgement or opinion. This allows children to sometimes process in a full circle landing back at where they need to be without our intervention.

3. Use Questions
Questions are a simple and powerful way to connect. Try these: How are things going? What's going on for you? Tell me more. What is your experience? How does that sound to you? What does that make you think about? I wonder what was going on for you then?

Interested in our Signature Course
We keep getting enquiries from all over the country from parents interested in our course so we are now building a database of interested parents so that we can bring our Signature Course to your area. Please register your interest here in the relevant town and we'll be in touch once we reach the needed threshold of interested parents.

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