Writing about the 5 response types: (1) Instructive, (2) Questioning, (3) Judgemental, (4) Supportive and (5) Empathic, made me reflect on my own style.
(hat tip to Dr David McPhee, Ph.D in Psychology)
Once I really got the nuance between the different response style, I would catch myself in the conversations to try and figure out what I was doing.
I took a poll of how I responded to my family, especially my children, and items (1), (2), and (3) came out top, with item (1) ahead by miles.
Response (4) generally came out when one of the kiddies have hurt themselves, and only if I’m not stressed or pre-occupied with work or some other non-essential train of thought.
Response (5)… only when I am very conscious and stop my automatic reaction taking over.
The bizarre thing is that I practice (5) a LOT with work colleagues, team mates, clients.
Why then, do my family not get the same empathy?
Why do I default to a authoritative, judgemental figure of authority who always thinks she is right?
I dare say I am not alone.
The prevailing theory is the same for a child who might be exquisitely polite in the company of others, but ferociously rude and obnoxious at home.
You know that your family will not leave you, even when you’re at your worst.
But is that fair?
I was mortified at my own behaviour, and it’s something that I am actively trying to change.
It’s not easy when my very talented son (in my opinion) is once again, dragging his feet about the daily practice.
But, baby steps.
It starts from being aware.