Quick Tip

Can I Get a Witness?

When you hear the word witness, you automatically think about observing a crime, or a miracle. But the coaching skill of “witnessing” can be really powerful when you use it with your family.

As a witness, you watch, or listen, without “doing” anything. You show that you are paying attention. You recognize that something important is happening in another's life. It could be as simple as a skinned knee, or being there for a school play.

We all need to be seen, to have someone else pay attention to what's going on in our lives. That's what your kid wants when he calls out, “Look, Dad!” from the top of the slide. It's also what your spouse needs when she tells you about a hard day.

So the next time you find yourself getting annoyed at another shout out on the playground, or frustrated by the complaints at the end the day, remember that you are doing a service just by being there. Ask, “what else?” and keep on listening. As a witness, your job is to acknowledge, and just be there.

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