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Simple tools to help them open up

Learning to master the skill of attunement is essential for anyone who desires to be an effective leader. Attunement allows for a leader to create a deep and emotional connection with people to allow them to know you are truly present with them, and desire to help.

This week I decided to share a sample of what a conversation sounds like when you are focused on developing your attunements skills. By focusing on asking questions that connect or explore their feelings, you will see how I am able to connect and listen to not only what is said by the individual, but also listen for what isn’t being said.

NOTE: This is simply an overview of a conversation, but the names and locations are not real.


            John Doe. “Thanks for having me over. It’s been a while but we are excited.

            Freddie. “I’m glad you are here! So tell me about what’s happening. I here congratulations are in order!”

            John Doe. “Yes! We are engaged! We went on a trip to Miami, and I thought what better place to get engaged. We did some sight-seeing, and went on some tours downtown. I thought that would be a great place for me to ask her to marry me.”

            Freddie. “Wow! Congratulations! So did you have the conversations that we talked about? How did they go with your ex-wife and family? It seems like this was a major jump from our last conversation.”

            John Doe. “Yeah, I talked to my ex-wife about it a month ago or so. She just said “Okay” and said she doesn’t want her around our kids. I was glad to see that God has healed her and didn’t overreact.”

            Freddie. “Great! So how did the conversation go?”

            John Doe. “We were out with the kids at a store doing some shopping, and I let her know that there was something that I needed to talk to her about. She took it well, and really didn’t make a big deal about it.”

            Freddie. “Okay. That’s great! What about your family? Last time we talked they didn’t even know that you were in this relationship, and there seemed to be some hesitation about talking to your mom. Why is that?”

            John Doe. “Well…I told my mom. I was over her house and said that I had some important news to share with her. I told her that I was getting engaged…she just acted like she didn’t hear me and started watch Family Feud with Steve Harvey. You know that her favorite show.”

            Freddie. “So you told your mom that you were getting engaged and she just started watching TV? How did they make you feel?”

            John Doe. “Well that’s just how my mom is. If she doesn’t like something, she will just ignore it.”

            Freddie. “So how will that impact things with your fiancé? Didn’t she say having a relationship with her is important?”

            John Doe. “Yes, but I could care less about whether she has a relationship with her. I’ve tuned my mom out, and have stopped trying.”

            Freddie. “Why? Why don’t you care anymore?”

            John Doe. “I just don’t. She has never cared about my feelings! I’ve asked her for years to tell me who my dad was, and she never did. I told her that I would do my own research but would prefer for her to tell me, but she never did. She has never made me feel as though my feelings are important, so I don’t care if she has a relationship with my wife.”

            Freddie. “How did it make you feel when she didn’t tell you who your dad was?”

            John Doe. “Rejected…frustrated…confused. Why wouldn’t she just tell me. She just avoids any conversation that is uncomfortable.”

            Freddie. “So you feel confused and rejected when she brushes your feelings off. So what do you need? Do you want to have a conversation with her to let her know how much it means to you for her to acknowledge your feelings?

            John Doe. “Yes, but I’m not sure how to do it. But I will because my fiancé wants a relationship with her.”

            Freddie. “That’s great. Let me know if I can help.”

If you notice, every time I reflected on the feeling he was expressing, he began to open up more and more to what he was really dealing with. A conversation about getting engaged turned into a conversation about not knowing who his father was.

Remember, the person you are talking to has a life time of baggage that they are processing. By attuning with them, you give them an opportunity to open up and share what they are really going through.

That’s when you can really help them!

VISIT to connect with Freddie and find out more about his work building leaders in the community.

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