There’s More Than One Way to Listen

I have some unexpected time today so thought I would write something. The only problem Is that i can’t think of anything to write about at the moment!

Instead of talking (writing) I can listen….

So what am I listening to today?

You don’t have to have big ears to be able to listen!

I’ve listened to many things today and I’ve listened to those things in many different ways and used far more than just my ears.

Outside, feeding the horses first thing, I listened to the birds singing and whilst listening I wondered about what they were trying to communicate and noted the different tones, notes and rhythms of their songs.

I heard the soft welcoming sounds from the ponies as they saw me approaching and then the more demanding “hurry up and give us our breakfast” tones as they became a little bit impatient. I also “listened” with my eyes to their body language in an effort to understand their non-verbal communication noting that, today, this all seemed normal for them and there was nothing that I needed to be concerned about.

Later whilst having breakfast I listened to the radio and heard many words but also many emotions coming from the people who were speaking or being interviewed on the news programme I was tuned into. The emotions that I picked up on were mostly frustration and anger and I noted that I didn’t want to absorb these emotions into my day so I quickly re-tuned the radio to hear some music.

I remembered how important it was yesterday to try to “listen” to my dog. He wasn’t feeling well and was just a bit off colour so I had to try and comprehend what his actions were trying to tell me so that I could meet his needs at that time. (He’s fine again today thank goodness).

When working with my clients today I have, of course, heard the words they have used but I’ve also checked to ensure that the spoken words aligned with their unspoken language in the form of gestures, way of sitting, the angle of their heads and the expression in their eyes. I have also had to be aware of atmosphere and emotion and how these have fluctuated throughout our sessions. I have noticed tension changing to relaxation, confusion changing to understanding and worry changing to hopeful anticipation.

If we are fortunate enough to have a functional auditory system then we can listen to spoken words. We then draw on all of our other senses to gain understanding of the fuller, and more complex, meaning of those simple words.

I wonder what YOU are “hearing” as you read these written words?