Listening in More than One Way

Did you know that we listen with more than our ears? We listen to people when they talk to us or to others, if we eavesdrop a little, but there are multiple ways we listen. One of the main ways we listen is with our eyes. Often times we see what people are telling us. An easy message we receive with our eyes is “Bye, bye” that is taught to babies. We say the words, but we also wave our hands. It is so cute when babies wave backwards to themselves. They wave the way they see us wave at them. How about saying hi? We can do that with a wave of the hand or we can just mouth the word. We can sometimes read joy, pain, surprise, shock, anger, or an assortment of other emotions. We can see these emotions in people’s faces, but we can also see them in the way their body posture speaks to us. We can tell the confidence someone shows by the way they hold their head up, look us in the eye, stand tall, or hunch over with the look of defeat. Our eyes see everything. The question is, out of the vast amount of information our eyes see, how much of it is registered in our conscious minds? Our eyes see so much that we are never aware of consciously, but those pictures are stored in files in our minds forever. We may not be aware of them, but when needed, they become part of our conscious awareness and the foundation for our decisions. Indeed, our eyes are probably one the most used receptors of information humans have. The ears, it is assumed, hear messages. That is true, but the ears do other things too. For instance, the ears help us keep our balance. If the middle ear is damaged or off a bit, our world could be literally turned upside down. Have you ever thought of how we know which way is up? Balance comes from our ears. What about the air pressure? Our ears can tell us when the atmosphere is getting thin or the water is getting deep. Ears aren’t just for hearing. If we listen, our sense of touch can also receive communications. Is it hot, or is it cold? Are we wearing the right cloths; how do they feel on our skin. What about the warm touch from that someone special, or that sharp slap of reprimand? We often communicate through touch. We can use the other senses as well. Taste, smell, and for some the feeling that someone is staring at you or standing near are other ways in which we listen. Ideally, we recognize that listening covers much more than auditory perception. Of course, that is important to most of us, but if we truly listen, truly listen with as many faculties as we can bring to bear, then we will better understand what is being communicated to us. We will receive a much better picture of what is communicated. We will also be able to communicate at a much different level, and perhaps become better communicators in the process. ### ? Professor Marvell Lawson is an author of the forthcoming book “Small Business Superstar Speaking Secrets”, professional speaker, and communication coach who works with individuals and organizations wanting to deliver powerful speeches and presentations with confidence; and communicate more effectively, grow their business, make more money, and build professional credibility. Call me at 303.947.0962, or

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