Let's be Heard

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen" Hemingway. 

One of the major positives about writing is that you only need to do it once for people to read it. Unlike talking, which, depending on who you're talking to, could take an awful lot more goes than just the first one. It's a conscious act to read something and therefore writing things down for people to read makes me feel like what I'm saying is important. It might not be...more than likely it's only
important to me, but in the whole scheme of things does that really matter?

I don't think it does.

As the mum of a five year old girl who has the world's most creative selective hearing, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like you're not being heard. There's also a lot of active listening involved in my new job. It's a skill that I think I'm quite good at and something that I absolutely love doing but it does make me realise how important it is to be properly heard, not just listened to! Especially as a woman. The rise of the Daddy blogger is fantastic, it sets a goal for new social norms for fathers to be fathers and not babysitters. But why is it that these men saying how hard it is being a full time parent and having to look after the house has got people thinking that actually, you know what, it must be pretty hard, when us women have known that for eternity? Is it a case of not making ourselves heard well enough? - Anyway, I digress slightly!

I find blogging is a great way of voicing my thoughts without having to blather on to my long suffering friends, who are all suburb listeners. But I have found myself hunting down tips and techniques for making sure what I'm saying in real life also gets listened to.

  • Have faith in what you're saying - people tune out when they can sense doubt.
  • Louder is not often easier to hear - I've got quite a quiet voice, but making it louder doesn't make me more well heard. Create your impact through words not volume. 
  • Ask questions - if nothing else it will show if the listener is actually listening!
  • Try to use people's names - engage them in the conversation.
  • Physical contact - especially in young children, a hand on a shoulder, or hand holding, can focus attention towards yourself.
(n.b. I'm an introvert so doing any of these takes a huge amount of courage)

Any other hints and tips will be well received, especially ones that mean I'm not spouting 'please brush your teeth' or 'please put on your shoes' more than a gazillion times a day. 

Word count still standing at 8674 but I'm off to write some more now so hopefully I'll hit the 10k mark before I next blog!!

Thanks for reading.

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