Recently I was telling an individual something that is of importance and of an intimate nature to me. Unfortunately I am not confident that they even heard me! So why do I write about listening? Because communication is such an integral part of our day whether at work or with our families and friends.
What happens to me when I feel that I am not being heard? Actually several things all in a matter of seconds.
The volume changes
For me the volume goes up and I become louder. However this is not always the case where some individuals will begin to disengage and the volume decreases as a transition to ending their end of the conversation.
The behavior changes
For me my body posture and facial expression changes. Though I am not looking in the mirror to see myself, I can feel the changes. My shoulders and neck become tight and I feel my forehead and eyebrows furrow. A wide range of behavior changes can occur. Think of small children and what you see and hear when they are not being heard!
What happens next?
It really depends on the context of the face to face communication and the context of the situation. Likely some level of trust has been violated.
For Active Listening tips – see the previous post "The Art of Listening"