Welcome to the first blog in a series of short thoughts about our hearing.
I'll be covering why it matters, how we can overcome the problems of noise, and how to get the most out of conversations with others including family, friends and work colleagues.
There's a lot of material on 'communication' these days, much of it excellent. We are told how to listen attentively, how to reflect empathetically what we hear, how to negotiate well, and so on. But I don't often see mention of something that is utterly fundamental to all of these skills: the ability to actually hear the other person's words in the first place. It's almost as if this is so obvious that it doesn't need to be mentioned, but the truth is that if you don't hear what's been said you can't process it or respond with confidence.
This is all-too-familiar to anyone who lives with a hearing loss. They know how much extra effort is needed to have a normal, relaxed conversation when your ability to hear is compromised. But the same problems will affect everyone who ever tries to talk in a place where it's too noisy, whether the noise is background music, other people talking nearby, heavy traffic, natural sounds, or any of the dozens of types of noise that surround us today.
These short blogs (with the emphasis on short!) will explore the many ways we can make life easier for ourselves and the people we talk to, so that we can make better connections and build stronger relationships.
Watch this space!