Hugo A. Roele

Hugo Roele

This blog is based on both my professional work as trainer, coach, mediator, writer and tool developer and the often unusual challenges I've faced in my personal life. More ...

Listening with three senses

When we think about listening, we often think about one of our senses: hearing. The result of listening is often described as 'being heard'. After working with cards like the Deck of Needs for more than 15 years, I've come to the conclusion, that you can reach a much deeper level of being heard, when you add two more senses: seeing and feeling. Your thoughts, feelings, wishes and needs are pleased, when they have been observed by one of your senses. They are even more pleased, when all three senses are involved.

"It's as if all my ideas, were rejected," the woman says.
"And you want to be seen and accepted?" I try to guess her needs.
"Yeah", she says with a big sigh. "I would love it if they see and accept me for, who I am."
I find the card 'acceptance' in the Deck of Needs and show it to her. "You want acceptance."
I see how the woman almost cries. "Yes, I so much want acceptance."
Then I hand her the card. She holds it in her hands, looks at it, puts it to her chest, then looks at it again. And then she really cries.

This is an example of listening with 3 senses. The woman and I started with hearing. The woman expressed her thoughts and I guessed the needs behind them. The 'yeah' and the big sigh were signs, that 'to be seen' and 'acceptance' were two needs that wanted to be found and heard. Considering her physical reaction, this need had been unfulfilled for a long time. When I showed her the card with acceptance on it, I noticed that her reaction increased. When I handed her the card, this was increased even more. She held it close to her body, looked at it, most likely heard it in her head and then ... started to cry.

We experience the world with 5 senses. Research shows, that all our senses (including taste and smell), can bring back a memory and all the thoughts and feelings connected to that memory. Most listeners have learned to repeat, what you've heard, so the speaker can 'hear', that you listened. Based on my experience I suggest you add:

These are just some of the possible suggestions to add more senses when you listen. Maybe in the future, we will also have tools, that allow you to add a specific taste or smell, that's connected to a story (this story is connected to the taste of strong coffee without milk and sugar or this story is connected to the smell of freshly cut grass in the spring after two hours of rain). I'm using all the methods above more and more often. I'm curious to hear, if you have other ways to listen with more senses. Please share them with me (and others) if you do.

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