THE LANGUAGE OF LISTENING
Language gives us a platform to communicate our thoughts and feelings effectively.
Language is not just about talking it is very much about listening
Human Beings have been using language to express and convey thoughts and feelings since we arrived on the planet. We do this not just by what comes out of our mouths, but also through the movement of our faces, body and tone of voice.
We use language to either stay connected or to disconnect from the receiver. It is a way of expressing a push or a pull factor – language creates a chain of events that have a constant knock on effect, and this is the pattern I am very interested in as a Hypnotherapist.
When we think of the word ‘language’, we immediately think of our own languages we can speak, for example I can only speak, read and write in English. There are many spoken and written languages in the world. My recent google search tells me we have 6909 spoken languages available to us on planet Earth, all grouped in to ‘families’ of origin.
The Language of Listening
Language is universal, it’s not just a human concept: Computers have their own ‘code’, nature has its own communication system and of course land animals, insects and sea creatures use language in their own ways to be able to live and interact in a harmonious way.
The interesting thing is that we don’t have to be able to speak, read or write all 6909 languages to communicate effectively with each other, we as human beings have been blessed with another much more universal language to converse in. This is the subtle language pattern of gesture, expression and tone. The language of listening.
And this subtle universal language is what find myself using when I take a trip to a remote fishing village in South India, where nobody I meet speaks in English. Yet, I am still able to get a milky coffee with sugar, find a nice place to stay, book a trip on a fishing boat and ask for a mosquito net at night using my body, hands, face, tone of voice and comedic acting skills.
The Subconscious Language
In our hypnotherapy work, we understand this universal language pattern of communication and use it effectively to talk to the subconscious part of the mind. The subconscious mind is a command based mind and responds to commands delivered in the right way, much like coding for a computer.
The subconscious mind has a language of its own, and this is the language of the thought and subsequently how that thought then travels around our mind and body locating a place to express itself.
This expression has a push or pull factor. So, it either draws people together or the opposite pushes people away. Neither of these factors are good or bad, they both have their relevance and importance based on the circumstance or situation.
The Pull and Push Factors of Language
Let me give you some examples of where excellent pull or push communication is necessary:
Pull Factors –
- Generating Sales
- Building Rapport
- Attracting Clients
- Communicating Safety
- Establishing Trust
Push Factors –
- Encouraging and Motivating
- Teaching Independence
- Warnings of Danger
- Break Ups and Separations
- Endings and Closures
Rapport Building is the Key to Maintaining Good Communication
The building of rapport is like building a bridge towards keeping your subject’s attention. If you stop building the rapport, the bridge falls apart and you end up being swiped left.
The first step towards a successful communication is to learn to listen. From listening, we learn a lot. We learn how to solve problems by hearing the needs of those we are interacting with, so we know to say the right things to help in an engaged way. We are then able to respond appropriately, know when to step away when necessary and how to be more effective in that interaction.
The problem with this fast-paced, noisy world that we are living in is that everyone talks and talks and talks and not many people just simply and quietly listen.
How to Build and Sustain Rapport
Thoughts have a beautiful language of their own. We think with our brain and then our brain translates those thoughts into patterns which we call language. The brain then organises those patterns into a feeling, which then generates a reaction or a response. This reaction or response is followed by an expression of the face, a movement of the body, a verbal comment or a combination of all three.
When I tell people I am a hypnotherapist, I get two reactions. Either the surface of the eyes glaze over or they become wide and open.
The subtle reactions give me an indication of what to say next to maintain the connection with that person.
My job is to communicate watch the subtle language indicators and through the observation, make the next move.
If I wanted to get a disinterested person interested in something, in the case of eyes glazing over, I would either totally change the subject, or ask them what they do and listen to their answers, this helps you find a topic of interest that un-glazes their expression and starts building the rapport.
Once, the expression is unglazed, they become open, animated and the defence mechanism is no longer a barrier to communication. I can then pace and lead and keep the positive rapport going until I find a sweet spot of opportunity to steer the conversation around to whatever glazed their expression in the first place, and the glazing over may not happen again as the rapport has been built and stays strong.
When you learn to listen, you learn to hear
I am a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and it is my job is to help people find positive solutions to the problems that they may have. This requires me to be an effective listener. I begin by asking the right questions and listening to my client’s answers, and what I am actually listening out for is the solution.
I have trained my mind to hear solutions and not problems.
It is my job to steer my client away from the problem and actively listen out for the solution to help the client realise that they have the answer within their control.
I always say to every one of my clients that by definition of the word problem, there has to be an answer. Behind every problem there is a solution and when we learn to stop and listen the solution is revealed.
When you learn to listen, you hear the answers. Most of the time solutions are found in the space between the words.
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