April 1, 2012
Reflections Part II
Listening has slowly become one of my stronger characteristics. While I am a better listener at work, I hope to be a better listener in the home someday. In my line of work it is very important to listen to everything you hear. A resident may be telling you something completely off the wall but if you are truly listening there is always something more there. I have a man in our memory care unit, for advanced stages in Alzheimer’s, whom is constantly coined aggressive and hard to deal with. I find that he is actually afraid and timid. Since the expectation of aggression is there the caregivers ...view middle of the document...
It’s the attending, understanding and responding that gets lost in the action somewhere. Once we can all get past those simple steps of complete listening then we can move on to deeper aspects of it all. Like why we listen and what are are we listening for exactly? If I want to zone out and relax and I chose to play some music I am listening to the tone and the beats, the melody. I had an emotional day and I play my favorite song to cheer me up, I am going to listen to the lyrics, the meaning behind the song. It is easy for me to use music as an example because it is so complex. One song can bring me peace by listening to appreciate. Another can bring me closure and competence while I am listening to comprehend.
It is hard to pin point what type of listener I am. I am a people-oriented listener while I am at work. I am a time-oriented listener at home. I feel that there are so many different settings and audiences that can create a different listener in all of us. At even given moment though, if we choose to truly listen to even one simple thing in a day we will be surprised by the knowledge and understanding it can bring.
Verbal communication is an amazing thing. It can start wars and end revolutions. It can bring families together and make enemies of countries. Sometimes even only a single word can impact an entire society. I can say I hate you today and tomorrow I love you. There is so much inside of what we verbally communicate. So much can also be said with so little and a lot can be spoken with nothing at all actually said.
With verbal communication also come barriers. I can travel to another country today and try to say what I need and the information is traveling nowhere. The same person I am speaking to can come to my country and try to verbally communicate their needs and nothing is understood. Sometimes even within the same country there are so many dialects that the same language can carry one word that can mean five different things.
I think of all types of communication, verbal communication is the most difficult. I also believe that the English language has got to be one of the hardest languages to learn. Gallagher said it best when he said “Why should I be serious about the language when the language is not serious enough to make sense?” in his 1980’s standup comedy shows. It is truly hard to put into words what he is trying to display in his shows. One of my favorites was, “Why do they call them Cowboys when cows is girls and bulls is boys? They ought to call them Bullboys and Cowgirls.” “Why do they call them buildings when they are already built? They ought to call them Builts.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWN9rTc08GU)
While verbal communication is very important, I feel there are times when nonverbal communication is just as, if not more, important. There are times when verbal communication is not possible and nonverbal communication is...