Listening is a skill. It is a skill that remarkably few people have to any degree.
In general we think of listening as staying quiet as someone talks.
But there is so much more to this skill and your natural writing can help you see where you excel and where … well, where you don’t excel!
Read on and identify your listening strengths and weaknesses.
First the message is received. You listen.
If you are listening, you can’t be talking.
The act of “not talking” shows in closed circle letters.
If you think of a circle letter (a, o, the circle part of g and d) as the mouth, when the mouth is closed you cannot speak.
When the mouth is open you can speak.
And although it is not strictly anatomically correct, if you talk a great deal, your mouth is very wide open.
So it is with your handwriting.
But hearing what the other person has to say is just the first step in active listening.
As you hear the words, you also get a sense of what is being said.
The more intuitive you are the better feel you will get about what is being said. Intuition shows in gaps between letters within script.
- only 7% of what we understand from what someone says actually comes from the words they say.
- 38% comes from the para-verbal indications, such as tone of voice, pitch and speed.
- And the other 55% comes from body language.
Obviously the ratio changes for phonecalls where body language is hidden.
Next you interpret and evaluate what you are hearing.
And how you do that also shows in your writing.
Analytical writers will do just that. They will analyze what they hear and come to critically thought out conclusions. Good for listening to some things, not so helpful for others.
Analytical shows in writing with sharp V formations at the baseline.
If you are emotionally responsive, shown in a far right slant, you might find yourself relating on an emotional level to the speaker, and allow that to override reason and common sense.
Of course, again, depending on what is being said, this could be just the ideal response.
And lastly, you respond.
If it is just calm information, then anyone might respond alike, with interest, politeness etc.
However if it is emotion creating information, such as someone in some kind of trouble might be sharing, your handwriting can give good clues to your strengths and weaknesses in responding.
Upright writer will respond calmly and on occasions may come across as cool or cold.
The far right-slant writer will respond with feeling and emotion, which may or may not be appropriate to the situation and may cause embarrassment in a less emotion-showing speaker.
The backhand slant writer is likely to relate this situation to one they have been in or heard of and start talking about that – which means they have stopped listening.
The writer with no lead in strokes might be inclined to respond very bluntly, rather than toning down their response.
The writer with either very tiny writing (concentration) or i-dots extremely close to the tops of the i-stems (extreme attention to detail) may zero in on one point in the story rather than seeing the entire situation.
On the other hand, the writer with very large writing (lack of concentration on one topic for any length of time) or confusion (lines of writing running into each other) may start to ask questions or discuss what they have just heard and go rapidly off topic.
The listener with tightly closed circle letters (the non-talker) will most likely have done a really good job of listening, but when it comes to feedback time are likely to be rather quiet.
Sometimes the speaker just wants to be heard, in which case this is an appropriate and desirable response. But when advice, help, information etc are sought, silence, or almost silence is not ideal.
Most people have a variety of listening skills. Being aware of where you are strong and where you are likely to lack the naturally ideal response can be helpful.
But one thing to always remember, listening is a two way exercise.
Active listening involves action and response from the listener, but that does not mean interrupting!
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