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The Joy of Hearing

The feeling I want to share with you through this post is my joy and the importance

of really hearing someone. This has been a long-standing characteristic of mine. Through my career I have worked in a variety of different settings and a key element of my professional practice is effective communication and building strong relationships.

I am the owner of a pre-school and our ethos takes influence from a variety of theories and approaches but mainly from the philosophy and works of Carl Rogers. Carl Rogers

has been a great influence on my professional practice, relationships, communication

and the early years provision that I have developed. One of the key aspects of the

Person Centred Approach developed by Carl Rogers is the importance of truly

listening to others.

In my opinion, listening is one of the most powerful tools we as human beings have,

quite simply because it is the way we learn and grow. When I really hear someone (a

child, parent/carer or staff member) it puts me in touch with them, enriches their life

and my own. It is through hearing people that I have learned all that I know about

individuals, about personalities, likes and dislikes and about interpersonal


When I say that I enjoy hearing someone, I mean, hearing deeply. I mean that I hear

the words, the thoughts, the feelings, the personal meaning and sometimes even the

meaning that is hidden below what is being said. Also when I mean hear someone it

does not have to be vocalisations or spoken language but instead is deeper than that.

When a staff member at my setting observes a child their aim is to truly listen to the

child through tuning into what the child is saying through spoken words, body

language, feelings or actions. When we listen deeply we are able to build empathic

understanding and put ourselves in the shoes of the child. By doing this we are able

to learn what the child is interested in, how they are feeling, their needs, their currant

and future development level.

Being heard has consequences. We have all experiences moments when someone has

truly heard and understood what we are saying and what it means to be saying it. The

feelings of joy, sharing, trust and care all come together to allow understanding to

grow and relationships to develop and strengthen. I believe that when a child knows

that they are being heard and there are people around them that care and are tuned in

to them then they can feel secure and happy, and can flourish and reach their full


In conclusion I believe the skills of communication are essential in the early years

environment as they are the key to building and maintaining relationships with young

children. In my opinion what is more important than how we talk is how we listen.

As the Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “You were born with two ears and one

mouth for a reason”; which maybe means that we should listen twice as much as we speak.

When we truly and deeply listen we have a better chance of getting to know the child

and in turn they get to know us better too as someone who cares for them and is

willing to listen to them in this way. Be self reflective and consider how effective you

are at truly and deeply listening to others as my opinion is that the consequences of

this kind of listening are enormous and long lasting.

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