Being Heard

On the Other side of Listening: Being Heard

I was recently at a conference of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (people who do what I do for a living). The keynote speaker was a photojournalist. Halfway through his talk, he looked down. Everyone in the front row was drawing what he said. He chuckled in surprised appreciation. Being a photographer is often a solitary occupation and doesn't allow for the experience of seeing how others respond to your work. Here, people were responding to his words, visibly, in real time. It was evidence that they were listening intently. He felt heard -- and seemed quite moved.

Drawing of a chart with a question: I think you said this: did you?

Graphic recording isn't just sketchnoting in large format, though it uses a lot of the same skills.

Often, people in a meeting are so focused on what they want to say that they're not really listening to anyone else. If I can get down what they say, they can relax. I often turn around and make eye contact with the person who just spoke to give them an additional cue that I heard them. The energy in the room shifts. The talkers-not-listeners can then start participating, contributing in a meaningful way to the creative process. Graphic recording is a path to making that happen.

I added a video to my Listen-ink Facebook page to explore this topic further.

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