In this episode, Christine interviews her dear friend and colleague, Nathalie Joel-Smith, about the importance of embodied listening in communication.
The importance of listening can sometimes get overlooked in communication coaching, both for actors and public speakers, even though it really is the vital component to connection within communication. Nathalie and Christine discuss what listening really is, why it can be hard to listen, and tools we can develop to listen better. Themes that come up are:
- Defining “Listening in” and “Listening out”: listening is a sensorial experience that involves tuning into our surroundings and who we’re talking to through our senses, as well as tuning into our internal experience through our sensations, emotions and thoughts
- The importance of breathing to listening
- Defining “Bodyfulness”— a term that encompasses mindfulness and includes the rest of the body’s experience. Nathalie mentions a great resource, a book called Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment, and Waking up to this Life by Christine Caldwell
- A discussion about the nervous system states of Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn and how they can impact our communication, particularly our ability to listen, when they become habitual states instead of important survival signals
- The vulnerability that listening requires, which is why it can be so hard (and yet so rewarding!) to do
Nathalie is a movement teacher, embodiment coach and performing artist. She does workshops and has online courses and coaching for embodied living, which is to do with how we navigate life challenges, desires and emotions with presence and compassion. Her background is in performing arts— she trained in Musical Theatre at ArtsEd. You can find out more about her at www.nathaliejoelsmith.co.uk and follow her on Instagram and Facebook @the_creative_body.
This episode will shortly have a follow-up episode where Nathalie guides us through an embodied listening warm up. Stay tuned!