This week Katie and I are talking about how to listen at work and how fear changes our ability to really listen to what another person is saying. Yes, listening and fear! Fear does impact our ability to listen and impacts all of the other parts of our body too. It does impact our body. We start out by discussing a study that was conducted on listening in which participants were given either an aversive smell or sound and then were asked to perform a task. The participants task performance declined significantly compared to a control group and remained mildly impaired even a day later. The point of this study was that fear from the aversive sound impacted the individual’s ability to perform a manual task as well as listen for specific instructions. The fear of the aversive sound changed the perceived environment even a day later. The big deal here is understanding how our bodies are impacted as well and that we can’t “just get over it”. The body does have it’s own logic.
We also discuss all of the areas that are impacted by fear beyond just our own cognition. Here are all of the parts of the body that are impacted by fear and stressful situations: the amygdala, the locus coreleus, the prefrontal cortex which is our higher reasoning center, the anterior cingulate cortex, the hippocampus which has a great deal to with our body movements, the adrenal glands, the live, the skin (the largest organ in the body), the intestines, the muscles, and…your head. The point of all of this fancy science is to demonstrate that fear not only impacts us cognitively, it also impacts our actual body and our performance; including our hearing. Keep in mind then that listening will be impacted too. Well, you might be wondering what you can do about it? Well, we discuss our “invitations to mastery” too in the show which include turning off those alerts on those phones and use your listening to enjoy soothing sounds such as music and especially those that don’t have a lot of words.