Discover your Listening Villain
Apple Award Winning Podcast
Podcast Episode 015: Listen like a voice coach – Lisa Lockland Bell helps you understand how to listen to tone, timing and cadence of speech and hear beyond the words

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Lisa Lockland-Bell is a Leader in Vocal Communication. Her ability to Diagnose, Heal and Reveal the potential that lies within each human voice is Spectacular. A respected Keynote Speaker, Vocal Coach and Facilitator: With over three decades of experience, her unique perspective on vocal communication forms the foundation for her skill based speaking and training programs. Highlighting the importance of using your Voice for Positioning | Impact | Influence. Her strategies are innovative yet simple, with a clear framework that are unique to Speaking within the New World.

Why?

Lisa has studied vocal communication with the world’s best, performed as an opera singer and coached internationally for more than 30 years. The true richness in Lisa’s communication mastery comes from her profound battle with cancer not once, but twice, arousing a deeper exploration of how human beings communicate. With more than 20 years of research into alternative therapies and understanding of the inner voice, Lisa has combined her skill-based training with elements of survival, reinvention and core values, making her the expert on both the internal and external voices.

Now, passionate about building confidence within the individual and organisations: Lisa’s life work is to Change Results and lives one tone at a time. From tweaking your embouchure to getting the most from your resonating cavities, Lisa knows the human voice intimately. Now, she distils this knowledge into useful communication skills training. Whether it is an intimate one-on-one negotiation or working with a room of staff. Lisa has the knowledge to improve your vocal intelligence, presentation, persuasion, negotiation and public speaking skills.

How?

Lisa knows your voice has the power to break a heart, seal the deal or change the world. But, do you? From the first day Lisa started speaking and coaching, the hearts and minds of the people she works with have been the centre of her business model. Her strategic approach helps you release a restricted voice, soften a forceful tone, strengthen a timid response, make a deeper connection and break down the barriers to effective communication.

Tune in to learn

  • The importance of listening to yourself first.
  • Attaching an internal voice to your external voice.
  • How to listen and learn voice, listening, and emotional intelligence from an Opera singer.
  • Remaining present on stage and bringing magic to the audience and understanding the conductor intimately.
  • Being 125% ready or insecurity will step in and create tension in the body.
  • Being intensely present, yet human and have humility.
  • The conductor can hear the movement of the audience and tell if they are getting bored.
  • Voice coaches help people have control over their voice and communicate on different levels.
  • Six steps for improving your voice.
  • Shift the mindset to understand what you are doing when speaking.
  • You can change the way that you structure sound.
  • Physical responses when listening to a voice which comes from vibration.
  • Speaking with belief and leaving no room for interpretation.
  • Synchronizing breathing for deeper listening and understanding.
  • Breathing deeply and feeling intake of breath and bringing your brain into focus.
  • Indicators of what is not being said such as gestures and body language.
  • How deeply someone can listen, and the Armenian women speaking about Lisa.
  • She was able to understand by observing and measuring the space between words.
  • Lisa had learned all of the cues of timing and inflection and understood that they were talking about her.
  • She is very attuned to what people speaking other languages need to speak English.
  • An accent doesn’t hinder your ability to communicate it’s your intention and inflection.
  • Feeling the pain and having empathy while listening and developing techniques and strategies to help younger people through the process of struggle.
  • Asking questions about the lives of older people. Life attaches itself to the voice.
  • For both men and women the emotion is just under the surface. For men, it is what is coming out of their mouths as opposed to tone.
  • For women, listen with empathy.
  • Learning to trust your gut and then daring to give it a voice.
  • Being brave and doing what you are meant to do on this Earth.
  • Listening for emotion with your right ear.

Transcript

Episode 015: Deep Listening with Lisa Lockland-Bell

Oscar Trimboli:

Deep Listening, Impact Beyond Words.

Lisa Lockland-Bell:            

I’m listening for the nuances and inflexions. I’m listening for when you make a statement, are you actually landing the voice with a downward inflexion, so that that gives me a feel that you really know what you’re talking about, then I have confidence in you. I’m listening for when you’re asking a question, have you got an upward inflexion or is there a downward inflexion, which gives me a feeling of maybe I’m not saying what you want me to say. I’m also listening to the way that you deliver the timing and the cadence.

Oscar Trimboli:

In this episode of Deep Listening, Impact Beyond Words, we understand truly the power of words beyond what’s said. Come and discover what we learn with Lisa, talk to the power of how important it is to listen to yourself first, how important it is to attach an internal voice to your external physical voice. This interview was so transformational for me. It absolutely blew my perspective about how deeply somebody can listen.

There’s an amazing story of Armenian women speaking about Lisa. Even though she can’t understand Armenian, she was able to understand by watching them and noticing the spacing between the words that they were actually talking about her. This is quite far the most honest and open interview I’ve ever conducted with anybody. Listen carefully at the end when we explore what’s unsaid and Lisa brings her inner voice to our interview.

We all think of an opera singer as they sing, but an opera singer has to carefully listen to the conductor and the orchestra and many other things in preparation for stepping onstage. What do you think our audience can learn from the way you listened as an opera singer?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

There’s a lot behind that question. In all of our training, we spend years and years and years not only learning musical ability and vocal technique, but also an incredible amount of emotional intelligence. When we get on that stage and we have 100-piece orchestra behind us, which I always knew is my team, and I have 2,000 people in front of me that are projecting all different energies and visual components, it’s incredibly important to remain very, very present in that space.

I always relate back to the moment you walk onstage in rehearsal space with the conductor. Everything’s on high alert. Every sense is on high alert. Where is my place? How do I have a very deep and meaningful relationship with these people in this rehearsal so that we can bring magic to the audience usually the next night, and how do I understand the conductor very intimately in the way that he moves, the way that he breathes, and commands his team to come together? I think that’s the answer is to be very, very present and be listening with every sense.

Oscar Trimboli:

Inevitably, we get distracted, even in moments of performance. How do you keep yourself completely present, Lisa, during those performances?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

One of the ways is to be 125% ready. If I am not ready, if I haven’t got all of my script, my music, my technique in exactly the right position, then my insecurity will step up and my brain will start to take over, which creates a lot of tension in the body. We do have to be intensely present, and sometimes that doesn’t happen.

I remember a moment where I was actually heavily pregnant on the stage with a big audience, big orchestra, and the conductor took that breath, and I moved with him and went to sing the first phrase, and I had nothing, absolutely nothing. I didn’t know what note I was starting on. It was just all gone. I just looked at him and he looked at me, and it was a very beautiful moment of recognition that, “Hey, we’re human, and sometimes this happens.” I looked to the audience and I said, “Let’s try that again,” and in that moment, I also gave them permission to be human and we make mistakes.

One of the things that I’m always talking about in being a presenter on any level, whether it’s a musician or a speaker, is that you must have humility. You must be able to be human on that stage. Sometimes things don’t go right, and you just address them accordingly with elegance and allow that space for magic to happen, even in the error.

Oscar Trimboli:

The relationship between the performer and the conductor is quite special. It’s quite intimate. It’s quite unique. How do you listen differently to the conductor in rehearsal compared to on performance night?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

In rehearsal, and I’m going to think about being in another country with a conductor who doesn’t speak your language, and an orchestra that doesn’t speak your language, either, and the language that we do speak is that universal language of music. In that rehearsal space, I am immediately fast tracking the relationship so that I understand what that facial expression means.

I understand, I watch his communication with the orchestra in giving them direction. I watch his mannerisms so that I can then translate that into my own language. The biggest thing for me is about feeling his breath and movement, and that’s where the intimacy comes in, because it really is about meeting someone and saying, “Hey, let’s have a really intimate relationship very quickly,” and getting past all of those insecurities.

The more time that we allow for those natural relationship qualities to grow, we fast track incredibly differently. What do I do different in the rehearsal is that I am doing all of those relationship challenges and experiences so that I know that when we get up onstage together the next night that it’s going to be as if we’ve worked together for years and years and years.

Oscar Trimboli:

They say good conductors are focused on the performance and the orchestra and great conductors simultaneously are listening to the orchestra and the audience. How do great conductors listen to an audience when their back’s to them?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

As soon as you step foot onstage, you have a feel from the audience. How do I put that into words? I can’t. It’s collective energy that comes forward, just in the way that they clap, their enthusiasm. When he turns his back to the audience, he’s already got a reading on where the audience might be.

It could be a Friday night. People are rushed to get to the theatre to watch the performance. They’re a little bit stressed, and so the applause is a little bit more laboured, a little bit, “Thank goodness we’re here,” and you can feel the breath from the audience and the tension as they sit down and start to relax.

You’ll also be responding to the soloists who can actually see what’s going on out the front. He’ll be watching for cues as to where the audience is, but I think overall, he’s feeling the audience. He can feel the response in the movement. If there’s a lot of movement going on in the audience, he will hear that. He will hear if they’re getting distracted, bored. He can respond accordingly if that’s appropriate. If they’re excited and they’re starting to relax and really starting to enjoy, likewise, he can also invite the audience.

There’s not a disassociation. The orchestras particularly of today are much more open in the way that they work with their audience, so they’re receptive to their needs and desires and will actually invite the audience to come along with them. That may mean just every now and again, just turning to them or turning around and giving them an eye or inviting them to clap along. It’s not about the audience is going to sit there and just watch and experience the orchestra. It’s about we all come together and create this experience.

Oscar Trimboli:

Everybody can understand a day in the life of the opera singer, but not everybody would understand the day in the life of a voice coach. What is voice coach and what does a voice coach do?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Well, this particularly voice coach, I of course have come from a musical background and have been coaching singers for many years, more than 25 years. That has transitioned over the last 10 years, and that was a very organic process where I started to attract professionals and people who wanted to be able to communicate on a deeper level and have control over their voice and make a bigger impact with their voice, so they came to me for singing lessons primarily so that they could develop and strengthen their physical voice.

That was something that was really interesting to me. Just it really tapped into something that excites me and I love being around business professionals, so I started to explore that, and what does the market really need and what does the market understand.

I’ll use the lawyers as an example. The law profession doesn’t necessarily learn the skillset of being a speaker and how to get up and do a five minute presentation or how to walk into a networking room and make that impact. I spent a number of years understanding what that gap was, and how I could actually help the law industry and other professions in developing their voice and making them use their voice so that they can position themselves in a market that is powerful.

It’s a very competitive market out there, and people are starting to understand and learn that the voice is an integral part of those relationships. That’s how I’ve come to where I am today, and that’s the dominant side of my business is that I work with professionals and develop their ability to communicate.

Oscar Trimboli:

For those who are coming from a corporate perspective, and I am looking to hire you as a voice coach, what are some of the steps you’d take us through to improve our voice?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

I have six steps. What I do in that space is first of all identify, diagnose what the individual needs, where their voice is sitting, understanding who they are, their upbringing, and what they want to achieve, where they can envisage their voice getting to.

The first step is to shift the mindset in making them understand what they’re actually doing when they’re speaking, and it moves way beyond just opening their mouth and relaying information. Making them understand that their voice is a vibration, and the way that you deliver your voice is incredibly important so that you create a sympathetic vibration that lands on the listener, and that sympathetic vibration is one that they actually like and they don’t have a reaction where they say, “No, I don’t like that person. That person doesn’t resonate with me,” or, “There’s just something about that person that I don’t get.”

I really dive into making them understand that we need to come from a different place of intention when you’re speaking and making sure there’s no room for error, attaching your thoughts, your beliefs, your desires, what your message is to the world to your breath, making sure that that filters through your vocal chords effectively. You put that into your resonating cavities through the articulator, formulating the shape of the words, and then that creates that sympathetic vibration.

That’s the first step, and we then attach a lot of breathing exercises and making them reconnect with what our natural ability is, and that is to breathe perfectly, and peeling back the layers that come as we get older and conditioning and stress intention. We tend to breathe very shallow, so making sure that we’re breathing down into the diaphragm, so giving them a very physical understanding of what they’re doing with the voice.

We move forward from there into other elements of the physical voice, understanding articulation, creating a beautiful, resonant tone. Unfortunately, most people hate the sound of their voice. If you ask them, they say, “No, I hate the sound of my own voice,” so actually making them realise that you can change the way that you structure the sound. We can’t change your physical makeup, but we can change the way that you’re producing that sound. That usually gets them very excited.

We move forward, and depending on what they want to achieve, if they want to be able to get up and do a 30-minute presentation, we go through the process of getting them to be able to do that by the end of the six months confidently, and they have a skillset that they can call on, which eliminates a lot of the nerves and they move beyond that fear and shackling that can happen.

Oscar Trimboli:

Lisa, to help our audience, they’re listening to my voice and they’re listening to yours. What are you listening for in my voice while we’re in dialogue, and how can I improve?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Not to put me on the spot. Okay, on a very simple level, the first thing that I’m listening for, is my physical response one that I like the tone of your voice or I don’t? Is there elements that we can have a discussion where we’re going to get on that same wavelengths, like if you’re tuning into the radio station. Let’s call it ABC. Are we on exactly the same channel? That comes through vibration and aligning those vibrations and perhaps mirroring the way that we’re speaking together. I’m listening for that straight away.

What do I have to do to match your vibration or what do I have to do to bring you into alignment with mine? There’s a little dance that goes on in this environment. If we’re going to have a conversation, we want to make the most of it and bring clarity to what we’re talking about, it’s important for me to understand how I can benefit you and how you can actually come and we match each other. I’m listening for the nuances and inflexions. I’m listening for when you make a statement, are you actually landing the voice with a downward inflexion, so that that gives me a feel that you really know what you’re talking about, then I have confidence in you.

I’m listening for when you’re asking a question, have you got an upward inflexion, or is there a downward inflexion, which gives me a feeling of maybe I’m not saying what you want me to say. I’m also listening to the way that you deliver the timing and the cadence, so are you just rattling off in a really rapid question without putting thought into it and making sure that it’s very clear and it’s well-executed.

Oscar Trimboli:

How would your role model a downward inflexion versus an upward inflexion so our audience might be able to notice that when they’re listening to somebody else?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

I was working with a politician. This particular person was giving a presentation that was incredibly important, and she went like this. “I’m happily married, and I’ve got six children, and I live in Melbourne.” Everything had this upward inflexion, which is a very common thing here in Australia. We have these upward inflexions, but the upward inflexion implies question.

I’m listening to her and looking at her and I know who she is and I know she’s a very confident, astute woman, so why have you got this question in your tone? Because the listener unconsciously is going to go, “Is she really happily married? There’s just something there that doesn’t feel right,” whereas if she said, “I’m happily married. I’ve got two beautiful children, and I live in Melbourne,” there’s no room for misinterpretation there. It’s landing. This is who I am. This is what I believe in, and this is what you can expect from me. I feel immediately more comfortable in that space.

Oscar Trimboli:

A lot of our listeners are in a workplace, and conversations are often rushed or poorly planned, and breathing that you mentioned earlier isn’t present. One of the things that, from Canadian University in 1992 did a piece of research that basically said the deeper you breathe, the deeper you listen.

There was additional research in there that more productive dialogue happens when breathing is in synchronisation, which is something you spoke to earlier on when you were synchronised between yourself, the audience, the conductor, and the musicians, and your breathing. You talked of the intimacy there. In preparing to listen in a workplace, what advice would you give from a perspective of a voice coach?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

I think in that movement towards the meeting room, for me, it’s about bringing in the focus of the brain, making sure that I’m present so that I would be concentrating on my every step, feeling my foot land on the ground, feeling that movement. I’d also be breathing quite deeply so that I can actually feel that intake of breath and listening to my breath, so coming back in, almost like a little mini single point meditation. As you walk down, you’re just bringing that brain right into focus so that when you come into the room, you are present and open to whatever is about to be delivered and receive it without judgement.

Oscar Trimboli:

As a voice coach, how do you listen to what’s not being said?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

I look for the indicators with content, eye movement, gestures. I’m listening for the synergy between the colour of the tone that they’re using in alignment with the word that they’re actually using. Do all of these elements match up? Is the body telling the same story or is the body telling a different story? I’m looking for all these cues where they may be saying one thing, but the rest of your communication, the physical body, within the physical body, is telling me something else.

Oscar Trimboli:

Can you think of an example where you’ve noticed that happening?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Oh gosh, I notice that happening all the time. That immediately spurs up my experience with my greatest teacher, and that was my father. My father was a bipolar schizophrenic, and I grew up in an environment where my livelihood, my mental health, was challenged, and I had to be on high alert as to whether I was going to be verbally attacked by every nuance and inflexion that my father gave. I could understand what mood my father was in by the way he drove up the driveway in the car, the rev of the engine, the turn of the wheel on the stones.

My learning and my ability to diagnose what’s going on in people and where their blockages are all comes from my father. It’s a precarious upbringing, but I’m very grateful for it now, because it’s made me the empath that I am and the way that I feel my clients, I can very quickly diagnose where that’s coming from, whether it’s a little bit of a psychological issue, if it’s conditioning, was there a moment in their life that someone told them that they sounded terrible when they spoke, have they actually engaged and made that a part of who they are when that’s not the truth.

Oscar Trimboli:

In your work as a voice coach, how do you listen to people who are from different parts of the world from you, from different cultures to you, and from different languages to you compared to people that may have a common background to you?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

This is I think where I excel, and I think my training musically has helped me greatly, and of course what I just mentioned about my upbringing. One of the things that I noticed when I was in Armenia many years ago was I was standing within a group of ladies. I think it was about four of us. They were having a conversation in Armenian, because I don’t speak Armenian, and I’m the only English speaker and they were very courteous and conscious that I didn’t, so they didn’t spend a lot of time in their own language.

In that space, I would interact as if I knew exactly what they were talking about, and to some degree, I actually did, because I’d spent so many years with foreign speakers that I’d learnt all of the cues, and that goes into there’s a common element in most languages, and that comes back to those nuances and inflexions and the timing and the expression. Also, most importantly, is the colour in which they deliver certain words match the meaning of the word? When I was in that environment, they turned to me and they said, “Oh, we didn’t realise you spoke Armenian,” and I said, “No, I don’t.” “But you understand what I’m saying.” I said, “Yes, so don’t talk about me, because I will know.”

I think when I work now, and I work with Russian, Spanish, Indian, and different cultures, I’m very attuned to what they need to be able to speak the English language, because a lot of them struggle, and know the tools that they need to transition from their own language into English. A lot of it has got to do with timing, of course. A lot of it’s got to do with articulation and the way they structure the words.

Beyond that, it’s actually the same thing when you’re talking about we need to make sure that everything is in alignment. Having a strong accent doesn’t hinder your ability to communicate. It’s your intention behind what you’re saying and the colours that you’re using and the cadence and the timing, the pause, et cetera, is where they need to strengthen.

Oscar Trimboli:

Equally, how do you listen differently between clients who are younger than you and clients who are older than you?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

First of all, let’s go with the younger. Because of my upbringing, a creative, overly sensitive girl growing up in the environment, when I listen to young people and I work with a lot of introverts, people who are struggling to make themselves heard and find their place in society, I feel their pain, because I went through a very similar thing and I can tap into that and understand immediately where they need the help, where I can help. I’ve developed techniques and strategies to help them in their own language and know how to nurture them through that process.

I’ve taken very young 13 year olds who are really struggling psychologically, without going into a lot of detail, just struggling psychologically to two years later, just thriving. That was all about me getting onto their level and guiding them through the transition that needed to happen, because I have been through something very similar.

How do I work with older people? It’s a very similar process. I probably need to know a little bit more about their life and I ask a few more questions, and what has their life delivered for them. What I find in older people is that life attaches itself to the voice. Let me give you an example. You might have a 45 year old single mother who has been through a heck of a time, and she needs to go out there and get a job, but when she opens her mouth, there’s this resentment and this bitterness. She doesn’t do it with intention. It’s just what life has attached to itself.

Most of us would know experiences or have had a conversation with someone and we walk away and feel absolutely drained and, “Oh my goodness, I couldn’t spend another minute with that person.” I do have clients in that bracket that just their voice is stopping them from moving forward because life has attached itself and it’s making an impact in their environment. That comes from a healing perspective and making them aware that the clipping of the ends of words and the way that they’re delivering their sentences a lot of time is so fast. There’s no breath in between any of the words, that we feel agitated listening to them.

In fact, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this science recently. They’ve done research with babies, and little babies can be in an environment where their parents might be arguing. The baby will start getting upset. I remember this with my children, as well. I was like, “How do they know what we’re talking about? How do they know? It must be the tone and the way that the pitch rises.”

They’ve actually found, the scientists, that it’s the space between the words that changes, that the behavior’s going into a fight and flight response where it feels threatened, so when you’re upset, you don’t take a breath. It’s just, “You did this and then this happened and then I went down the road and I don’t forgive you,” and everything’s really heightened, which I found fascinating, I found absolutely fascinating. Those are the sorts of things that I’m listening for when I’m diagnosing with older clients what’s really going on behind the voice.

Oscar Trimboli:

Finally, how do you listen differently to women from men?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Usually just underneath the surface of both men and women is the emotion of what’s coming forward in their voice. Men are a lot more mechanical in the way that they would like to work. In the men, I’m listening very much to what’s coming out of their mouth as opposed to what’s coming through their tone, and that sometimes doesn’t match. There might be a lot of bravado, but I can hear in the delivery that there’s a lot of fear.

With women, I’ve recently worked with someone who had struggled, in childhood, had struggled with their health. I could feel it. When you talk about sympathetic vibration, my larynx actually responds to the vibration that they’re delivering. That’s how sensitive I’ve become. I’ll start to feel this strain and I’ll start self-soothing my throat and go, “Oh, what’s going on? It’s really tight in there.” I might ask questions like, “Did you vomit a lot when you were a child?” “Oh my goodness, yes I did.” Okay, so I can feel that tension and that’s sitting there. We need to reset and teach the larynx how to relax. There’s all different elements.

Men and women, yes, I do listen slightly differently. The big difference is mechanical versus holistic approach in the way that I work with them a lot of the time, but for both, it’s about that sympathetic vibration. That’s what I’m feeling, and my body will start to replicate the vibration that they’re producing.

Oscar Trimboli:

With such a passion for your work, Lisa, why do you do it? It must feel very taxing to be this focused in listening to micro nuances in people’s voices.

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Because when people speak, I feel them. I’m a natural doer, and I naturally want to help people. I’ve been like that since I was very, very young. I don’t like seeing people go through pain, and particularly when I know that I have the skillset to help them.

The thing that we haven’t touched on today is that through all of my experiences and learning and training is that I’ve had cancer twice, and through that experience, I learned what my internal voice was. Not only do I have all the knowledge on the physical voice, but it’s my internal voice that really drives me. Every time I listen to someone, I’m listening for opportunity for growth and what I can feel is the possibility. Your voice is a reflection of what lies within, and so when I listen, I listen for that opportunity to help them get to that destination.

Oscar Trimboli:

What’s curious to me is what just happened to your voice. You did connect with your inner voice in that part of that dialogue, which was a little absent in our previous dialogue. What we’ve just done is explore what’s unsaid. How did you find your inner voice during your cancer?

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

I had to go and go against what my conditioning was, what I’d learned and believed in. I had to be really strong, and so that meant I isolated myself from family. I isolated myself from friends because the way that I was living and the way that I was processing life wasn’t working for me. If I didn’t do what I knew was right and trust my gut in every situation and listen for conversations and listen for information that I needed at that particular moment, I suppose being very, very present in that moment, I would be dead. That’s not being dramatic or exaggerating. I would absolutely be dead, because I had trusted other people around me, and that wasn’t in my best interest.

Learning to trust my gut and then daring to actually give it a voice was my greatest challenge, but also now my greatest, greatest joy in that I get to now impart and teach people and continue to grow and be on the journey myself. Am I at my destination? No. Am I always learning? Absolutely. Will my voice give me up sometimes? Absolutely. I have to check in, but I know now because my trials and tribulations and finding my inner voice and being brave, I know that I’m doing what I was meant to do on this earth. That’s what keeps me alive.

Oscar Trimboli:

For those of us listening, did you notice the courage, determination, and power in Lisa’s voice for the last five minutes and how that contrasted to the melodies of the first half of the interview? If we can listen at that level, we can hear the story people want to tell, rather than the story we think they want to tell. I love the way you have brought your inner voice into this interview. It’s very thoughtful and trusting of you to share that with the audience. I think the impact will be an impact beyond words. Thank you, Lisa.

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

Thank you.

Oscar Trimboli:

Wow, what an amazing perspective. What a deep and intimate listener Lisa is. She dances across so many domains. She speaks to people of different cultures and different nationalities, ages, groups, and genders, spanning both the musical world, and now the corporate world. What was most powerful to me was the way Lisa was able to listen to the market, and the way she created a listening system to listen to corporates, which enabled her to transition herself as a voice coach into the corporate world.

Finally, did you listen to the story that Lisa told about the gift her father gave her in growing up, and how she’s used something that could be perceived as quite negative into something powerful, productive, and impactful, not just for her, but for all the clients she works with? My favourite quote is, “There’s a space between the words that changes everything.” Notice the speed, notice the space.

If you’ve listened this long, I’ve got a little bonus part of the interview. When we stopped the interview, Lisa and I had a chat, and I was reflecting on how deep she was as a listener. Take a moment to listen how important it is to listen with your right ear and reinforces why listening professionals, whether they’re interpreters, coaches, psychologists, or any other, when listening for emotion, listen with your right ear.

Just lastly, I’m super curious about right ear versus left ear. In my interviews with people who professionally listen, such as interpreters, they actually have a preferred ear, and I do, too, for listening. It’s my right ear is the ear that I listen very deliberately through when I’m concentrating super hard. Just talk me through the right ear again.

Lisa Lockland-Bell:

What we do is we listen with the right ear, which is where we listen for the emotional content, because the emotional content sits in the higher end of the voice, so listening for that, and that translates to that left hemisphere. If you don’t have that flexibility in your voice with the emotional, we can’t connect to you emotionally, which is difficult then for us to open up.

The easiest way for you to bring some of that in is to practise bringing just a little bit more height into the sound. Rather than sitting in the bottom half of the tone, just allow that voice to come in just a little bit higher, and it’s just a little bit lighter, and just bring in that ability for us to connect a little bit more.

The right ear is the ear that we naturally turn our head for to listen for the upper partials in the sound, which is where the emotional content of a human being’s voice sits. If there’s no upper partials in that sound, it’s very difficult for us to get that deeper connection with you on an emotional level if it’s not there.

If you’ve got someone who’s speaking more monotone, which is okay in its space, in the right space, but if you want to take people and expand that possibility in the conversation, we need to have that upper partial, which connects to the left hemisphere of the brain, and that’s where the emotional receptors are so we can actually translate what’s going on within the content.

Oscar Trimboli:

Okay, so that makes complete sense now why the professional listener is so right ear orientated in their dialogue.

Oscar Trimboli:

Deep Listening, Impact Beyond Words.

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