Listening and Hearing

Talking is my occupation. Teaching is in a manner of speaking about talking and talking and talking.  Or, I should say that teaching is about attempting to communicate an idea in multiple ways.  Some of those ways are about your voice, others are about the hearing the voice of others, and sometimes its about reiterating their voice.

In this week, I have found my voice increasing muted by laryngitis, and it has made me think a little about the role of voice in my work, both in teaching but also in evaluation.  it almost seems as if you might not need a voice at all in order to allow your participants to share theirs.  But, really, evaluation and testing aren’t really about just listening, they are about sharing, framing, and positioning as well.  In honor the time spent by participants, one must create a situation that sets up the participant’s experience.

It isn’t just about the words that one says, but also about the tone of voice, the pacing of the things that are said, and even the inherent emotion in the phrases that are said. The evaluator or user experience tester is not unlike a hostess, setting up everything to put their guest at ease.  In a situation that is carefully organized, the participant is then able to share their ideas.

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