This morning on my run I listened to a podcast of an interview with a classical singer. He was saying how immediately obvious it is, how someone is feeling emotionally, when your hear their voice. It struck me how true this is.
He was talking about the voice as it is heard in opera, that is an area that I know nothing about. However, I can immediately recognise how true this thought is because of other situations. I can think of so many examples of times where I have experienced this first hand.
I am particularly close to my mum and my sister and we speak a lot on the phone and on FaceTime despite the fact that we live just down the road from each other.
I can instantly tell when I speak to them if they are, for example, happy, excited or fed up. But it goes further than that, the degree with which I can gauge their mood is amazing, even if they are just feeling just a little bit flat I notice very quickly.
At work I regularly answer the phone to people wanting my advice. I can tell very soon, even with people I have never spoken to before, how they are feeling. They might be exhausted, nervous, anxious, worried or calm, worked up or relaxed. The range is huge but so is the human ability to detect emotion.
One little mindful trick I put into my day is having a short mantra that I say to myself for the couple of rings before I answer the phone. Usually I say “I love my job”. However I am feeling it works. It puts me right there in the moment as I feel a smile spread across my face as I answer the phone. So often the person on the other end detects this and says how pleased they are that I am cheerful when I take their call.
When you start a conversation with a smile it spreads through the conversation. Give it a go next time you answer the phone. If you forget to do it you could put a post it note on the phone to remind you.
Come on a Revitalise Day to get inspiration for other mindful habits to get into. You will be amazed at the impact it has on your life when you get a few tricks up your sleeve to lighten the moment.