Peter Johnson & PiM

Insights Discovery & Deeper Discovery Licensed Practitioners

Quiet may go unnoticed

Whether listening to a radio guest, reading an article in a magazine, watching an interview on the television or on a media channel, one is often taken by the enthusiasm of the person for their subject.

Sometimes this enthusiasm is vibrant and voiced in an energetic fast paced way. Sometimes with their volume well turned up too. Yet other times one has to listen more carefully as the person is quiet, slower paced in their speech, often more meticulous in their choice of expression and the words used.

I am merely illustrating the different approach, not passing judgement whether one person is perhaps transitory in their enthusiasm, it being merely a passing phase, whilst the other person more serious and has longevity for their subject. I would add that either approach could apply to either person.

Interestingly, I have noted with the more ‘bubbly’ speaker the word ‘passion’ frequently surfaces. A need to advise the listener, or viewer, that they do have enthusiasm for their topic. With the quieter speaker the passion word surfaces far less.

Now let’s take a sidestep for a few moments…

I was walking down a road the other day when I noticed some vegetation overhanging a wall; it looked green with no colourful flowers displayed. It is a road I walk down regularly, and before this there is another bush that overhangs, and whilst it too looks plain and green, it has the smallest white flowers - in the morning, and early evening, a pungent intoxicating perfume always stops me in my tracks, to linger, to smell, to enjoy the power of jasmine. (Instantly taking me back to a past time, a powerful enjoyable memory.)

This other vegetation did not have such a scent to stop me, yet because I was walking slowly having enjoyed the jasmine, I noticed that it too was in flower. As you can see in the picture I took, it is a subtle flower with subdued colour. Not a small flower like the jasmine, these are large, albeit the colours blend. Certainly they are nowhere near as noticeable as the field of flowering poppies or rape in the pictures of previous articles. As you may know, this is a passionflower.

So when we hear the enthusiastic person speaking about their subject, ‘with passion’, do we take more notice? Do we listen more easily? Do we pay more attention? Or do we zone out, as it is just too intense?

When we hear the still enthusiastic but quieter person speak about their topic in a slower, more reserved way, do we slow down to listen too? Do we listen as easily? Do we pay as much attention? Or do we zone out, as it is just too hard to pay attention?

My answer: it depends. It depends on what I am doing, what frame of mind I am in, if the subject has piqued my interest, if I am prepared to take the time, and so many more factors.

Just like the passionflower, if in a rush I may have missed, not noticed. Yet I noticed the poppies. When the scent is heady from the jasmine, I notice that too.

The subtitle of one of my books is - Quiet Reflections In A Noisy World.

This passionflower made me stop and think if, too often, I miss the treasure from the quieter aspects of life, the ones less noticeable. How about you?

I have since witnessed the bees do notice, they have certainly paid attention to the food store that this ‘quiet’ flower had to offer.

Hmmm…food for thought, time for action.

My best wishes,