Communication is about more than just words, it’s about the deeper meaning in conversations. Missing out on hearing some words and sounds are not the only consequence of a hearing loss. Individuals with hearing loss often do not realize that they are missing out on more than just words or sounds.
Sounds: Audibility is the awareness of sounds
Words: Intelligibility is the understanding of words
Meaning: Both audibility and intelligibility are fundamental to hearing and understanding, but going beyond this to understand the deeper meaning of a conversation. Unitron Discover Next gives you the subtle nuances of speech that gives words deeper meaning…
Let’s look at an analogy…
Consider the example of receiving a text message. If you hear the little notification signal or see that you have an incoming message, you have an awareness that the message exists, but that is all you see at that point. If the message were to appear with the words only, absent punctuation or any other context, you would be able to see the words. But would you really get the meaning? No, not really.
It’s not just WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it that counts.
Additional information beyond the words alone provides that deeper meaning. This includes knowing who the message is from. Just this alone gives important context to really understand the message, but the addition of capitalization and punctuation and finally the emoji lets you know a lot more about the intention of the text. So having the alert on your smartphone, is like getting audibility that gives you sounds. Seeing the words of the text message, is like intelligibility to understand the words. But seeing who the text is from and how they are saying it and with what emotion adds the deeper meaning to the words.
Let’s take a closer look at meaning and what things contribute to it.
All of these aspects of meaning are conveyed by the subtle nuances of speech. So being able to hear these subtle cues is crucial to getting the deeper meaning in conversations.
- The first thing that is important is knowing WHO is speaking.
- The second part, which is related to the first, is WHERE the speech is coming from, which helps you to determine who is talking.
- INTONATION is the third element that allows you to know more information about how someone wants you to take the words they are saying.
- And of course, the EMOTION is critical to really getting to the deeper meaning of what’s said.
WHO and WHERE
Particularly in more complex environments, knowing where someone is obviously contributes to knowing who is speaking and understanding the intention of what is being said. So beyond just looking at someone, what auditory cues do our brains use to identify the “who”? As we saw in the text messaging example, being aware of and even understanding the words in a message does not convey the full meaning. Getting the point goes beyond just understanding the words. And grasping that deeper meaning is required to RESPOND appropriately.
Most of us can probably think of an experience when we got the message, but missed the point. If you misinterpret the underlying meaning, even when you have all the words, your reaction and response can be silly or awkward, at best, and even insensitive or offensive. The same is true of verbal communication.
It’s not just WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that counts. It’s also important to clearly hear the intonation, to know if someone is making a statement or asking a question.