My sister pointed something out to me the other day. She was telling me that I was a good listener, perhaps in a way not appearing judgemental.
“Well at least you managed to hide what it is you might be thinking sufficiently”.
I thought about this and realised that both the work I did in tourism and the subsequent work have done with asylum seekers has perhaps helped me prepare to be a good listener. I learnt the lesson when doing the travel work very early on that it genuinely didn’t matter what you were thinking. People can’t read your thoughts and if you go through the external processes of politeness and showing confidence then people will think you are polite and confident regardless of the internal world. So I learnt to keep my own counsel. Similarly with asylum seekers. There are so many questions that I might ask and so many responses to things that are said to me which I repress. Which I hold back out of respect. Another listening skill. Managing to contain my own thoughts.