How big are your ears?
Have you ever considered the remarkably disproportionate body of a bat? It is quite small in comparison to the size of its ears. But this isn’t a trick of fate or DNA gone haywire. There is a distinct purpose for this imbalance.
Bats live and hunt nocturnally. The night darkness pervades and distorts vision. If bats used only their eyes, they would be incapable of successfully finding food or protecting themselves against predators. So nature provided the help they need.
Bats navigate their way through the darkness by the use of their own form of radar called echolocation. By making high-pitched squeaking noises, up to 50 per second, they create a barrage of sound waves. The waves bounce off objects in the path of the bat giving it a remarkably accurate picture of the world around it. Using its extra-large ears the bat picks up the echo and uses that information to determine its course of flight. It is thereby able to fly safely and successfully in the dark and obtain its food with great accuracy and efficiency.
The size of the ears is the fascinating point. They are huge in proportion to the rest of its small, mouselike body. Bats have learned to listen and receive feedback at a remarkably sophisticated level. Bats listen actively, not passively. If bats listened to the echoes of their squeaking as passively as many of us listen to each other, they would not last very long.
What would it be like if we concentrated on receiving feedback instead of giving it? That is, what if we spent more time listening with our ears than speaking with our mouths? The bat has taken an environment of darkness, and through developing excellent active listening skills, has prospered in that world, despite its challenges. Darkness becomes light because the bat is willing to listen and process what it hears. Let’s take the time to develop some “bat radar” and start listening to the vital information that surrounds us.
Here are a few points for reflection:
- The bat’s two assets are listening and receiving feedback. How do you assess yourself in those two areas?
Can you see how helpful those skills are in “navigating” all types of situations and relationships?
- Consider methods you can adopt that would improve your ability to listen effectively. Doing so will then increase the feedback you receive from those who know you and work with you.