Communicating Without Words

Guest blog. By Eamonn Walsh
CEO at Statera Agri | Securing the future for next generation farming

If tomorrow you awoke to a world without words… what would you do?

Panic, perhaps.

How will you work?

How will you ask to buy food?

Can the very basic human needs be met if we are without language?

This was a topic that came up with my friend Eamonn Walsh, CEO at Statera Agri.  He instantly remembered a surprising connection with a young man who was deaf and had no use of sign language.  It changed how he perceived communication forever. He told me the story that I asked him to share here.

I have no doubt that there is connection beyond the barrier of words.  I experience it every day in interaction with my horses and dogs.  I have learned to listen in a way that most busy modern humans have forgotten about.

Before you read Eamonn’s story, I’d like to point out that although most people don’t actively “listen” in this way, it is something that we benefit from practicing.

  • Increase discernment. Protect yourself from emotional triggers.
  • Be present in the moment. Reduce stress and increase your charisma.
  • Honor the other person so that they feel heard without saying a word.

Here’s Eamonn’s take:

Communication breakdowns are the bane of our existence, causing more conflict in our everyday lives than anything else! Despite knowing that communication involves more than just words, we rely heavily on them to convey our thoughts and emotions. However, when we attach different values and meanings to the same words, misunderstandings, offenses, confusion, frustration, or anger can easily arise, turning even the simplest conversations into a battle of words.

Can you imagine what would happen if words were removed from our communication? How difficult would it be to convey our thoughts and emotions? How much more misunderstanding, offense, confusion, frustration, or anger would we create?

I was once given the opportunity to experience this firsthand when I worked in a school that supported students with various challenges. One of the students I befriended was deaf, and we could not communicate through speech or sign language. Despite this, we worked together in a woodworking shop and communicated seamlessly. Pass me the hammer, we’re out of nails, have you seen the saw, two lengths of birch please – these were all messages we sent to each other with ease. We even had conversations about lunch, deciding on what to eat without any difficulty.

It’s hard to put into words how we managed to communicate so effortlessly without the use of spoken or sign language. Sometimes, we would just look at each other and know what the other was thinking or feeling. Other times, it might be a physical gesture or a facial expression that conveyed our message.

But what struck me the most was the level of connection we had despite our inability to communicate conventionally. There was a deep understanding and empathy that transcended language barriers. It was as if we were communicating on a deeper, more primal level that allowed us to connect beyond words.

It was a profound and humbling experience that taught me the true power of communication. It showed me that sometimes, words can get in the way of truly understanding one another, and that there are many other ways to connect and communicate beyond language.

In a world where communication breakdowns can lead to so much conflict and division, this experience gave me hope that there is still a way for us to bridge the gaps and connect with one another in meaningful ways.

If anything here struck a chord in you and you desire to understand how this type of listening can help,

  1. With Daily conversations
  2. With any presentation
  3. In mastering the interview

Set up a chat with me at I am sure I have the next step in your communication