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Sounding board

1 min

How does this sound?

If someone asks you this and leaves with their mind made up, you have acted as a sounding board. You don’t necessarily have to share a word. A simple remark with a thumbs up can suffice.

This act of being a sounding board for others’ ideas originated from church pulpits. During the Renaissance, wooden canopies went overhead to amplify sounds of the preacher’s voice. This was first used in 1729. A sounding board in this situation serves as a modern-day microphone.

These creators were onto something in inventing the sounding board. Not only does sound reach more people, but it also comes across with more clarity.

What exactly is going through your mind and does it make sense?

To answer this question, someone helps you spot your blind spots. They echo your thoughts before stating them publicly. Biologically, we need a sounding board. The superior temporal sulcus (STS) function in our brain turns off while we speak. This function hears the tone of others. We can try our best to be self-reliant but it will always take a sounding board to partner with.

Using another person to bounce ideas off of can clear away clouds of confusion. They help to collect impressions. It is a channel through which ideas get disseminated. When thinking of who to help, they need to be at least semi-skeptical. Not someone with a subjective view who knows what you want to hear.

Who will serve as your sounding board?


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