GOOD LISTENER: Emma Ellul listens to Roger Ulmann during a free listening session in Bundaberg.
GOOD LISTENER: Emma Ellul listens to Roger Ulmann during a free listening session in Bundaberg.

Surprise result: woman's listening experience at Stockland

EMMA Ellul is making a difference in people's lives by jumping aboard the free listening movement and lending an ear at the Stockland shopping centre.

Ms Ellul said the concept was really simple.

"You just get a piece of brown cardboard and write on it and stand in a place people can see you, it's for people who have no-one to talk to, some people have literally got no one," she said.

Ms Ellul was happy to report the past two days she had listened to over 20 people and said she hoped to listen more on her last day today.

"It's been good and funnily enough it's been mainly men who have wanted to talk," she said.

"I would say it has been 90 per cent men.

"I think people haven't seen it done in Bundaberg before and you normally have to pay for counselling or something similar but some people can't afford it."

Ms Ellul said she had always come across as an open person so the people coming by were not shy about opening up their hearts to her.

"I think I have written on my head 'talk to me, tell me your deepest darkest secrets', that is just a gift I have been blessed with in this lifetime, that people feel comfortable and safe with me."

In case you wanted to try really listening to the people in your life Ms Ellul gave up the tricks of the trade:

• Be fully present;

• Have an open heart;

• Be non-judgemental;

• Don't force it; and

• Genuinely ask how they are going

Ms Ellul will be listening outside Gloria Jeans at Stockland today, but if you can't make it keep an eye out because she hopes to do it again on Bourbong St.