In The King’s Speech, Bertie pays Lionel (his speech therapist) a visit shortly after his father, King George IV, dies. Bertie is finally ready to talk about his early life, and tells stories about how he was cruelly treated by his father and brother. Lionel had long suspected that childhood experiences had contributed to Bertie’s “stammer.”
They go for a walk, and Lionel makes a big mistake. He jumps to the next step, and suggests that Bertie could be King. Bertie accuses him of treason, and they don’t speak again for months.
What did Lionel do wrong? He didn’t stay in his listening mode. Sometimes we just need someone to listen. That’s it. Don’t offer solutions, and don’t push for action.
It is completely conceivable to me that someone who stuttered would think that he could not be King. Likewise with hearing loss. Communication disorders, including hearing loss and stuttering, shake your very core. How will people know you, if you dread communication? How can you connect, when your attempts usually end in failure?
It takes tremendous courage to get up after you fall, brush yourself off, and try again. Colin Firth did a great job of showing how hard that can be.