In our Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter trainings, Jerry Nagel and I almost always bring in reflective listening practices from the Compassionate Listening Project which Jerry has been a student and advocate of for a long time. (It’s also one of the places he got his amazing listening skills from.) Whenever people take part in the exercise, they report back how powerful it is to be fully listened to without interruption and how hard it is to listen without interrupting. No matter how good our listening skills are, we can always improve. And, if it is has been awhile since you have been able to tell your story uninterrupted, you might be surprised to find the power of it in your own healing journey.
Recently, I agreed to be interviewed for an academic research project about an intense period / experience of my life. A period that is years behind me, that I can now speak about in a much more detached way than when I was in it or immediately past it. The interviewer knows some of my story. In the role of interviewer, her job was to listen, not to interact with my story.
After she left, I found myself at times weeping for no explicable reason. The tears just flowed. Beautiful, gracious, glorious release.
I am reminded of the power of just listening, not interpreting, not trying to put words in someone’s mouth. It is a witnessing that can bring another person into being. Can surface what needs to be surfaced for healing.
I don’t know what was there that was surfaced. I don’t need to know specifics. I am aware that
View original post 139 more words