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How Courageous is Your Listening?

In honor of the fourth annual International Day of Listening on Thursday, September 19th, 2019, Living Room Conversations is launching a brand new Guide and hosting a video call focused on Listening Courageously that same evening from 7-9pm ET / 4-6pm PT. You can register for this virtual Living Room Conversation here.

What is courageous listening? You may have heard people refer to others as courageous when they face the discomfort and fear of a perceived risk like standing near the top of a building or speaking in front of large crowds. But you may not have heard of people having the courage to listen to others, particularly when they are listening to points of view that are very different from their own. we are often afraid to talk with people we expect will disagree with us.

Why is that? How might listening to different points of view make us feel vulnerable or at risk? And what are the possible benefits of overcoming our fears and anticipated discomfort in those situations?

The questions we will explore together include the following:

  • What does “courageous listening” mean for you? Describe any times you have listened, or been listened to in this way. What happened?
  • What fears, if any, do you have about how you will feel or what you will say or do when listening to people whose beliefs differ from your own?
  • How do you feel when there are silences and gaps in conversations? What are the potential benefits of giving a conversation breathing room?
  • What are the potential benefits you might receive from listening to others with differing beliefs?
  • What, if anything, are you willing to do to overcome fears about listening to those with different beliefs?

This Conversation, co-created with Listen First Project, contributes to the worldwide goals of the International Day of Listening, which include promoting better listening and increasing awareness of the value of listening.

We hope you will join us on September 19 and/or host your own conversation on Listening Courageously using our new Guide you can find here.

Tracy Hollister, M.P.P., Program Engagement Partner

PS:  We are still seeking selfie videos of yourself answering one of the following questions from our Race & Ethnicity series Conversation Guide. For more information on how to send yours to us, click here.

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