This past Monday I led my first Listening Workshop at the Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning!

And let me tell you, it was beautiful.

Not because of me or my words or my slides but because of the human connection in that circle of strangers. Together, we defined listening. We practiced listening without interruption. We strategized about better listening practices. We learned about our personal biases and preference that we bring to the table when we listen.

When we are fully present and deeply engaged in the listening process, we validate someone’s existence¬†as a human being. We say, You are REAL. Your stories are REAL. Your voice, your tragedies, your successes, ALL of it- REAL.

This is what it’s all about. Listening without agenda, assumption, or judgment. This is where we learn. This is where we stay.

 

Brainstorming about listening challenges and strategies.

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