Are you Listening to Respond? Or Listening to Understand ?


As a coach and facilitator, it is not uncommon that I get pulled into resolving conflicts. And before I agree to facilitate, I work out some “working agreements” or behaviors which will be adhered to, during the discussion. Among other things, I try to work something along the lines of “giving other person the space to talk and to listen to their perspective”.

Jack was the first one who wanted to share his perspective. As soon as Jack started talking, Bob started interrupting, mixing his perspective into Jack’s story. Initially, it was a few “and …”, “also…,” , “you should also tell Ram about …”. Initially, they were shorter, I did not mind it, and Jack did not too, but when it started getting longer and louder, I visibly saw Jack getting irritated and I reminded both of them about working agreements, to give space to the other person to talk…

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