Listen to yourself and you will be able listen to others

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Jennifer Hansen We explore and develop easy-to-use methods for better listening.

Listening is the missing half of communication, says Harvard’s number one listening expert. It sounds easy, but it is difficult.

We believe that spreading easy, interesting, and funny listening practices could prevent conflicts even before they start. It can avert blame, hate, fights, and wars. It could transform our relationships, our families, and the world for the better. Yes, big ambitions.

We are inspired by William Ury, a negotiator, mediator and co-founder of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard. He has dedicated many years of research to try to understand and enhance the art of listening. If you have 15 minutes, watch this inspiring TED-talk.

So why is it so difficult to listen, according to Ury?

- “There is so much going on in our minds. There is so much noise and distraction that we

don´t have the mental and emotional space to listen to the other side.

- If we want to be able to listen to the others, we have to learn how to listen to ourselves.

- We need to take time to listen to ourselves, to take time to quiet our own minds. When we do that we will be prepared to listen to the other.”

It may sound simple, but genuine listening is not easy. In order to move from ordinary listening to genuine listening, we need to learn and practice how to prepare and how to move the spotlight from us to the other person.

We think it would make a big difference if more people learned and practiced listening. That’s why the Fikaproject explore and develop easy-to-use methods for better listening. One example is “bubble hopping”, that we develop within Stockholm School of Economics.

We join the listening revolution Like the Harvard specialist Ury, we want to contribute to a listening revolution: “Listening can be a chain reaction in which each person who is genuinely listened to feels naturally inspired to listen to the next. Listening can be contagious.”

We join Ury’s call to start a chain reaction: “In your next conversation with a colleague, client, partner or child, friend or stranger, give them you full attention. Listen to the human being behind the words”.

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