Tag Archives: listening

The Weirdest Common Ground Ever

Many people are bemoaning America’s vicious public square. Few are discussing the weird common ground that most of us share—and what might be the best way to address it. Two recent conversations brought this into focus for me. The first—with a conservative Christian friend who reluctantly supported Donald Trump—fulfilled a longing I’ve had since the […]

Posted in Current Events, Dialogue and Civility, Dialogue and Current Events, Listening, Practical Steps Toward Dialogue | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

The Second Step Toward Dialogue Is a Doozy

People ask me what my book is about. I tell them it’s about how to change from the inside out so you can talk with people who drive you nuts. They say, “Boy, do I know someone who could use your book.” That response always makes me laugh. So I’m reluctant to admit there’s a […]

Posted in Dialogue and Language, Dialogue and Spirituality, Listening, Practical Steps Toward Dialogue | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

If You’re Concerned About Listening, and You Want to See Dublin…

I just wrote this for an email list I participate in, and I thought some of you might want to know about it too: If you’re concerned about the future of listening in today’s noisy world, think about joining me at the 2018 International Listening Association Convention, June 20-23 in Dublin, Ireland. Three days of […]

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There Is So Much More to Listening, and Life, Than You Ever Imagined

Not everyone gets advice from a dying cat. Ours has decided to bestow a few nuggets of wisdom during her long exit. They have to do with euthanasia, as you might expect, but even more with listening, and conventional wisdom, and why it’s all more complicated than we ever imagined. I’ve already written about Madeleine, […]

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Is Dialogue Even Safe in the Trump Era?

As you may have gleaned from the last post, the state of the U.S. is troubling me on a deep level. It has, among other things, left me with no stomach for dialogue—a very strange position for the host of a website called The Dialogue Venture. This made more sense to me in the immediate […]

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Why We Must Listen, and Listen, and Listen Again

This isn’t about aural listening per se, but I think the lesson still applies. Today my church’s lectionary (a fixed order of sacred texts for each day of the year) prescribed the reading of Matthew 19:1-12, in which Jesus speaks out on divorce. In keeping with the monastic tradition that I’m associated with, Igive these […]

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Listening: You Can Always Learn More

Somewhere around fifth grade, our class had a unit on “being a good listener.” I think it lasted a week. Now, in contrast, I’m starting to think we can never learn enough about listening—or listen as deeply as we could. This idea started emerging a few weeks ago, during the 34th annual convention of the […]

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A Meditation on Your Adversary

I’m trying out a new meditation exercise. If you like, give it a whirl, and see what you think. Prepare for meditation in the usual way. Sit comfortably, eyes open or closed. Take a few deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Let your mind go blank. Now, focus your attention on someone who drives you berserk. It […]

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Dialogue and a Deeper Listening

Listening reminds me of a pool: just when you think you’ve plumbed its depths, you find more depths to plumb. Two recent encounters with listening brought this home for me. First, some context. Dialogue only happens when we listen. Listening is not the same as hearing: we might hear any sonic input at any time—ignoring […]

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Why Should I Listen to You?

Yes, I admit it. The question in the title isn’t terribly nice. It usually precedes a dismissive statement: “Why should I listen to you? You got us lost last time.” “Why should I listen to you? You don’t know anything.” Our ironic postmodern culture is very good at dismissive. We’re always scoping out the credentials […]

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