"Listening to Understand" Intro/Demo

We hope you’ll enjoy this introduction and demonstration of a communication tool known as “Listening to Understand”. In it, two people take turns sharing their view point and beliefs on a contentious topic. While one person speaks, the other engages in active listening, mirroring back what they hear the other person saying and genuinely being present to what the speaker’s experience is. The roles then switch and the listener becomes the speaker and vice-versa. This is a powerful tool for building trust and safety in communication, as well as a de-escalation tool if you ever come across a person with strongly different viewpoints than yours.

When people feel heard and seen, they often soften their stance and become more able/willing to engage in an actual dialogue. In this example, a couple married for nearly 30 years goes through a demonstration covering a contentious topic for both of them: the Grateful Dead. He is a die hard fan, and she truly dislikes their music. It’s one of the places that they have never seen eye to eye and with him being a musician and her cringing each time she hears their music, it has been a sore topic for both of them. Through Listening to Understand, they’re able to have a better understanding of the topic and how it affects each of them.

to top
Sign up for our newsletter!


What am I signing up for? We would love to stay in touch with you! Periodically (no more than once per month), we may send out emails and/or newsletters with relevant information to the Bandon Inclusivity Group. Some of this information may include: -Events that relate to themes of social and racial justice. -Blog posts and new articles we author. -Updates and information on the BIG Book Club. -Upcoming volunteer opportunities you can join. -Updates on meetings with local government and social initiative groups. Your privacy is paramount and your data is safe with us. We promise we will never sell, exchange, or in any way give your information to another entity.

Sign Up