krista tippett on listening generously

this is part 2 in a series of posts about some takeaways from krista tippett’s interview on longform (here’s part 1). somewhere around minute 33, she gets into this whole thing about listening and i really dig it.

the first part of her point that stuck with me is about how we listen. she says this often in other places, but it really landed this time. it seems to her that we have, collectively, forgotten (or never learned?) how to listen well. most often we listen to respond or we listen passively. she believes we need to practice “generous listening.” we should listen to be surprised by someone’s responses, not to try and uncover what we think we know about them already. in the past two days, i’ve tried doing this and it’s already changed how i ask questions of people.

the second part of the point from this little section that stuck with me is about the impact of not listening well… ish. basically, her point was about how advocacy has become the primary or only way to be in the world. we learn how to argue for our beliefs and stand up for our ideas like that’s the way to be. but, in fact, listening and advocating are two sides of the same coin.

unfortunately, we’re collectively way out of balance. this is bad because it makes it impossible for us to close the widening gap between our worlds.

so. implications? personally, i’m going to keep trying to learn how to listen generously. that means asking different questions. that means going into conversations with people i disagree with seeking to uncover something i didn’t know before.

we’ll see how it goes.

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