Building the capacity to listen is perhaps the most important practice of all. In western cultures and organizations, deep listening is not a well-developed skill and yet it has the power to transform our world.
In Bohm Dialogue group, you'll be doing far more listening than speaking. You are invited to listen to learn.
Listening happens on several levels. In the Dialogue, you are invited to practice and develop capacities to listen deeper for higher learning and broader perspective. For example, in the Theory U model, there are 4 levels of listening, each being more open and present:
In Dialogue, we practice noticing where our voice is coming from, and developing our capacity to more consistently use authentic voice. Voice is core to leadership. A good leader knows when and how to use their own voice, but more importantly opens the space of listening so that others find theirs.
The practice of finding authentic voice is an essential, but complex and nuanced journey. Because of past conditioning and habits of communication, people are often not aware of where their voice is coming from or the impact it has. It can show up in power-over or victim patterns. It can be suppressed, scattered, manipulative, or dominating. True power, connection and positive impact is found in finding and connecting to authentic voice and trusting it.
In Dialogue, practice noticing where your own voice is coming from and making choices to change its vibration for greater clarity and positive impact. For example:
To respect means that you accept others for whom they really are, even when they are different from you, or you don't agree with them. In the practice of respecting:
The practice of suspending is critical to effective leadership and building collaborative, coherent, innovative team cultures.
Everyone holds assumptions, opinions, beliefs or judgments. This is a normal part of how human beings filter perception and make sense of the world. However, these often inhibit open communication, create distrust, cause conflict, stifle creativity, and block understanding.
In the practice of suspending, participants are invited to at least temporarily suspend or let go of assumptions, beliefs or certainty about things and open up to understanding other possibilities, viewpoints, experiences or ideas. Dialogue is not about convincing others of your views, but with curiosity, attempting to clarify, connect and understand others. In the practice of opening your mind, you may come to knowing yourself better too.
Some tips for suspending: