The 4th ILA International Day of Listening theme for this year is:
"Be bold! Listen for common ground."
This year's IDL theme is based on listening first for similarities - what we have in common. That's what we mean by ‘listen for common ground’. Once two people have found common ground and priorities (and are surprised by the number of them), it is far easier to discuss differences, points of disagreement or conflict, in a mature and respectful way.
How courageous is your listening?
That's where "be bold" enters the scene! It takes courage to listen to completely different points of view. We may perceive the vision of others as illogical, stupid or even dangerous... this blocks our comprehension.
One other aspect of courage is to be mature and confident enough to not be afraid to be confronted with different views. The idea is to not to be distracted by the first phrase or slogan we hear (eye-rolling here) - it takes critical listening to understand what is being said (and what is not) and to discern the facts from the propaganda.
We may decide to be influenced in certain aspects by the others' discourse, but only after having listened carefully, and having made sure that what we understand is exactly what the other wants to say.
Please let us know about your Listening activities. There is still time for you to enter your info and pictures(s) on http://internationaldayoflistening.com/submit-your-event/. Please post the joys and difficulties of your conversations.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
Jean Francois Mathieu
Chair of the ILA International Day of Listening
Listening Culture Designer of Leaders Today