The Power of Listening
By Brian Regnier – Landmark Forum leader and Wisdom Area founder, leader, and strategist
Communication, conversation, language are predominately thought of, anchored in our minds, as an expressing, a speaking, a vocalizing. That outward expression goes far beyond talking, far beyond describing or representing reality—it is in fact what allows for “who” and “how” we are in the world. It’s what allows for the futures we create, where we evoke experience in others, where our ideas become clear and possible, where we share ourselves, and where others are expanded by our participation with them. But speaking is not where things get handled—it’s not powerful enough. The possibility that there’s an edge, the possibility of impact, lies in our listening.
Listening, we often think of as more passive—important, but somehow lesser or secondary. But listening is the clearing in which speaking can occur—without it, there isn’t any speaking. Listening is an action.It’s way more active than it is passive—it creates speaking. Listening doesn’t receive speaking, it isn’t a receptacle for speaking—it gives speaking. Listening is the possibility for meaning, for understanding. The possibility for being loved lives in one’s listening; the possibility for learning lives in one’s listening. Listening is what allows others to be—it’s where both the speaker and what is spoken come alive, exist, and flourish.
INQUIRY: An Access to the World as Possibility
By Tobin White – From the Conference for Global Transformation 2016 – Call for Papers
Inquiry begins in wonder. In this space, with meaning suspended, we are free to look, explore and ponder. Sooner or later, our looking leads us to certain topics of particular interest and we find ourselves in an investigation that can leave us questioning the world in which we and those matters exist. Unencumbered by our earlier understanding, possibilities previously hidden from our view can be revealed. When we allow these possibilities to be, our habitual or past-based ways of speaking, listening and acting are called into question. Rather than respond with explanation or justification of our past, we can create from nothing; we, both the subject and the world in which we exist transform.