Next Conversation Cafe: Thursday, August 14, 7:15 p.m., Theme: “Listening”

Join us right here at the bookstore for our next Conversation Cafe on Thursday, August 14th at 7:15 p.m. This month’s theme will be “Listening.”

According to Michael Nichols, Ph.D., in his book – The Lost Art of Listening: “When we see sadness or depression in someone, we tend to assume that something’s wrong, that something has happened. Maybe that something is that nobody’s listening.”

We all have a need to be listened to. To have someone pay attention, show an interest in our lives, care about us. We need to have our experiences validated, our knowledge recognized.

So what does it mean to be listened to, and what exactly makes a good listener? How can we improve this experience of listening, and what can we do to insure that we will be heard and not sabotage our own communication?

Nichols says: “Even an uncomplicated communication has several components: the listener, the speaker, the message, various implicit messages, the context, and, because the process doesn’t flow one way from speaker to listener, the listener’s response.”

Here are some questions to consider for our next Conversation Cafe:
What is responsive listening?
When “listening,” is it ok to take turns or should the focus be totally on the speaker?
How can you ask for support but not get advice?
How should you handle interruptions?
How can you listen to someone who is not easy to listen to?
Do you listen to yourself?
What about anger and strong emotions?
How can you set limits on your listening, if need be?

The Conversation Cafe is itself an exercise in listening.  We welcome diversity of opinion as well as encourage diversity in attendees.  This is a moderated conversation.  Everyone shares respectfully.


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