The Importance of Good Conversations

Are you providing a space to listen?

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2019, Craig Springer, executive director at Alpha USA, explains the power listening has in relationship-building. 

“I love the quotes professor and author David Augsburger says: ‘Being listened to is so close to being loved that the average person can hardly tell the difference,’” shares Craig. “If we can approach conversations, not initially with, ‘What I can get out of it or get from the other person?’ [but], ‘What can I provide for that other person?’... we'll humanize and we'll be able to engage maybe even in difficult dialogues that could be inflamed issues on different sides. Listening has to be tantamount.”

Watch the video to learn about retraining your listening skills for quality conversations that establish healthy relationships.

TAKEAWAYS
- We have to retrain ourselves to have substantive conversations.
- Being heard makes us feel more loved and respected.
- We have to intentionally host healthy dialogues.

I do think it's a lost skill, especially as dialogue on social media has, I think, retrained proclaiming rather than conversing and listening to one another, and I love the quotes professor and author David Augsburger says: “Being listened to is so close to being loved that the average person can hardly tell the difference.” I know how that feels when someone listens to me and they're asking me questions. It's completely disarming. Even if I don't agree with the other person's point of view, the fact that I'm being listened to, it communicates and shows respect and so if we can approach conversations, not initially what I can get out of it or get from the other person, is what can I provide for that other person? Is a space to listen? We'll humanize and we'll be able to engage maybe even in difficult dialogues that could be inflamed issues on different sides, but listening has to be tantamount.

We've been training ourselves with these 22-second conversations trying to get simplistic conclusions through our social-media conversations. We have to relearn how to have conversations that take time, allow people space to have a feeling, have a thought, go back and come back, and think about it. We have to develop enough space for these conversations to happen, a container of safety.

I'm thinking about how polarized our world is on so many levels. I'm asking a lot of questions about why America remains so segregated and what can we do? What can I do as a leader? Taking ownership around that to create spaces of listening and of inviting others to share their thoughts and opinions so that we can bridge this gap of division across ideological lines, across ethnic lines. Not minimizing anyone else, but so that we can get back to healthy dialogue and working together across these divisions.

Craig Springer

Alpha USA runs on the simple idea of providing a great meal, a short talk and a meaningful discussion about life and faith over the course of 10 weeks. As executive director, Craig oversees operations in more than 6,000 churches and 4...

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