7 Jul 2008

Exploring New Frontiers

Posted by paulandrew

Eran and I have been leading a phone class, and in week 3 of the class we invited participants to offer the following question to people they listen to: “What’s that like?” Ever since that week I’ve been playing with this question a lot, and I’ve been delighted with the results.

A common lead-in for me to pose this question is when I’m talking to someone who has just had a novel experience. They’ll say “Last week I went to New York City for the first time” and then I get excited.

Why do I get excited? Because here is an opportunity for me to see the world through somebody else’s eyes. What do they highlight? How do they talk about it? What was it like for them? I know what New York City is like for me (although frankly it still surprises me) but I don’t know what it’s like for someone else. That’s a new frontier.

And so I ask my question in whatever way feels natural, “What was it like?” and I listen up, like a little kid hearing a new story. Plus with my Supportive Listening tools I’m well equipped to stay connected and yet not get in the way, so that I can hear more of the story. It’s great, and is a nice way to connect with people.

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