27 Apr 2010

Supportive Communities – Broadening the Impact of Listening

Posted by eranmagen

Most people think of supportive listening as something that occurs between two people. Most of our training workshops are for individuals or pairs of friends, where we focus on training one person at a time. We have seen wonderful things happen as a result of this training, and we are now ready to take our training to the next level.

People are embedded within communities, and the benefits of supportive listening can extend beyond individuals and transform entire communities, when the culture of that community incorporates principles of supportive listening – respectful, connected curiosity that does not wish to own other people’s problems, but rather seeks to provide a supportive structure within which people can come up with their own solutions to their own problems.

The University of Pennsylvania is now poised to embark on a brave experiment in the power of friendship. Together with Penn’s center for Counseling and Psychological Services, we are designing an educational program that aims to teach supportive listening to the entire Penn community. Penn students will learn how to be better friends for one another, by providing healthy, sustainable support that will reduce stress throughout the community. We are pleased and honored that such a high-profile university would partner with us in developing a community-wide program, and we are excited to see where it all leads.

Do You know of any other communities that would benefit from supportive listening training? Whether it is your neighborhood, your school, your office, your place of worship, or your soccer team, we would love to help develop a training program that would help your community become better integrated and more supportive. Get in touch, and lets think of ways we can spread supportive listening to more people and more communities!

— Eran

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