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Listening communication tools from human success stories

Communication tools excerpted from
human success stories and social science


Story from Norway
In 2016, newly published in Norway is a 6-page article of Palestinians and Israelis in real-life communication -- what works, what doesn't.

Listening: An underestimated tool for peace
Norway -- 2016

 The Norwegian friends remind us:

"Education alone is not enough. 
We must see each other
 as human beings."

"Listening is not just usual listening, it's about listening to hear – to honor and respect the one who talks and let the message sink in before responding."

"Some argue that there should not be any contact between Israelis and Palestinians 'until the occupation is ceased' because the activity would act as a normalization of the situation and thus perceived as an acceptance of the conditions. 
This is a devastating barricade to the goal."



     What happens and how to begin a life of ending war, creating authentic coexistence, collaboration, sustainable community is described by Brenner.
     Dialogue - when truly practiced – is a powerful activity in which the very nature of consciousness is touched. 
     When the energy found in this new consciousness is linked directly to any change agenda, transformations never thought possible are suddenly evident. 
     The many Arab-Jewish dialogue groups that have sprung up  throughout the United States are testament to the power of dialogue. 
     The personal experience of dialogue is often described using words like “profound,” “mysterious,” “peak experience.” 
     For a dialogic experience to feel complete, it must be both an ending and a beginning, it must reframe our past and precipitate a new opening, a profound connection, a shift.

     Many would like to experience this new consciousness created by dialogue but are unsure how to create it. 
     The successful Arab-Jewish dialogue groups follow an arc of progression.

     The beginning action is sitting with the “enemy” and listening to and telling personal stories. 
     At this stage, the dialogue group itself is the action and it is exciting just to be meeting. 
     The next stage is the development of trust and the sense of what psychologists would call safety in the group. 
     The intimacy and ability to share deepens. 
     Then come perception changes – or the shift – that occurs within the group and for each member as an individual. 
     Finally, the group begins to look outside itself, taking in the community and involving new people.    

     Thus there’s a natural progression to the activism stage. 
     Traditional activism is not the ultimate goal of these groups, but community outreach -- expanding the circle of relationships -- is often the natural outgrowth of a successful group.

     READ Nurete's complete instructional document:

The Magic of a Dialogue Group
Nurete Brenner
June 24, 2011


Beyond War

To survive and thrive into an excellent future, our first step today is to protect the dignity of our assailant, our humiliator, our "other."
What a paradox; what a life saver.

"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard." 
        ~Ms. Gene Knudsen Hoffman

To dignify one another, listen in circles instead of shouting in squares.

Listening-to-learn humanizes and dignifies both the speaker and the listener.
The person with the will and skill to listen has the power to transform the relationship and re-direct history.

We finally begin to discover one another as human and equal, then to want the best not only for self but for the other equally.
This is freedom from fear and loneliness,  freedom to travel safely, collaborate, create, experience the ecstasy of human reunion -- life beyond war.


Usual Communication vs. Dialogue's Listening-to-Learn
(in Arabic, Hebrew, French Russian, and English)

Ressources de dialogue en français  ~  Dialogue Resources in French


Listening for a Change:
Listeners who dignify everyone, end wars

"Our listening creates a sanctuary
for the homeless parts within another person."
            -- Rachel Naomi Remen

"More than money, power, and even happiness,
silence has become the most precious -- and dwindling -- commodity
of our modern world."
            -- George Prochnik
                IN PURSUIT OF STILLNESS: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise (2010)

"Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine
desire to be with another which both attracts and heals."
            -- J. Isham

"How do I listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master speaking to me
His cherished last words."
            -- Hafiz (1320-1389, Persia)
               Sufi Muslim mystic

     "Listening is to relationships, what blood is to the body," is the universal experience of authentic, sustained Dialogue.
    Yet "we are losing our listening," says Julian Treasure, "our access to understanding" and to one another."

     The premium on accurate and careful listening has been replaced by one-way, personal broadcasting.
     Many people take refuge in headphones, when nobody's listening to anybody. 

     Our media scream at us -- desensitized and impatient -- hearing only superficial sound bites that get our attention. 
     It's harder for us to pay attention to the quiet, the subtle, the understated -- the people.

    "Live to listen consciously in order to live fully," Julian Treasure suggests.
     Connected to people and everything around us.

     Intention is very important in listening. 
     "When I married my wife, I promised her that I would listen to her every day as if for the first time. 
     "Now that's something I fall short of on a daily basis. 
     "But it's a great intention to have in a relationship."


5 ways to listen better
TED Talk -- Julian Treasure -- July 2011

     Treasure prescribes  RASA -- Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, then Ask, to further explore the other person.
     He appeals to all of us:

     "Connect with each other.
     "Take this mission out."
     "Let's get listening taught in schools."

     "Transform the world in one generation.
     "To a conscious Listening world.
     "A world of connection, a world of understanding.
     "A world of peace." 

~  ~ ~  ~ ~  ~

in Ivory Coast, West Africa

     During 2013 In Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa, a core team of brave, inspired citizen-activists have travelled through Ivory Coast to encourage listening among adversarial villagers and tribes.
     These healing successes are described at

in Egypt, North Africa

     Egyptian citizens with diverse religions and world views are choosing to get off the streets and sit down together.
     They are learning to listen and to consider a common future with communication excellence. 
     The author receives messages at


Youth are teaching dialogue skills in Cairo
by Vanessa Bassil
Common Ground News - 05 March 2013

in the Middle East

     Artisan-of-Listening Elad Vazana has touched thousands of lives in the Middle East.
     As one dedicated citizen, he helps dignify everyone and give voice and ears to one another's personal narratives.

Arab - Jewish Leadership Workshop
Empowering the young leaders of today


"How do I Listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master
Speaking to me his cherished last words."
          ~  Hafiz  (1320-1389)
              Sufi Muslim mystic and poet

More communication tools
excerpted from human success stories and social science
are preserved at

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on August 1, 2016 at 3:24pm
Email response from Josefina Ma. Ferriols-Pavico, Philippines
i came across this article - please see link - its another angle of listening worth reflecting on 


Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on July 21, 2016 at 10:38am

I came across this example of a  the Listen Learn Act project

DanChurchAid, Save the Children and Ground Truth Solutions (Keystone Accountability) have embarked on an exciting global quality and accountability project, to be piloted in four countries (Mali, Nepal, South Sudan and the Syria response in Lebanon). With a serious commitment to quality and accountability for disaster-affected populations, and with ECHO’s support, theListen Learn Act project will reinforce the roll-out of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 30, 2016 at 9:03am

Response via email

Hello Rituu,

One of my favorite takes on listening is a book by Gemma Corradi Fiumara. She wrote: The other side of language: A philosophy of listening. It was first published in 1990. I hope you can get your hands on it.


Anne B. Morrison, Ph.D.
College of Education, Health and Human Services
405 White Hall
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242-0001

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 20, 2016 at 4:08pm

The quotes particularly are very inspiring. Many thanks Libby and Len! you are one of the stars of the Constellation.

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