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What happens when others listen to us?

Rituu B Nanda from Constellation conducted SALT training for staff from organisations- PGS and TIP in Allahabad.  I am a research scholar who joined this event and accompanied for the SALT visits. When Rituu introduced us to SALT, she asked a question on L for listening in SALT, which evoked a lot of discussion amongst us. Here are some points from the discussion.

What is listening? There is a difference between hearing and listening.  When you listen attentively and carefully with emotion, it’s listening. When you listen without interest, it is hearing.

In authentic listening, both eyes and ears are engaged. When people actually listen their facial impressions shows it clearly. When we listen from our heart, then we can even read the emotions. When we do not listen from our heart, then even if the other person is shouting we will not listen anything.

In listening, our body language is also involved. When we truly listen, we do not remain indifferent.


What happens when others listen to us?

 When others listen to us attentively, we share and it reminds us of the incident and we again get the same feeling when we had that particular experience.

 When I want to share something with others, people often say leave it friend, we do not have time to listen. But when someone listens to what I say , it makes me feel so much lighter as if a burden has come off. When I share something I am proud of and others listen, they get to know my strengths, they know how hard I have worked. This boosts my confidence. And there is nothing better than if someone else narrates my stories and others listen. When we share stories of how we overcame some difficulty, we feel proud of ourselves. When others listen to these stories, they learn and are motivated to take similar actions.

 If someone is truly interested in listening to us, it encourages us to share in detail.

(Contributions from Anu, Dr Sunit, Peeyush, Ravishankar, Sanjay, Santosh, and Rituu)




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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on January 9, 2020 at 4:22pm
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 18, 2018 at 6:47pm

Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden....
Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 3, 2018 at 6:16am
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 3, 2018 at 6:10am

Hi Peeyushji, I wanted to share this link which I read today.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that it was the listening and not the judgment that caused the transformation? Can you share a personal story of a time listening deeply caused a transformation in your life? What helps you have the patience and commitment to listen deeply?

I am cross-posting the responses here

On Apr 3, 2018 Devendra wrote:

Listening is an art but listening other's story/ issue/ matter with like service to GOD. It will unite/ heal and spread love to the world.

On Apr 2, 2018 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

In interpersonal communication, we want the other person to fully understand us and such understanding takes place when we deeply, non-judgmentally and patiently listen to the other person. Such communication creates a bridge of wholesome and authentic relationship rather than walls of misunderstanding and annoying and futile arguments.This  is what the rabbi does in this short but elegant story. I run into such transactions quite often in my class room and on the play ground when two children got into the stance of "I am right and you're wrong." Like the rabbi, I fully, deeply and no-judgmentally listen to each child and ask relevant questions. It doesn't take much time. At the end each child  like the villager in the story says, " I have nothing more to say." and joins each other's hands. Such experiences slowly and gradually create a big change in their communications and relationships. What helps me have the patience and commitment to listen to them deeply is my deep and  See full.

On Apr 1, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

When listened to we feel valued, when asked reflective questions and if we have anything more to say, we feel both heard, valued and perhaps even understood. This is what so many are aching for in the US and in the world that is so hurting. So many feel unheard and in turn unvalued and misunderstood. When we feel listened to by someone fully present we feel that we do have value and that our voice matters. I've been listening deeply for a long time and even more so since the 2016 election. I've made my social media a space for listening and for compassion and because of this I've had people on all sides message me and converse with me. I've had people share their deep experiences and thoughts. And just last week, totally unrelated to the US, while I was in Albania presenting a Communication Workshop.  One of the attendees approached me afterwards and started to share some of his life story. I listened, providing space and then he shared he struggled with depression. I listened. A  See full.

On Apr 1, 2018 david doane wrote:

 This essay by Doug Lipman is for me a beautiful and powerful story.  It expresses a lesson that I am still learning.  I know that listening allows and facilitates transformation.  We heal and transform from inside out, and what we need is a chance to let our inside out, and someone listening nonjudgmentally makes that easier.  Feeling deeply listened to facilitated my opening up, expressing me, and learning more about myself.  Feeling deeply listened to I felt accepted which enhanced my self-acceptance and self-confidence and being myself, all of which were significant transformation in  my life.  What helps me have the patience and commitment to listen deeply is knowing the transformative power and satisfaction of deep listening both for the one being listened to and for me as the listener.

On Mar 31, 2018 Denis Khan wrote:

 listening to what is unsaid is more important than listening to what is said.

On Mar 31, 2018 SUSAN BRADLEY wrote:

This is a timely subject for me... I’ve been living and working internationally now for almost 2 years. I’m amazed at how apropos this theme is to all expats, we need an ear, to be heard about the challenges with transition in regards to differences and adjusting to them; me, too. This theme also rings a bell with me on listening to ourselves and our bodies always, but specifically during times of transition albeit physical or emotional change.  

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 7, 2016 at 3:49am

Joy Pavico, Phillipines (via email)

Yes, Listening can be a problem for people who have No voice or minimal voice in society. As an NGO you go to a community and Listen to them. You want their voice to be heard. But are you as an NGO brave enough to help their voice to be heard where powers that be are not willing to listen to them? Where you yourself run the risk of losing your own life in the process?  How can an NGO with a pure heart and noble interest to help the marginalized stand their ground when Powers that be can shut you up with a bullet or make life miserable for you in the field?  Can the NGO just pull out of a community and bring down the morale of a community that is banking on you to help others hear their voice?  This is a reality in the field.  

The NGO has no recourse then to just but listen, show empathy that they are with the community, they hear and listen and do small actions that are safe and beneficial to both the community and the Powers that be. 
If we cannot go past a Hello, best to not start a community work. If we cannot help link a community to opportunities, best not to raise their hopes by dreaming big.  If we enter a community, we ask them what it is they want to be done, then we help direct them to planning for themselves solutions to their issues and concerns. WE listen, we help them voice out, but we as NGO cannot be their voice, we cannot be their fairy godmother - we can facilitate, help them self realize what it is they can do with what they themselves are capable of doing - or build their capacities to make their dreams and aspirations come true. 
With our recent national elections, we pulled out of the field so the community can proceed with their lives without us in the way.  The election results are not favorable to the marginalized tribal community.  We cannot be their voice, but we continue to work with them so that they have the capacity to fend for themselves in the future when our project life ends.
Comment by Marie Lamboray on May 31, 2016 at 11:27pm


Rituu B Nanda de la Constellation a animé une formation SALT pour le personnel des organisations PGS et TIP à Allahabad. Je suis chercheur et j’ai participé à cette formation ainsi qu’aux visites SALT. Lorsque Rituu nous a présenté SALT, elle nous a posé une question au sujet de l'écoute (L de SALT). Cela a suscité une discussion animée. En voici un résumé.

Qu’est-ce l'écoute ? Il y a une différence entre entendre et écouter. Lorsque vous écoutez attentivement et avec émotion, c’est de l'écoute. Lorsque vous écoutez sans intérêt, vous entendez.

Dans écoute authentique, les yeux et les oreilles sont sollicités. Quand les gens écoutent réellement, leurs expressions le montre clairement. Quand nous écoutons avec notre cœur, nous pouvons même lire les émotions. Lorsque nous n'écoutons pas avec notre cœur, alors, même si l'autre personne crie, nous serons incapables d'écouter quoi que ce soit.

En écoute, notre langage corporel est également impliqué. Quand nous écoutons vraiment, nous ne restons pas indifférents.

Que se passe-t-il quand les autres nous écoutent?

Quand les autres nous écoutent attentivement, nous partageons et cela nous rappelle un épisode de notre vie et nous ressentons à nouveau les sentiments que nous avons eu lors de cette expérience particulière.

Quand je veux partager quelque chose avec les autres, souvent, les gens disent : « Laisse mon ami, nous n'avons pas le temps d'écouter. » Mais quand quelqu'un écoute ce que je dis, je me sens tellement plus léger, comme si un fardeau s’était évaporé.

Quand je partage quelque chose dont je suis fier et que les autres écoutent, ils apprennent à connaître mes forces, ils savent comment je travaille. Cela renforce ma confiance en moi. Et il n'y a rien de mieux que de savoir que quelqu'un d'autre raconte mes histoires et que les autres écoutent.

Lorsque nous racontons comment nous avons surmonté des difficultés, nous sommes fiers de nous-mêmes. Quand les autres écoutent ces histoires, ils apprennent et ils sont motivés à faire de même.

Si quelqu'un est vraiment intéressé à nous écouter, cela nous encourage à partager en détail.

(Contributions d’Anu, Dr Sunit, Peeyush, Ravishankar, Sanjay, Santosh et Rituu)

Commentaire de Pratibha Lal le 20 mai 2016

Merci pour ce partage, quand je lis votre expérience, je me rappelle ma propre expérience de visite SALT dans une communauté parce que j’ai également participé à une formation SALT facilitée par Rittu et j’apprécie de lire votre expérience à propos de SALT. Lorsque nous utilisons SALT dans notre travail ou dans la vie, cela rend les choses plus faciles et j’ajouterais que"SALT EST LA CLÉ DES COEURS". Alors félicitations et merci pour ce partage.


Commentaire de Rajib Nandi le 20 mai 2016

Cher Peeyush, merci pour ce beau blog. SALT est nouveau pour moi, j’apprends. Cependant, je n’avais jamais réalisé à quel point l'écoute pouvait d’impact, à quel point elle pouvait nous renforcer avant que je ne sois présenté à SALT. Je pense que l'écoute a un double avantage, je veux dire qu'il fonctionne dans les deux sens - à la fois pour le narrateur et l'auditeur. Pour la personne qui raconte, quand il/elle trouve un bon auditeur, cela l'encourage à parler à cœur ouvert. Il ou elle commence à découvrir son vrai soi en racontant ce qu’il ou elle n’avait jamais raconté auparavant. Il ou elle commence à réaliser sa propre force. D'autre part, cela offre aussi de nouvelles perspectives pour la personne qui écoute, si elle écoute vraiment. Comme vous l'avez souligné à juste titre, la personne qui écoute ne peut pas rester indifférente. Une écoute vraie crée un lien entre le narrateur et l'auditeur. Un lien qui les engage tous les deux émotionnellement et intellectuellement, qui les encourage tous les deux à agir positivement. Un simple mais extraordinaire outil pour renforcer la capacité de deux personnes.


Commentaire de Francien Scholten le 18 mai 2016

Merci Peeyush, après avoir lu, j’ai continué à penser à ce sujet et à me demander ce que l'écoute réelle ou profonde signifie pour moi. Il est certain que c’est un travail difficile, cela nécessite des efforts quotidiens, cela fait du bien et cela s’améliore lentement. Je sais aussi que l'écoute profonde, c’est d'apprendre à savoir ce qu'elle/il vous dit vraiment, sans jugement (dans ma tête) et de le stocker dans une certaine boîte avec une étiquette.


Traduit avec l’aide de Google Traduction 

Comment by Pratibha Lal on May 20, 2016 at 6:45am
thank you for sharing this, when i read your expirence i was remembring my own expirence in SALT visit in a community because I am also joined a SALT training fecilated by Rittu ji and am apreciate your expirence about SALT, when we use SALT in our works or life it makes the things easier and I would like to say this that "SALT IS THE KEY OF HEARTS". so congratulation and thank you for sharing this.
Comment by Rajib Nandi on May 20, 2016 at 5:26am

Dear Peeyush, thanks for the lovely post. I'm new  to SALT and just learning about SALT. However, I never realized earlier that listening could be so strengthening before I was introduced to SALT. I think that listening has double benefits, I mean it works both ways - both for the narrator and the listener. For the person, who is narrating, when s/he finds a good listener, it encourages her/him to speak from the heart. S/he starts discovering her/him true self, through her/his untold stories. S/he starts realizing her own strength. On the other hand, it provides an excellent direction for the listener too, if the listener truly listens to it. As you rightly pointed out, the listener cannot remain indifferent. A true listening crates a bondage between the narrator and the listener. A bondage that engages both of them emotionally and intellectually, which encourages both of them towards acting positively. A simple but an amazing tool to build capacity of two persons.   

Comment by Francien Scholten on May 18, 2016 at 1:48am

Thank you Peeyush, when I read it, I kept on thinking about this and asking myself what does real or deep listening mean for me. For sure, it is hard work, takes daily efforts and it feels good and get slowly slightly better.  I also know that deep listening is getting to know what she /he really tells you without creating a judgement in it (in my head) and storing it in a certain box with a label on it. 

Comment by Marlou on May 17, 2016 at 4:53am

I heard you! Thanks!

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