Listening Partnerships

We would like to share with you the concept of the Listening Partnership.

It is a deeply held opportunity to actively listen and to actively be heard.

Unlike a regular conversation, where we talk in flow, sometimes a conversation can become one-sided, and sometimes we’re keen to have our own voice and opinions heard. A listening partnership is an experience of spending time actively listening to your partner. No comments are made, your views are not given while your partner is talking. You give them your full attention.

Before the session:

  1. Decide on the length of time that each of you will speak. It might be anything from 10 minutes to 45 minutes each.
  2. Decide who will speak first.
  3. Give yourselves 1 minute of timed silence, to close your eyes, and drop down into yourselves before the first person starts to sharing.

As the listener:

  1. You take the responsibility of timing your partner, set the timer and let your partner know they can begin.
  2. While your partner is talking, give your full attention, really listen to what is being shared with you. Allow your listening to have a flow of its own; head movements and noises of expression are fine, just no comment.
  3. If your partner chooses silence for a time, hold that space for them. Time to stop or be thoughtful is as precious as sharing words. There is no such thing as an “awkward silence” in a listening partnership.
  4. At the end of time, let them know their time is up and thank them.
  5. To ground you can ask a mundane question that is completely unrelated to what has been shared, eg “Name three items in your fridge”, “Name three plants growing your garden”.
  6. Your partner may choose to ask for feedback on what has been shared. Offer feedback only if asked and please only offer advice if your partner has asked. This is a sacred space to be heard.
  7. Then swap.

As the speaker:

  1. This is your opportunity to be heard, whether it’s through words, or through taking your allocated time to just be.
  2. You can choose to talk about anything that you feel will be useful to your soul.
  3. Know that you are held in a safe container of the Listening Partnership
  4. Allow yourself to be grounded by the mundane questions afterwards.
  5. You may choose to ask for feedback or comments at the end of your time, but there is no pressure to do so.

After you’ve both spoken:

  1. Make another time for your next Listening Partnership.
  2. You may choose to meet weekly, every two weeks, or whenever will be beneficial to both of you.
  3. You can choose to meet online (Skype or Zoom), or on the phone, or even in person.

What is discussed during the Listening Partnership is not discussed elsewhere, it’s held in the safe container of the LP. It’s confidential and not to be shared with anyone else.

The LP is to be held as a safe space for both listener and speaker.

Feel nourished by being heard and by actively listening.