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May 2008    Supportive Listening™   Newsletter
Listening Tips
w/ Eran

Sometimes I just lose focus.

The person across from me will talk, and my mind will drift away, reviewing the grocery list, the taxes I filed, my upcoming trip… and at some point I realize that I have no idea what the person in front of me has been saying.

It’s a delicate situation. Should I say I wasn’t paying attention? The other person may get offended, or think I don’t care.

Should I pretend I heard? Something about that feels disrespectful, as though I’m faking attention while doing something else. And I could actually miss something important.

At this point, my tendency is to ask the other person to repeat what they said, as simply as I can. Something like “I’m sorry, can You say that again?” works well for me.

There are exceptions, of course. If my lapse in attention was very brief, and I can understand what I missed (just like a cell phone that cut out for a second, so that I missed one word), I prefer to let the other person continue.

But on the whole, I find that the other person won’t mind repeating or explaining more, as long as it’s clear that I am interested and authentic.

— Eran

Do You have any tips, stories, or questions You'd like to share? Email Eran.

New Class, New City

The work on Supportive Listening is expanding in a few important ways:

 1)  The first-ever Supportive Listening Basics class started meeting in April. We are having a great time exploring in-depth the theory and techniques of Supportive Listening with a fantastic group of listeners.

2) Eran has accepted an invitation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study how Supportive Listening can benefit population health. He will be joining the University of Pennsylvania as a Health and Society Scholar in the coming summer.

This means that we will now be giving workshops and classes in the Philadelphia area, in addition to the San Francisco Bay area - we are going national!

We are excited to see Supportive Listening growing and maturing. Thank you for your encouragement and participation.

- Paul and Eran


p.s. You didn't miss the April newsletterwe skipped it to move our send date to the start of each month.

Listening in the News w/ Paul

There was a fascinating article in the New York times about a program to provide psychotherapy services, at a very low cost, in Goa, India.

The model has two parts, medication and "talk therapy" and involves giving simple training to locals who go out and provide the services.

And it works! An excerpt from the article:

"Speaking in Konkani, the predominant Goan language, she told the counselor that she was not getting along with her four children, especially her son, who had recently beaten her up in a drunken rage.

She said she had no one to talk to. Holding tightly to her handkerchief, she began to cry. Within minutes,

Fact-Based Listening

In March we launched our first ever Impact Survey! We are very excited to learn about the impact that Supportive Listening is having on people's lives.

If you've taken the Intro Workshop and would like to participate in the survey, but did not receive the invitation, you can take the survey by clicking here.

Once the survey is complete, we will share our findings with you—in keeping with our mission of providing evidence-based techniques.

A Workshop for your Group

Do you know a group or community that could benefit from Supportive Listening? If so, let us know.

We are very happy to come work with your group, and can tailor a workshop for your group's unique needs.

Questions? Email Paul or see the FAQ for organizers.

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