Listen First

Movement to mend our frayed social fabric by building relationships and bridging divides one conversation at a time.

What does Listen First mean?

  • Listen First to understand rather than to reply
  • Listen First before rejecting a conversation
  • Listen First before dismissing alternative ideas
  • Listen First before launching attacks
  • Listen First to more effectively advocate your position

Top 10 Listening Tips

  1. Allow others the courtesy of silence while they are speaking.
  2. Maintain a calm and respectful tone when you are speaking.
  3. Come with an open mind, ready to learn and grow.
  4. Listen to others as you want them to listen to you.
  5. Listen to and consider others' views before sharing your own.
  6. Be present and curious rather than thinking of how to respond.
  7. Fully engage, free of distractions.
  8. Restate what you heard to clarify understanding, using "I" statements (“What I heard you say was” or “The way I understand your position is”).
  9. Ask thoughtful and respectful questions, free from judgement, assumption, or bias.
  10. Seek to discover common interests and areas of agreement by focusing more on why than what, more on personal experiences than positions.


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