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To teach empathy, you simply teach listening

Nov 23, 2010

from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice and Circles:

Listening is under–rated.  We take it for granted as something that we know how to do.  Teaching deep compassionate listening is part of learning how to do restorative justice and certainly how to be in Circle.

Listening without judgement is really hard.  We make split second judgements about what we agree and disagree with about the person speaking.  Our brains index information and to file it, it needs labeled.  Judging is a natural and normal response so we can file away details, opinions and information for further use.

Listening is to witness another while suspending ourselves. When we really give people this, it allows us to access a place within us.  A place the recognizes and connects with the speaker.  This is empathy.

....How do you teach empathy?  You teach listening.

Read the whole entry.

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