Presencing Institute 的U實驗室課程重點
朝邦文教基金會 執行長 吳咨杏 整理
今年一月，Presencing Institute開始了一堂為期三個月的網路課程，名為「U實驗室：轉化企業、社會及自我」，讓參與者學習如何運用意識處理管理與社會科學的議題。這套促進變革的做法, 其理念建構在任何的社會系統所展現的成果，品質都取決於系統中的參與者的認知、專注力或意識的品質。
“Listening & Speaking at 4 levels": a summary from the Presencing Institute’s Ulab experience.
by Jorie Wu, CPF
In January this year, the Presencing Institute started a three months online course called “U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society and Self” for participants to learn how to work with consciousness in management and the social sciences. This approach to leading change posits that the quality of the results that we create in any kind of social system is a function of the quality of awareness, attention or consciousness that the participants in the system operate from.
A number of participants from Taiwan joined this U.Lab and I’d like to briefly share with you some of my key learnings on” listening and conversation” from this course.
Listening is the most underrated of all leadership capacities, because listening is at the source of all great leadership.
When there is leadership failure, it’s likely due to a lack of listening. Listening is not just hearing; on a deeper level listening means connecting with what’s really going on in reality right now, and leadership failure is often because of a disconnection between leaders and the situation on the ground.
So listening is a core skill for all domains of mastery, for our professional life as well as personal life.
Theory U explains listening using a model with four levels of depth:
Listening 1: Downloading
“Downloading” means you are listening for information that reconfirms your opinions and judgements. This listening reflects the past, not the present moment.
Listening 2: Factual listening
In listening for facts we open our mind to new information and then noticing the differences between what is actually happening and what I thought would happen.
Managing complex social changes however requires two additional levels of listening:
Listening 3: Empathic listening
Empathic listening is when we see and feel from another person’s perspective. At this point you are listening from the place and experience from which the other person is speaking.
Listening 4: Generative listening
Generative listening requires us to let go of our attachments to our opinions and to let a new future to be possible. This listening comes from connecting the source of who we are and who we want to be.
For example: a great coach listens to the client’s current struggles in terms of noticing already the arrival of the client’s highest future possibility. This type of listening is able to perceive the emerging future self and to help the client connect with and be helped by that emerging future possibility. Generative listening is what great educators and leaders do; they see things not only for its history but also for its highest future possibility.
The level of one’s listening is also manifested in our quality of conversation.
First level of conversation: Downloading
In a “Downloading” level conversation we are speaking from a judgement of what we think others want to hear; so we would be having polite or routine conversation and basically confirming what other people want us to say, not necessarily articulating what we really think. In school, this style of conversation is called learning; in organizations it’s called good communication or even giving positive feedback.
Second level of conversation: Debate
In debate people emphasize their differences of opinion, and speaking from what I think rather than from what they want me to say. The limitation of this conversation style is that people cannot get beyond their point of view and become defensive and debate how “my view” is better than “your view”, and I am trying to convince you that my viewpoint is right.
Third level of conversation: Reflective Dialogue
In reflective dialogue you and I still have different viewpoints but I am beginning to ask genuine questions to understand what makes you think differently?
Reflective dialogue is a mindset shift from “I am my opinion” to “I have an opinion”; this shift is the key to change management.
Fourth level of conversation: Collective Creativity
In collective creativity a group becomes creative together and the ideas are produced by the group’s interaction and not by any individual. Through this conversation something totally new is created from the energy and inspiration generated by that particular group.
How can we know which level of conversation is operating
Downloading: When everything you expected to hear and experience in a conversation actually happened as expected; that indicates you have been downloading and you have been part of a conversation where nothing new really happened.
Debate: When you come out of a conversation and feel your assumptions were challenged by new data or viewpoints.
Reflective Dialogue: When you come out of a dialogue with a new perspective and not just new data. You were likely exposed to new data that challenged your assumptions and also enabled you to see reality through another perspective and you begin to see yourself through others’ eyes.
There are four general indicators of collective creativity: high energy, high inspiration, something new being born as the result of it and you feel more connected to your real journey and to your emerging self.
High performing teams can move across the entire spectrums of fields of conversation, while low performing teams tend to be stuck in levels one or two.
We invite you to spend some time every day and reflect on “What percentage of my time am I actually spending on each level in both my listening and my conversation? “