I previously posted an excerpt from Mary Rose O’Reilly’s Radical Presence (1998) comparing active non-judgmental listening to ‘listening like a cow’.
I’ve just come across another passage on much the same theme that I wanted to share. It’s from the Italian psychotherapist, Piero Ferrucci’s Survival of the Kindest:
People who are suffering don’t need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions. They need sincere and complete empathy—attention. Once they have the feeling that the other person is putting themselves in their shoes, they are able to let go of their suffering and head down the path of healing. Attention—being completely available—may well be the most coveted gift. We silently hope that someone will want to do that for us. Pure attention is given without judgement and without advice. Attention is a type of friendliness and the lack thereof is the worst kind of rudeness. Attention is the means that allows us to let friendliness flow. Anyone who can’t give others attention, will never be friendly. Attention gives energy, while the lack of attention takes it away.
This is the type of listening that is key to the practice of transformative mediation.
(H/T: Tricycle Editor’s Blog)