The speed at which society now operates has decreased our ability to listen constructively to one another.  This inability to organize our lives and values in a way that engages in meaningful listening leads to a deep disconnection from ourselves (intuitive listening) and disconnection from every person in our circle of influence and society at large.  We have limited ability to listen past what we expect people to say and dig deeply into constructive dialogue. 

People have lost the ability for generative, meaningful listening.  This has led to disconnection, emotional distress, loneliness, superficiality and the results of an unexplored life. 

This class will introduce the practice of listening, tools to improve listening and analysis of listening as a reflective muscle to be exercised daily.

Goals & Objectives: (we will review objectives)

1.     You will be able to discern different levels of listening and discuss with examples.

2.     You will be able to articulate the role of listening within constructive dialogue.

3.     You will be able to identify systemic cultural issues (i.e. social media, texting, culture of busy-ness) and create innovative ways of meaningful yet brief dialectic patterns that invite individual change. 

4.     You will be able to lead a small group conversation from a level one listening to level three- or four- listening. 


Discussion Questions:

  1. How does Julian Treasure define sound?

  2. What are filters?

  3. What are we losing our ability to listen?  

  4.  Why is it a serious problem that we are losing our listening?

  5.  Julian outlines 5 ways of improving our listening skills.  Can anyone name all five?  

  6.  What is one technique Julian mentions that is one you see implementing in to your own life?  

  7. What are listening positions?

  8. How does Julian describe conscious listening?  

  9. How does listening create connection?  


(10-15 minute PowerPoint Lecture)

Class Project:

Students present a 3-minute description of an effective and ineffective leader and provide three supporting resources within course texts.  


Small Group Discussion:

Split in to small groups of 3 people to practice different levels of listening.  Select one question per person and spend 3-minutes each answering the questions.  With each question, the listeners should write Downloading, Factual Listening, Empathic Listening and Generative Listening and fill in where the speaker touched on each level of listening.  

  • Share 3 or 4 important facts about yourself. What are the important accomplishments you have achieved or competencies you have developed in your life (examples: raising children; finishing your education; being a good listener)?

  • Imagine you could fast-forward to the very last moments of your life, when it is time for you to pass on. Now look back on your life’s journey as a whole. What would you want to see at that moment? What footprint do you want to leave behind on the planet? What would you want to be remembered for by the people who live on after you?

  • What 3 or 4 important aspirations, areas of interest, or undeveloped talents would you like to place more focus on in your future journey (examples: writing a novel or poems; starting a social movement; taking your current work to a new level)?

Next, with this same small group, review your 7-day listening assessment and reflections.  

  • Did you find that your ability to listen changed from day to day?  Were some days easier then others?  More difficult?  What are some reasons why certain days were more difficult?  What do you need to do (i.e. get a better night's sleep, eat healthy etc.) to be a better listener?

  • Did you move ahead, from Level 1 to Level 3 and then back to Level 2 (or any previous level)?  Why do you think this is?  What are some practices you need to implement into your life that will help you grow consistently in your listening ability?  

  • Let's widen the lens from the self and think of listening to others.  Are you finding disruption to how you interact with others, particularly those who are are Stage 1?  What are some ways you can help them grow as listeners?  

  • Tell a story of a leader who is also a very good listener.  What characteristics did they show that told you they were listening? 

Social Presencing Theater:

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