Listening Project (We hear your thoughts too)
WHAT IT IS
A LISTENING PROJECT (LP) is a comprehensive process that includes “deep listening” interviews and community organizing that can result in cooperative community education and action on a wide range of issues and concerns. LPs are especially useful in communities where conflict, divisions or disempowerment weakens efforts for positive change. They can help organizations successfully address injustice, conflict, community development, health, environmental and others concerns.
Listening: Project interviewers are trained in deep listening. They take time to build trust and understanding as they ask pre-determined, open-ended questions that help people go deeper into expressing their fears, hopes, needs, and solutions. As citizens begin to understand that their feelings, opinions and actions matter, they respond in dynamic ways. They may open to new ideas and possibilities, find common ground with opponents or offer creative ideas and solutions. Some take the next step to action or leadership. Thus, more people get involved, new solutions are uncovered and improved relations help bring about real change.
Organizing: LPs are conducted by an organization, a coalition or a partnership of organizations. All that is gained from LP interviews is incorporated into ongoing community organizing that transforms new resources into real change that benefits the community.
FACILITATED GROUP LISTENING is a program that brings a large group of people together to address difficult issues. Individuals with differing views then form small groups so they can listen to one another in a structured, safe and affirming environment. This reduces conflict, increases understanding and often results in creative solutions. Facilitated Listening is often used as part of a LP because a Listening Project can open the door to people who normally will not come to a group dialogue. However, Facilitated Listening has often been used successfully on its own.
WHO WE ARE
Rural Southern Voice for Peace (RSVP) initiated the first Listening Project in 1986. Since then successful projects have been conducted throughout the U.S. and internationally. RSVP serves as the national and international Training and Resource Center for the Listening Project and Facilitated Group Listening.
“A wise, simple, brilliant method for
defusing community conflict and
engendering creative unity.”
—THE MILLENNIUM WHOLE EARTH CATALOG
This web site has lots of information for you.
If you are interested in organizing a Listening Project or Facilitated Group Listening in your community, RSVP has several resources, including a national network of Listening Project trainers and organizers. We can also provide you with training manuals for both programs– however, guidance is helpful with both programs and Listening Projects should definitely have an experienced LP organizer / trainer. Your first step is to learn what you can from this web site.
- To see examples and accomplishments of Listening Projects and Facilitated Group Listenings, go to: Results and/ or Facilitated Group Listening .
- For more guidance on the Listening Project go to : How It Works, Results, Steps, Time & Resources Needed and the Resources Library.
- Once informed, you can Request Training and/or Contact Us.
We Welcome You To Be A Part Of Our Work.
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