Dialogue Listening With Awareness

Dialogue Listening With Awareness

Dialogue Listening With Awareness

When the theoretical physicist (and one of the most influential pioneers of Quantum Physics) David Bohm retired from his work, he asked himself, “Now what? Now what do I do with my Life?”; he knew that he had already contributed to humanity in a big way, but he still felt that he could do more. So he asked himself, “What does humanity need more than anything else?” His answer: human beings need to learn how to listen to one another. He felt that the art/skill of listening was quickly disappearing. (And the astonishing growth in technological advancements was probably a big factor, for it leads to increasing individual isolation.) Yet, if human beings cannot listen to one another, then the human race is doomed. Think about it. How can we solve problems? How can we cultivate healthy marriages? How can we transform organizations? The disappearance of the ability of human beings to listen to each other motivated David Bohm to write a small book, a book that is still the premiere book on interpersonal communication today. The book is entitled On Dialogue (for citation purposes, note that the book was originally published in 1996; I pulled from the 2008 edition); and it contains a chapter entitled “On Communication” that I share with you here. In this Discussion exercise, you will use this small chapter to help you meditate on your own ability to listen effectively. (Feel free to read the “Forward” as well.) Why are we doing this? Simple.

In the final decades of his life, David Bohm wound up traveling all over the world offering “Dialogue Sessions” in all types of organizations (corporate, educational, governmental). He himself learned about the power of dialogue from the very influential Indian sage Jiddu Krishnamurti. (Links to an external site.) What Bohm learned from Krishnamurti was that through dialogue, one can learn how to listen with awareness. He learned that bringing awareness to the listening process changes everything. Without awareness, there is no effective listening. Note: another word for awareness is consciousness — we need to be more conscious.

Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber, and all the other thinkers interested in integral or evolutionary theory make it clear that ONE and only ONE factor allows an individual to psychologically evolve (which then allows organizations to evolve), and that factor is — consciousness/awareness. We need to pay attention to what we are doing and thinking. This, and only this, will transform the world, and our organizations — seems simple enough; why then is it not done?

Dialogue Listening With Awareness

David Bohm’s explanation of what leads to ineffective listening:Dialogue Listening With Awareness

 

Dialogue Listening With Awareness

Ken Wilber’s AQAL model is a map of consciousness — but the map is not the territory. If one desires to transform organizations and the world, then try the following.

Read the article “On Communication”
Share your analysis of David Bohm’s explanation of what leads to ineffective listening. What are we doing when we are not listening effectively? What exactly do we need to pay attention to? What is the process by which effective listening goes askew? Be sure to share your own thoughts on Bohm’s piece. I am looking here for a summary of Bohm’s perspective and your own thoughts on the matter.