the listening game

Wonder how two people who are very angry can listen to each other, and maybe get to a place where each sees the other, their humanity, how they’re connected? Here’s something to try…

Groundrules & assumptions

– First, both people have to want to.
– Next, both agree to talk only about their own experience, and to clarify & ensure they understand what the other person is saying.
– Both may have support, if they want.
– A skilled facilitator who isn’t directly involved in the conflict may hold the space, with love and care for both, and in support of the process.


– Person A says “One thing I’d like you to know is…” and completes the sentence, briefly. (Person A knows there will be many more opportunities to say one small thing at a time.)
– Person B listens,.and does not answer except to reflect what they’ve learned. And then something like, “Did I get that right?”
– Person A answers honestly, and if necessary clarifies briefly, until B understand this one small thing.
– Next, the process repeats, but with Person B expressing “One thing I want you too know…” and Person A listening.
– This repeats until both people & the facilitator notice a change happening. For example, one person may notice at some point that the “one small thing” they want to share is something like “I’m wondering if there’s something you want from me, right now.” (The other person is under no obligation to respond, or to have that be their next “one small thing” to discuss. But it might be.)


Anybody want to give it a try?