For my dissertation research, I conducted a series of three hour long interviews with 10 college men about their identity as men. I asked them about what it means to be a man, how that had changed over time, and what influenced those changes. All I did was ask questions and deeply listen. There was no coaching, therapy, or other intervention. Just listening.
When I interviewed the same participants five years later, they all described those interviews as one of or the most powerful experiences of their college lives. This has taught me two things – 1) How powerful listening can be & 2) How unheard most of us feel in our everyday lives.
I was reminded of this lesson by this new and powerful TED Talk by StoryCorps founder Dave Isay. He offers example after example of the amazing impact of listening.