TOPIC: Influencing others
Fred Rogers testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Communication for PBS funding on May 1, 1969. Senator John Pastore (Rhode Island) who had not heard of Fred Rogers nor his program Mister Roger's Neighborhood led the hearing. Six minutes later, Rogers secured $20 million in funding.
Project Talk + Listen is a practice to talk openly and listen empathetically.
It's an experiment and invitation to work with two experiences: talking with genuineness and transparency and listening from the other's point of view without judgment, evaluation, approval, or disapproval of the statements. It's not a discussion.
Invite someone to have a Talk + Listen experience.
Aim for 30 minutes total. Each person gets 15 minutes to talk and 15 minutes to listen.
Talk transparently. Listen quietly.
Agree to be curious, flexible, open, and courageous.
Sit, stand, or walk while you Talk + Listen. It's up to you.
View the six-minute video of Fred Rogers addressing the Senate Subcommittee on Communications. Here is a transcript of that presentation.
Take turns talking and listening as you:
1. Describe what you saw and heard. (This might sound absurdly simple. It isn't.)
"Describing is a process of overall observing, particular noticing, and telling what you see or otherwise sense...To describe is to name it and its characteristics and qualities...People seem to believe that if what they are asked to describe is in front of you and them, then they think there is no need to say what they see because they wrongly assume that we all see the same things in the same way. We do not. We look at things differently, we notice different aspects, and we use different words when we tell about what we see." - Terry Barrett, CRITS (in contract, Bloomsbury Publishing, London)
2. Complete each of these two sentences in paragraphs.
When I see _____, I think _____ …
When I see _____, I feel _____ ...
3. Later, reflect on your experience and, if you choose, share an insight with your partner.