Tag Archives: listening

Listening, not just hearing

I have had several requests through facebook from voters on both sides of the EU issue on how to find a healthy, positive way forward. As deeply upset as many of us still are, it is difficult to think in positive, helpful terms when there still so much anger about this referendum taking place at all.

But I have put some thought into this and wish to share some ideas. In conflict resolution and mediation, lot of weight is placed on listening. This is a deep kind of listening, not one in which words are heard and then our point of view put forward, ‘but, but, but….’ Having done a fair bit of EU speaking and hustings, I am familiar with the riposte and parry required in refuting arguments and arguing a case.

Deep listening is understanding what is behind the words a person is saying. Many have suggested that much of the ‘leave’ vote was an anti-establishment vote, not an anti-EU vote. Tim Farron has pointed out that worries over housing, lack of school places and an under-resourced NHS were salient factors in the ‘leave’ vote.

I would further suggest that fear is behind many of the views of those who voted against the referendum. We live in a global world, a shrinking world, one that is quickly changing with technological advances. Those who voted leave, among them the majority older people, I suggest would like a return to a simpler world of pen and paper, not email, where everyone knows everyone in the village and stays there their entire life. But that is not the world young people live in – we train in different cities and countries, we work around the UK and in the rest of the world, we fall in love and have relationships which transcend borders. Younger people understand and embrace a fluid, global world. Many older people are frightened by it.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 17 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael Cole 24th Apr - 12:01pm
    @David Raw: It is illuminating to know that you form your political opinions on the basis of advice from your four year old grandson. Now...
  • User AvatarMichael Cole 24th Apr - 11:52am
    Yes David. Events do seem to be moving our way. Despite our small number of MPs, it is the Liberal Democrats that Theresa really fears....
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 24th Apr - 11:42am
    @ Michael Cole. "We need not apologise for the coalition." As my four year old grandson often says on many topics , 'I don't think...
  • User AvatarMichael Cole 24th Apr - 11:42am
    Stephen Breban: Hear, Hear. Obviously resources are finite, but Stephen's post is worth repeating: "Target list? That sounds like a defeatist approach. Target the whole...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 24th Apr - 11:41am
    Yes Michael The Tories inherited a stable government in 2015, they ditched us and took the country into a chaotic mess, assisted by the weakest...
  • User AvatarBill Le Breton 24th Apr - 11:36am
    My great worry is that someone who calls for a 'progressive alliance' now, and has a very good chance of winning, will be quick to...