3S Skills – Listen from the Thirdside

As a Thirdsider to consider the whole situation and to listen from the Thirdside. The key is your ability to Step to Both Sides. In order to consider the whole you need to understand each side within itself. We often predispose ourselves to seeing the world one way. Listening allows us on opportunity to see from multiple vantage points and allows us to see the whole. Listening is a simple way to show respect. Watch your intention in your listening. If your intention to listen is to find a way to convince them of “your way” , to prove them “wrong” or “convert the right side,” you will not create an opportunity for a solution that supports each side and the surrounding community. Remember to go to the Balcony if you find yourself defending a perspective or listening simply to rebut.

In order to Step to Both Sides you need to: Put Yourself in the Others Shoes, Listen and Acknowledge, Ask Problem-Solving Questions, and Listen for Action.

Put yourself in the Other’s shoes

  • Understand how each side sees the situation
  • Understand how each side feels
  • What you see depends on where you sit

Listen and Acknowledge

  • Listen more than you talk
  • Listen from the inside
  • Paraphrase
  • Acknowledge the point and the person

Ask Problem Solving Questions

  • Ask open ended questions
  • Ask questions to which they do not know the answers
  • Ask questions many ways
  • Tap the power of silence

Listen for Action

  • What is waiting to happen?
  • What is needed here?
  • What is mine to do here?
  • What are the opportunities for Third Side action?

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