Heard to speech

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Because they were there with me in the way that they were, it made possible my saying what I said, and it made possible all that came with getting to have said it.

The quote below talks about using honest, open questions to hear people to speech, but silent listening and other activities can also elicit different speech to come out of people.

From: The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal by Parker J. Palmer & Arthur Zajonc, with Megan Scribner

... in everyday chitchat ..., when we hear someone's story we tend to respond with a story of our own. But that kind of "parallel storytelling" can keep us from learning all that might be learned from the first story and leave the speaker feeling unheard. So the host of a transformative conversation must invite people to stay in "inquiry mode" for a while by asking the storyteller honest, open questions about what he or she has said. Such questions, have the power, in the words of Nelle Morton to "hear people into speech," deeper and deeper speech.8 This not only helps people feel heard but helps them tell their story in greater depth, improving the odds that both the speaker and the listeners will learn something new.

8 Nelle Morton, The Journey Is Home (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), pp. 55–56.

To read more about honest, open questions, click here.