Discovering Four Fields of Conversation
C. Otto Scharmer
Presencing Institute, MIT
A Core Question of our time is:
How can we overcome Divisions?
Shifting our mode of listening can be LIFE-CHANGING,
because transforming our listening changes the experience of:
There are three Types of Conversations
that have incredibly distinct Ways of Listening:
One Dimensional (1D) TALK is shaped by Self-Affirmative Listening.
1D Listening focuses on what we already know.
1D Listening reaffirms and protects Our Known World.
(1D = One Dimensional)
Two Dimensional (2D) DEBATE is shaped by Factual Listening.
2D Listening shifts focus to what is new to us.
2D Listening aims to engage with our Unknown World*.
(2D = Two Dimensional)
(*This can be in destructive or constructive ways.)
of my Listening
Three Dimensional (3D) DIALOGUE is shaped by Empathic Listening.
3D Listening shifts focus to another person’s experience.
(3D = Three Dimensional)
3D Listening explores and validates Another's World.
This is significant, because it shows that
Different Ways of Listening have the power to:
Transform our Perception of the world.
In 1D Listening we are the center of the world.
We experience predominantly through one perspective,*
but our World can grow small and flat.
(*which can be an important tool for our self-understanding)
In 2D Listening we become a part of the world.
We experience it through two or more perspectives*.
(*which is a key for our critical understanding of complex issues)
In 3D Listening other people become real.
We experience the world through their eyes*.
Our World grows larger and multilayered.
(*which is a key tool for our empathic understanding of other people)
"The unexpected action of deep listening
can create a space of transformation."
Martin Luther King Jr.