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hear, seen, respected (hsr)

Empathy removes the blocks to action in a way that is inclusive. It creates power through partnership and cocreation, resolving what appears to be knotted and bound. (Dominic Barter)

What is made possible?

You can foster the empathetic capacity of participants to “walk in the shoes” of others. Many situations do not have immediate answers or clear resolutions. Recognizing these situations and responding with empathy can improve the “cultural climate” and build trust among group members. HSR helps individuals learn to respond in ways that do not overpromise or overcontrol. It helps members of a group notice unwanted patterns and work together on shifting to more productive interactions. Participants experience the practice of more compassion and the benefits it engenders.

  • Introduce the purpose of HSR: to practice listening without trying to fix anything or make any judgments. 3 min.
  • One at a time, each person has 7 minutes to share a story about NOT being heard, seen, or respected. 15 min.
  • Partners share with one another the experiences of listening and storytelling: “What did it feel like to tell my story; what did it feel like to listen to your story?” 5 min.
  • In a foursome, participants share reflections using 1-2-4, asking, “What patterns are revealed in the stories? What importance do you assign to the pattern?” 5 min.
  • As a whole group, participants reflect on the questions, “How could HSR be used to address challenges revealed by the patterns? What other Liberating Structures could be used?” 5 min.

WHY? Purposes

  • Reveal how common it is for people to experience not being heard, seen, or respected
  • Reveal how common it is for people to behave in a way that makes other people feel they are not being heard, seen, or respected
  • Improve listening, tuning, and empathy among group members
  • Notice how much can be accomplished simply by listening
  • Rely on each other more when facing confusing or new situations
  • Offer catharsis and healing after strains in relationships
  • Help managers discern when listening is more effective than trying to solve a problem