The instructor for the 2nd Foundation Course, titled “The Power of Listening,” was Mr. Yoshiaki Nishimura. The agenda he prepared for us is below.
・What does it mean to “not listen”?
・What does it mean to “listen”? And what results from it?
・Looking toward future of the TOBI Gateway Project (summary)
At first, the TOBIRA candidates were paired up and split into roles A and B.
Next, A and B each got directions from Mr. Nishimura, but they did not know the other’s instructions. For A, the instructions were, “Please convey with emotion to B something that recently made you.” For B, the instructions were displayed on a screen secretly from A.
For a few minutes, A tries very hard to tell her story, but B pretends to be concentrating on listening while his mind is somewhere else. Eventually, A becomes less and less able to speak to B. Participants realized that time goes so much slower when trying very hard to talk to a person who is not listening. You would have thought that there is an advantage to being the person who talks (the one who delivers the information), but we noticed that, in reality, the behavior of the listener (the one who receives the information) has a great deal of influence on the speaker.
Participants shared their thoughts and feelings on this experience by exchanging opinions in small groups. We swapped out group members several times and continued to practice this scenario. I thought this 4-hour Foundation Course was a good opportunity for the TOBIRA candidates to get to know their fellow members, many of whom were talking to each other for the first time. The power of listening, which enables deepened communication, is truly an important ability for Art Communicators. When we establish relationships where we can precisely draw out, receive and share what the other person is saying, the TOBI Gateway Project will become a more creative place. (Itō)