Listening is the fundamental capacity of leadership. It is the background structure of interpretation that gives meaning to whatever we perceive. There are two kinds of listening: Already Listening (which is historical) and Generous or Generated Listening (which is our listening when we are committed). Once we acknowledge that we start with an Already Listening as a framework for making sense of the world—a framework present in the background that is made up of a long list of assessments about almost everyone and everything—then we can begin to generate a more Generous Listening. For not one of our assessments is either ‘true’ or ‘false’.

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