Generous Listening and Dialogue Center
The Generous Listening and Dialogue Center (GLADC) was launched in 2021 in collaboration with the Vuslat Foundation to promote authentic connection through dialogue and generous listening, even across differences. Generous listening is broadly defined as the art of listening to ourselves, to nature, and to others—especially when people disagree or when they confront differences of perspective, experience, power, and/or status.
GLADC works with schools and departments across Tufts, building on the expertise of faculty, research centers and civic engagement programs, while also collaborating with national and global partners. Our programming and interdisciplinary initiatives help students, staff and faculty develop skills and awareness, address hard issues, and generate new knowledge.
Who We Are
What is the value of dialogue in a polarized world?
When we consider this question, it is important to also make some distinctions between dialogue and 1. sharing of information 2. debate and 3. mediation or conflict resolutions, which are distinct ways of communicating and may or may not include dialogue. A dialogue experience has its own value of bringing individuals together to better understand each other. The use of “generous listening”in this endeavor is to be able to see the humanity behind the words and positions. We assist in this exploration and practice of listening to self, others and nature (inclusive of social contexts).
The work of the Center is therefore, focused on dialogue to increase authentic efforts at understanding; and also, as Krista Tippett in Becoming Wise encourages us, to be “vulnerable” with those we disagree with, and to have an interest in trying to “find a way that can honor some of their values without giving up your own." Engaging in this kind of interaction is indeed complex at times, but even more necessary. The objective is to seek understanding of various perspectives even if one does not leave the situation with a common belief about an issue. When the objective is to better understand why the other person believes what they do, there is a greater likelihood of being able to live together among a diversity of viewpoints. While we do not engage in conflict resolution as a Center, we can offer referrals to resources for those who need this kind of support.
The Generous Listening and Dialogue Center offers support for facilitating these kinds of efforts to dialogue by sharing resources, offering training or coaching and hosting convenings that demonstrate dialogic approaches. Please contact us at GLADC@Tufts.edu for more information.