Good morning, good afternoon, welcome to my vlog.

This is a slightly different one, it’s going to be about random acts of listening, which is an invitation to you.

I’m inspired to get back on the vlogs because my wife’s taken up vlogging now, so we’ve become a ‘family of vloggers’, so I am also going to link to her vlog because it’s linked to fundraising for a charity that’s very close to my heart. So there’s a link to her fund raising as well, so if you can click on that if you enjoy this, that would be wonderful, if you could support the cause.

So today’s vlog…
Let me tell you a story. I was approached by a woman that I’ve met through facilitation called Ruth Feranga and she introduced me to someone called Nick Heap, way back in probably September/October last year. Nick and I got in touch, as I’d always trust Ruth’s introductions and Nick wanted to tell me about a project he was doing called Random Acts of Listening or Empathy Walks.

Essentially what Nick was doing, he was inspired by ‘Theory You’ by Otto Scharmer’s ‘Theory You’, which I’d also read about and was inspired by as well. And he had started with Valerie Teller and some others, going out and listening to people, so going out in public, with no warning, and just using their skills to start conversations and listen.

It’s been a really interesting project. I went to St Alban’s and took part in one, I brought Nick over to Oxford and invited people through LinkedIn, we had a wonderful response, so Shaun, and Roger and Rob and Michelle came along and we had a great time listening to people, it’s been really interesting to put yourself out there and to listen to what people have got to say, to listen to what people want to share, and sometimes what people will need to share; sharing their stories with a stranger can be something really powerful for them as well as powerful for you.

So I’m doing it again. I’ve recruited Michelle to support me, so the two of us are going to do it, regardless if anyone else comes and we’re going to do it on the 26th May in the centre of Oxford. So I’ll send details to anyone that’s interested, all you have to do is let me know if you want to come along.

The whole point of Random Acts of Listening for me, is kind of inspired for me, by frustration with the global, geo-political state and the fact that that comes down to what I think is the fact that people don’t understand each other, and how can we understand each other if we live in these kind of tiny enclaves where we speak to like-minded people and we don’t actually get out there and speak to people who might have different views from us, might have different frames of reference?

So that’s why I’m inspired to take part and to try to understand other people more, try to have more empathy with other people with different backgrounds and different points of view.

I think it’s going to run and run, it’s really good fun and people are getting a lot from it. I’d encourage people who have taken part to share their stories in the comments and if you want to come along, as I say: Centre of Oxford, 26th of May, message me for more details. I really look forward to meeting some of you there.
Alright, take care, thanks very much, see you soon.