Developing your 'Dadirri' listening: Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.

Listening, of course, is more than just hearing.

It is about paying attention to someone in a way that creates a genuine human connection.

Sometimes that connection is enough to enable the person concerned to feel stronger, more confident and better supported in dealing with their difficulties.

Listening is an important first step in terms of exploring potential solutions, but at times listening is enough on its own to find the strength to move forward positively.

‘Dadirri’ is a concept drawn from Australian aboriginal culture which refers to the type of listening that creates that all-important bond, listening that gives a strong and genuine message that we are concerned and that we are here to help without judgement.

It could be described as listening with our heart, rather than just with our ears.

When you have been on the receiving end of such listening you will know about it, as you will feel the positive, empowering effects of it.

Learning how to develop dadirri listening is therefore an important step forward for us to take.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.

His website is www.NeilThompson.info.

Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.

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