An Italian Lady Goes to the Bronx

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A field-research and contribution for the de-bronxification of ordinary social life. “The Art of Listening, reduced to the most essential terms, is an art for the transformation of pains and anxieties into opportunities for knowledge and awareness.” The Seven Rules of the Art of Listening by Marianella Sclavi: 1. Never be in a hurry to reach conclusions. Conclusions are the most ephemeral part of your research. 2. What you are seeing depends on your point of view. In order to see what your point of view is, you have to change it. 3. In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that he/she is right and ask him/her to help you understand what makes them right. 4. The emotions are a central instrument of cognition if you learn how to read their language, which is relational and built on metaphors. 5. A good listener is an explorer of possible worlds. The signals which he or she finds most important are the ones that seem both negligible and annoying, both marginal and irritating, since they refuse to mesh with previous convictions and certainties. 6. A good listener is happy to accept the self-contradictions that come to the fore in personal thoughts and interpersonal communications. Misunderstandings are accepted as opportunities for entering the most exciting field of all: the creative management of conflict. 7. To become an expert in listening you must follow a humor-based methodology. But once you have learned how to listen, humor arises on its own. The seventh rule sums up all the others.

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