Episode 195: Listening

Listening is perhaps the most valuable gift we can give to another person, and it is a great strength of AA. People don’t necessarily need to have others solve their problems, but from being heard people can learn to face and resolve their own challenges. This episode is all about the importance of listening when helping people we sponsor, or a new person at a meeting. This was a live stream and we responded to comments from listeners in the live chat on YouTube and Facebook.

Key points and topics discussed 

  • People want to be heard, not told what to do.
  • AA meetings a great format for listening and being heard.
  • How AA meetings differ from group therapy. 
  • The problem when someone asks for advice in a meeting and begins to hear from everyone in the room. 
  • The Steps involve sharing experience with others. 
  • The power of listening in Step Five. 
  • How to improve listening.
  • Different ways of listening.

Memorable Quotes 

One thing that I love about meetings is it was one time in the day when everyone has their phones off. People are actively listening or at least you feel like you are being heard. – Angela 

I don’t want people to try to fix me. That’s one positive thing about AA. Nobody was trying to fix me. – John 

You listen, witness what their experience is, and often normalize it. – Angela 


Listening, by Galen T. 

Active Listening, Mind Tools