Session 3

Student facilitated discussion session
Student facilitated discussion session
Image: Singing Bowl Media
Source: Museum Victoria

Constructing the Bridge – Finding commonalities

Aim of the session

‘I will actively listen to better understand your life, and find points of connection with my own.’

Step 3

This step focuses on active listening to each other’s stories, to discover commonalities and surprising differences with our own stories. These help us discern how to fit the ‘materials’ of our bridge together.

For our bridge of trust and understanding, the way to determine each part’s location and connection within the overall bridge is through careful and active listening for commonalities we share and differences that invite our further interest. Sometimes it also requires greater ‘listening’ to our own feelings and responses. This allows us to gain a deeper appreciation of our differences and what we share in common. It is this form of listening that creates the bond that will ensure that the bridge is strong enough to endure stress and pressure.

It is often one of the most remarkable and beautiful realisations about this program that participants from different cultural and religious backgrounds, who hold widely divergent values, can discover that they share similar life experiences, or like the same bands or follow the same sporting team. They form similar conclusions from those experiences, even if there are differences in how those experiences are interpreted and outwardly expressed.