What is Resonance?
Offering resonance is an intentional practice used to cultivate deep listening and connection.
Typically done in person, participants take turns sharing and listening to one another's stories, practicing both telling stories earnestly and listening deeply (or in our case, reading).
After the speaker has finished, listeners share the specific moments in which they felt emotionally connected to the story, for example saying, "I resonated with you when you said [insert moment]." Storytellers can then in turn express their gratitude by saying, "Thank you for listening."
Every story we receive is a gift. Offering resonance is a way to reciprocate with the receiving of that gift, to let each other know that we've been heard.
We believe that receiving and offering resonance is a human right. Our aim is to cultivate more sharing, more resonance, more connection, both here and beyond.
Example prompts when resonating:
- I resonated with you when...
- I was right there with you when...
- I really felt when...
- I really appreciated...
Resonating is not:
- Telling your own story
- Offering advice
- Reviewing a piece's quality
If you'd like, we'd love for you to try cultivating this reciprocity muscle and offer resonance to storytellers as a way of practicing deep listening. And in turn, we hope you'll consider sharing your story as well!
You can find more information about resonance in this PDF.
Our deepest gratitude to the Marshall Ganz of Harvard University; Mark Fairfield, Cedar Landsman, and Lucien Demaris via the Relational Center; and Relational Uprising for devising this framework, and to the Ayni Institute for sharing it with us, which we have adapted.