Use when one or two people decide to listen. You can use this protocol to understand someone better. The listen protocol may be used for conflict resolution or other purposes.


Person A and Person B sit in 2 chairs. (knees pointing toward each other) Optionally, Person C sits next to them and makes sure they follow the protocol.

  1. Person A and Person B state their personal alignments.
  2. Person A begins saying what he wants to say to Person B in short chunks.
  3. For each chunk Person B repeats back what he heard in his own words (verbatim is ok).
  4. Person B asks Person A “Is that right?”
  5. Person A either says yes (goto 6) or no and repeats the chunk at step 2 until Person A says Yes to the question “Is that right?”
  6. Person B asks “Is there more?” If Person A says yes, he goes to the next chunk using step 2. If Person A says no then the positions switch (optional) and Person B begins saying what he wants to say beginning at step 2.
  7. The positions keep switching until both are done saying what they want to say.


  • If you can’t stay in protocol, checkout.
  • If you don’t understand something that is said to you when you are the listener, you may ask a question.
  • You may not argue, correct, make statements, or do anything else except ask a question (with the intention of understanding what you are hearing) when you are the listener.


  • We would like to thank Rich and Char Tosi for the Listen Protocol which is an adaptation of their own Knees-to-Knees process.

Copyright © 2007 Jim and Michele McCarthy

This document is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. For more information see the The FSF’s General Public License webpage.