The Lost Art of Listening

Brussels, Belgium

Come and learn the basic components and rules of listening, and why so many people complain that they are not listened to. Learn about the major obstacles to listening, ranging from narcissism to the illusions of multi-tasking and instant communication.

What does it mean to listen? Is it even possible in a globalized world in which we are constantly confronted with people very different from us, and in which everybody seems to be always in a hurry? Are we losing this faculty, and, if so, what will be the consequences? 

 Our attention span, concentration and memory, and thus our ability to listen, are rapidly diminishing.  Moreover, a culture of narcissism, spontaneity and anti-authoritarianism has made listening seem less necessary.  That is why we must cultivate this faculty more than ever; for it is not an innate skill, but an art which requires practice, patience, curiosity and imagination.  It is the only way to bridge the indifference that has increasingly come to permeate our relationship with others.
"Listening allows us to overcome our expectations, our stereotypes, and our vanity; we build and maintain links in this way" says Marina Castañeda,  psychotherapist, author and Cultural Attachée at the Mexican Embassy in Brussels.
To encourage this practice, the author will discuss the ethics of listening and propose a code of good conduct: the five basic rules of listening.

Who should attend? And why?

Absolutely everyone who wants to improve their listening skills in professional and personal life.

Personal benefits

  • EXPAND CAPACITY & KNOWLEDGE: listening allows us to sort, select and retain essential information.
  • CULTIVATE THE ART OF CONVERSATION: allows us to avoid misunderstandings, be more empathic and build better relationships. 
  • SAVE TIME & MONEY: by avoiding having to start a task or project over again, because the directives given were not registered. 
  • CONFER RESPECT & TRUST: listening is a sign of respect. As a result, you gain the trust and esteem of your interlocutor.

Corporate benefits

  • IMPROVE COMMUNICATION: inside the office, and improve teamwork.
  • PROMOTE INTERCULTURAL EXCHANGES: allows us to understand one another when we don't share a common cultural experience.
  • HELP TO SOLVE PROBLEMS QUICKLY: good listening helps us detect problems more quickly and make better decisions.
  • ENHANCE MOTIVATION : good listening allows us to encourage and inspire others more effectively.
  • IMPROVE NEGOTIATION SKILLS: when the parties are simply  focused on imposing their own ideas, they miss important information such as the underlying motivations and expectations of their interlocutors.

Our coach : Marina Castañeda

Marina Castañeda is a psychotherapist, writer and lecturer. Born in Mexico, she trained in the United States (Harvard and Stanford), France (Ecole Normale Supérieure) and Mexico. She has published several books, mainly in the field of psychology, as well as several hundred articles.

She is the author of  the book “Ecouter” (ed. Robert Laffont, Paris) 

Pratical info

Date:  Thursday, 14 April 2016


  • 8.30 - 9.00 : Welcome breakfast & networking time
  • 9.00 - 13.00 : Training

Language: English


Polish Institute in Brussels - Place Flageyplein 18  - 1050 Brussels, Belgium

The Lost Art of Listening