I am a brown-skinned man and I have spent most of my working life in the ‘civilized world’ world as an ethnic minority. Listening to other people’s perspectives, paying attention to their words and gestures, acknowledging their presence and needs, and being curious about what others have to say was not my usual reaction perhaps because of my childhood experiences. In fact, for most part of my early life I was a poor listener, and, in most social interactions, I had a strong urge to prove myself right. This is the story of how deep listening came to me accidentally and how it transformed my life.
Let’s begin with some bumps in my early career. At 29, I retired from sea and travelled from India to United Kingdom in search for better education. I took up a master’s degree in maritime economics at Cardiff University, scored a distinction but when I look back it was more like an extension of what I already knew from my sea career. And it was meant as a boost to my employability prospects.