This is a follow up to my previous post about people's unmet needs.
When Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community participated in a consensus decision making workshop with Tree Bressen in September 2008, she told us something related to this.
She said that, whenever someone else was talking, it was important to listen for the truth in what they were saying. Again, this was in the context of someone behaving "badly," expressing themselves poorly, being too strident, etc.
Tree said that, in these circumstances, the person often had a gift to offer, even if they were failing to package it attractively. It was our job to find the tiny kernel of truth that was buried deep in the middle of what they shared with us, regardless of how inarticulate they were.
I have found that this has been a valuable practice when someone has been venting. Some of my ranting friends have gifted me with pearls of great wisdom. :-)