Counselor's Corner: The power of sharing

By Fred Cavaiani

People influence people. When two or more people gather together to share their deepest values and feelings, a powerful emotional and spiritual connection occurs. It is almost a divine encounter, a precious moment that profoundly influences one another.

This past week I had the privilege of conducting a number of programs for different groups of people. The programs consisted of sitting in a circle with a group and asking them to share their reactions to a series of quotations about life that I had composed for them. I would read a quote I had written and ask the next four people to respond to it. The quotes consisted of reflections of how to open up in a deeper manner to ourselves and to God. One workshop was called "Cracks In the Armor or Cracks In Our Walls." The other workshop was called the "Wisdom Years."

The results of both pprograms were quite similar. People shared their deepest feelings and wisdom about life and about God. It was a sharing of connected presence with one another. Each group developed a sense of closeness with one another and a profound respect for each other. By the end of each program people left with a deeper bond with each other, a deeper connectivity to themselves and an enriched experience of the Divine in their lives. All this happened because they were challenged to share their inner viewpoints in a safe and controlled setting.

Over the years I have learned that all of us are filled with wisdom and have unique ways of expressing profound ideas. When this is tapped, everyone benefits. I have presented many programs over the years. The last eight years I have learned to tap the inner resources of the participants and that my ideas are not the most important ideas in the room. When other people have a chance to share their opinions and ideas there is a power and energy in the room that positively influences every person there. It is much more powerful than just one person talking the whole time. I have changed from becoming the good public speaker to becoming the accomplished facilitator. I have learned that people influence each other more profoundly by learning to listen to each other in an organized setting than just sitting there listening to my public oratory.

I have learned so much from helping others have the opportunity to share their views and insights. There is so much wisdom in all of us. It is a privilege to listen to others.

One of the biggest failures in life is that most of us seldom get a chance to have an audience which can receive and listen to our insights and wisdom we have acquired over the years. It is a failure in many businesses. It is also a failure in many churches.

So often there are appointed leaders who feel that they are the only chosen ones to publicly impart wisdom. A good appointed leader learns to tap the wisdom of the community. A good president of a corporation does this and the corporation succeeds well. A good religious leader does this and the community becomes strengthened with new members as the leader of the community humbly listens and invites the community to share their wisdom in an organized manner.

The power of sharing influences the world in a positive manner. When sharing and listening is no longer permitted or encouraged in a community, a business or in a church community, the leaders become taken up with a narcissistic viewpoint about life and begin to believe that they have the absolute truth for the members of the organization. Inspiration, wisdom and insight then become stifled.

Listen to the wisdom of those around you. Listen to the wisdom of your friends and family. Listen to your fellow workers and invite them to share their ideas and feelings. Invite others to share their wisdom. Listen carefully. Amazing things will happen to you. The biggest change within you will be a realization that everyone becomes a teacher for you. It will help you listen to the great teacher of life with humility and gratitude. Whoever this great teacher is for you will begin to have a positive effect. Your humble listening to all will bring you into an encounter with the divine. This encounter will bring you to a depth and peace that you realize would never have happened just by yourself. The power of sharing is a tremendous life giving experience. Discover this by sharing and listening to one another.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

Published: Tue, Jun 21, 2011