Coffee Conversations Ep. 6: Listen Rather Than Reassure

September 24, 2020
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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This past week, I posted an article on LinkedIn about the state of the world today.

The title, “Ending the Poverty of Dignity,” came from a column by Thomas Friedman. I feel it perfectly encapsulates the cause of many of the issues in the U.S. and around the globe:

…if you show people respect, if you affirm their dignity, it is amazing what they will let you say to them or ask of them. Sometimes it just takes listening to them, but deep listening — not just waiting for them to stop talking. Because listening is the ultimate sign of respect. What you say when you listen speaks more than any words.

I’ve continually written about the importance of true, empathetic listening, because I have seen its power. Listening is the foundation of care but – as the current discourse shows – we’re just not getting the message. The most consistent feedback we get from our team members after they’ve taken the listening skills class we teach through Barry-Wehmiller University is that it changed their lives. I’ve seen people cry who told me it saved their marriage. And I know it is the answer to many issues our society is facing.

Over the past few months, we have shared a video series on this blog, Coffee Conversations, that shares the principles we teach internally at Barry-Wehmiller and externally through Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute and Our Community Listens, the non-profit founded by myself and my wife Cynthia.

They’re entertaining and whimsical, but they all carry very important messages. The new episode is titled “Listen Rather Than Reassure.” Watch through the link above.

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