Podcast: Teaching College Students to Listen Like Leaders

October 17, 2019
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller

A few weeks ago, I received a packet from Lisa Waite, a professor in communication studies at Kent State University, who teaches a course titled Business and Professional Communication.

I met Lisa after she attended our Listen Like a Leader class, and subsequently, was trained to teach that same material.

Lisa spoke to me about the impact our class had on her life in and out of the classroom. We both felt strongly that we need to get this type of curriculum – that of empathetic listening as the basis for communication – into our schools and universities.

The packet Lisa sent me contained letters from her students. In her own note, she explained that she has been showing her class my TEDx on the first day of class and a number of the students were moved to write me a letter with their reflections. Here are a few quotes:

"Thank you for showing society how people-centered leadership can influence positively on the workplace and I hope one day I can be part of one."

"I know from my experience, work always shaped the way my attitude would be for that day and I was not nice to the people around me because of that."

"I feel that we live in a society that grooms kids to go through school and work till you die. It is very uplifting to hear of someone who wants someone to come to work, be at work, and leave work smiling."

"Knowing that there is a company in this world that not only cares for their employees, but truly values their family, self-being and hard work, is comforting. Working for a company that makes you want to come into work every day and allows you to come home feeling happy and valued is something I will always strive for."

"When I move up to a management or leadership position in life, I can keep this leadership style in the back of my head so that I can properly lead a team of employees in a humane nature."

"I was profoundly moved by their words. I took the packet to our communications team and asked if they would interview Lisa about her experiences in integrating our empathetic listening training into her classwork at Kent State."

From case studies at Harvard Business School to high school students in Texas, our message of Truly Human Leadership is slowly making a difference in education and moving the needle in how we train our business leaders. I’m very proud of the impact we have had and will continue to make.

Lisa shares how the use of empathetic listening affected her teaching and the impact it has had on the lives of her students on this episode of the Everybody Matters Podcast.


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