November 7, 2013

One of the things that keeps me jazzed up about this field is that it is one that provides continuous learning for me.  Every day I learn something new from students, adult clients and staff that adjusts the paradigm of the world as I understand it.  And frankly, most of that learning comes from listening; hearing something different for the first time even though it has been said repeatedly. It creates understanding and is foundational to having a working, trust building relationship with others.  We can get caught up in our lens on the world and how we understand things and expect that others should see things the same way and if they don’t they should come around to seeing it our way.  We bristle when we don’t feel we are heard and that our views and concerns are dismissed without being validated.  This is the same no matter who we are or our role at Latham.

We should all pause to try and listen more and learn from each other.  I am as guilty of this as anyone else.  This is particularly where a power differential exists within a stratified hierarchy such as ours.  Whether between staff and clients or between staff and management or even within management. We all need to pause and listen and come away with true understanding.  Our relationships will be richer and our combined efforts will be both rewarding and more effective.  We will all learn more.

Submitted by:
Jonathan Smith

“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” 
 ~G.K. Chesterton

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