You may have noticed that our home page borrows a sentiment expressed by Fred Rogers: “Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.” And yes, neighbors, Fred Rogers is Mr. Rogers of PBS television fame.
While the word love may make some people uncomfortable, especially in the workplace, it absolutely holds true. You might say listening to someone is respectful, empathetic, empowering or any of a number of descriptors, but love is a useful and simplifying shorthand for all of them. And you cannot serve others (or yourself) without listening.
Mr. Rogers' full quote points out that we need to listen to ourselves as well as others, and this point is worth mentioning as we launch this web site. It is often easy to notice when others are (or aren't) listening, but it's not so easy to see when we are the ones with the listening deficit. This point is fundamental to approaching listening as an practice that takes ongoing effort and repetitions to become skilled.
With that, we'll leave you with one more quote on listening from Mr. Rogers:
"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember