Listening over Summer

Affectus has emerged out of the summer break with a bounce. We have a new addition to our growing team, you will meet her in a moment, and we have had a break. But mostly my December/January has been a time of intense listening.

  • Listening to me…
  • Listening to the people I love dearly
  • Listening to the community Affectus has built
  • And listening to the political conversations at a local through to an international level.

If our theme for this newsletter is communication then I have to say how I am constantly reminded about listening. As in listening being the fundamental-of-fundamentals of who we are and how we can be our best selves.

I have the privilege of putting my entire year of voluntary work into November. Some of you will have observed my activity assisting a woman from Wodonga who had a tilt at a state seat in the Victorian election. It was such fun and might work. And by golly she got sooooo close.

The November Volunteering actually started well over 12 months prior to the election being called and my leadership learnings from the entire 18 months will remain with me forever.

What did I learn about listening.

  • It helps to not talk if you want to listen.
  • Sometimes you have to stop the other person from talking so you can capture what you have heard.
  • It is really hard to listen when you are juggling too many concepts in your head
  • If you have an active “parrot” that sits on your shoulder and squawks opinions when others are talking then the parrot needs to be caged and shut away all the time.

So as Affectus’ year revs up these are the ideas I will commit to (again).

  • Be quiet, listen, keep listening
  • Shoot the parrot on your shoulder, keep listening
  • Capture the key points and let the other person know you have heard them
  • Listen again and then reflect on how your listening went.

I believe I am a good listener. But, during the election campaign, the effort of listening, capturing and moving other’s thoughts into outputs and action under pressure was an amazing experience. I have a completely renewed appreciation of what we put you through during our programs.

Looking forward to seeing you all during 2019.