The Listening Bench

DSCF1384Listening Quote of the Month:
Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.
Bernard Baruch, 1870–1965

As part of a regular series of articles about listening, Peter Hudson, of Consilium Education considers the links between listening and success, and asks is the right kind of listening really happening in schools and businesses?

 

Bernard Baruch was a highly successful American financier: a true ‘Wall Street Legend’, he was an advisor to Woodrow Wilson in the First World War and to Franklin D Roosevelt in the Second. Winston Churchill was a visitor to his home in South Carolina. Not only was he successful but he also moved in circles of successful people.

He was also known for his habit of “listening in the park” – he would sit in Lafayette Park opposite the White House and listen to the views of ordinary people on the great issues of the day. If you go to Lafayette Park today you can still sit on the Baruch Bench of Inspiration.

quote-most-of-the-successfuListening is what this column is about. If people as influential as Bernard Baruch saw the links between success and listening, then perhaps so should educators. But do we? This is what we want to explore here.

What do you think are the links between listening and success? Are there good examples of listening in your school or organisationl? What do you think could be the benefit of cultivating listening in school? Do you think that listening skills are a natural gift or do they have to be learnt? Is listening at school important for more than school counsellors? Is listening just for pastoral matters and counsellors or can listening improve academic results as well?

We want to get a debate going about how listening can be used in schools, while giving examples of what we think can be achieved by the development of listening skills. So let us know about your views and experiences – as a former student and as a teacher.

Who in your school or organisation would qualify for a Baruch Bench of Inspiration somewhere in the school grounds? Should every business have one? Let us know your views – we’re listening!

Peter Hudson

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