Active Listening: A Key to Good Conversation by Sean Kirby

Active Listening: A Key to Good Conversation As a grant writer who works with municipalities throughout New York State, I do much of my communication and work with clients over […]

January 11, 2018 // EYEJ // No Comments //

Active Listening: A Key to Good Conversation

As a grant writer who works with municipalities throughout New York State, I do much of my communication and work with clients over the phone. A large portion of my job involves listening–whether it’s listening to webinars for grant instructions, listening to a client describe the first steps in developing a project, or listening to coworkers discuss certain ways to start particular grant applications.

You’ll notice I keep using the word listening rather than hearing–that’s because there’s a crucial difference between these two similar terms. Hearing is just the act of perceiving sound, whereas listening is focused, voluntary, and intentional. So, while I may hear someone talk by taking out my earbuds, I’m not truly listening until I engage with what they’re saying and identify what we need to accomplish-maybe an answer to a question, or an affirmation of a plan.

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Going forward into the new year, it is not enough to just hear the voices of Cleveland’s youth. We must listen carefully to them, so that we can better know their goals, dreams, and challenges, and work with them to produce justice-oriented solutions. Be a part of the conversation moving forward by signing up to volunteer for a one-hour discussion series session with EYEJ.

Sean Kirby

EYEJ Grant Writer & Millennial Board Member