Listening IS Leadership


Nicole Furlonge, Director of the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University


Peter Locke, Head of High School at Madison Country Day School


Jean Jones, Co-Founder and Trustee, NEIA

Quote Icon Phoebe's hungry listening helped Janie to tell her story.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
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Questions from the Pod: 

  • When most think of listening, even active listening, it is inherently viewed as passive. How can we move to a place where listening becomes not active but action? How do we keep from robbing listening of its power?
  • As a leader who listens we make choices, we are in ways the listener as an archaeologist – deciding where to dig. How do you see our role as a listening leader in this frame? What must we stay attuned to as we aim our focus?
  • Giving space for folks to be heard is essential to leading, to collaboration, to innovation, but how do you define giving airtime versus giving audience? How can we avoid conflating audience with agreement?
  • Returning to the archaeologist: As we unearth by holding space for voice/experience/story in our leadership and innovation practice, can you share with us your thoughts on listing, if you will, to the closed doors, listening for what is not said, the pathways that might not be open to us?

Nicole’s book, mentioned in the pod, is Race Sounds, The Art of Listening in African American Literature.  Yours To Create’s theme and interludes are by Maisie Bull. Yours to Create is produced by New England Innovation Academy.


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