Threads of Sevant-Leadership
Inclusion, Listening, and the Environment
Most of us prefer to be listened to as opposed to listening to others. But as adults we know that doesn’t really get us very far in either our work or personal relationships. Just think if everyone in a room is talking at the same time, how much gets accomplished?
If we are always talking, we come across as a know-it-all or condescending. We can be accused of not caring about other people because we never listen. The truth is we all need to listen more and, in particular, if we want to grow as Servant Leaders as Robert Greenleaf encouraged.
Greenleaf stated that listening first is the “proper response to solving any problem”. He further stated that “True listening builds strength in other people.” And, he poses this thoughtful question, if I say what’s on my mind, will I really improve the situation.”
In your personal life, honestly review the way you listen to your spouse, children, parents and neighbors to name a few. What are they really saying to you? Are you listening to them the way you would like to be listened to? No smirks, no sighs, no checking your watch, no laughter-remember they are baring their souls to you. Listen.
At work, do you listen attentively to people you encounter daily no matter their standing at the company. Whether the person is someone from janitorial or technical services-listen, Whether the person is an important client or the CEO, all deserve your attention.
Imagine a world where everyone listened to each other. Greenleaf says it will “build strength in other people”, and their respect and love for you will also grow. So much more can be accomplished if this were the case. Backstabbing and submarining will slowly disappear.
The Servant Leadership International Summit will be held in June 9-11 2021. The organizers wanted to set an example of listening’s effectiveness as they set about planning the program. A broad invitation was sent out to 16,000 interested parties who proposed subjects of interest, according to parameters set by the organizers. Responses came in; vetting was done according to criteria and duplications etc. Categories for all this knowledge were created; speakers were aligned. The conference will answer questions and concerns attendees have about Servant Leadership. The process works and more importantly-all was accomplished by volunteers.
The process was smooth and an all-star cast or speakers with very important topics will be available at the Summit.
What if your workplace were to put a premium on this kind of action? What if your family sorted out its differences this way? What if your child attended a school where academic policy was created in this manner? We would all choose to be part of any of those institutions.
If you care, you listen; if you listen you will care more. If people think they are being heard, they will buy into solving the problem before them.
The intent is to provide an example of running a Green Conference. With showing equal respect to the Earth, society and environmental responsibilities. The conference itself will not use anything non-recyclable or that isn’t biodegradable. The outside vendors used will provide and follow appropriate Green Policies for utilizing recyclable and biodegradable products. This will be validated through their Policies and Procedures documents. Our conference site and the practices of the institution will also be reviewed for environmental practices and their impact. All speakers are to filter comments to reflect for environmental responsibility and actions consistent with the Greenleaf Best Test:
Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?