A number of years ago, as my wife Cynthia saw the effects our communications skills course was having on the home lives of our team members, she challenged us to find a way to share it with the world. That was the birth of Our Community Listens, the non-profit she and I founded to help teach the skill of listening in communities throughout our country. We are proud that Our Community Listens is now in 13 locations around the U.S. with almost 4,000 alumni.
One of those locations is Charleston, South Carolina. A couple of years ago, Chief Gregory Bulanow of the North Charleston Fire Department attended one of these classes. When he originally heard about it, he was interested in sending some of his officers, but not necessarily in taking the class himself. But he was glad he did.
“I thought I knew about communications skills and listening skills,” he said. “I’d taken many other classes and read lots of books. But I definitely learned a lot through (Communications Skills Training) and I learned that all of the things I thought I knew were really just plain wrong.”
More than 40 of Chief Bulanow’s upper command and line officers have now attended this powerful training and they are committed to sending many more. What an opportunity for our first responders to impact their communities by just doing a better job of listening. You can hear Chief Bulanow talk about the benefits of the course both inside and outside the fire house in this week’s podcast.
Within Barry-Wehmiller, we now call this communications skills class “Listen Like a Leader.” It is one of the offerings of our BW Leadership Institute (now Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute, read more here,) our arm of our reach to help transform businesses. If you’re part of a company and are interested in taking a listening skills class, check out their website for more information.
How to get this week’s and past podcast episodes:
The Everybody Matters podcast is available for free on iTunes where you can easily download it straight to your computer or mobile device. We encourage you to subscribe to the Everybody Matters podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you are an Android user, you can also download the podcast for free through Podcast Addict. If you don’t have access through iTunes or your phone, you can download the podcast here or listen straight from the player below: