Values are what a person or a company holds dear. They are the reason you get out of bed and they are the compass that points you in the right direction. For us, our values are present in everything we do. We believe that without them, we can neither deliver the best service to our clients, nor can we have enduring relationships, be that with our clients, our consultants, or our wider network.
Active listening is a skill. It is a skill that is universally recognised as being fundamental to communication. However, what it means to actively listen is something that people rarely spend time reflecting on.
We know when someone is not listening. We know how it feels when what we are trying to communicate is lost on a recipient who seems more intend on telling us how they feel or what they need.
“How arrogant to believe that what I am about to say is more important than what you are about to think”.
Nancy Kline has become synonymous with silence in the world of coaching.
Miscommunication and failure to listen are almost always to blame where relationships fail. Active listening is a skill we should all seek to improve. However, for us active listening is about so many things. It is why it is a value, not just a skill in our tool kit.
Listening is about judgement and respect. It is about silence. It is about being open to hear and understand what is being said. It is about being present. We believe this shouldn’t just be something that happens in coaching, or in a client listening exercise, it should be promoted in all our interactions with people. It is human-centered and it is way of being.
At one level, empathy is the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes. At a deeper level, empathy is not just about understanding the point of view of another, it is about feeling alongside them, and it is about understanding what they need. It drives action. Compassion.
Empathy leads to deeper listening, which leads to deeper questioning. It is about gaining a deep subjective understanding of the person in front of you, something which can only come with patience and careful listening.
Empathy is something that is often ignored in professional services firms. Perhaps it is seen as too fluffy, or as not having teeth. However, we believe that firms who leverage empathy see an improved culture and a stronger and more enduring relationships with clients.
For us, it is the only way we want to do business.
“Success is no longer just about talent, or knowledge or skill. Today it is also about freeing ourselves from the blinkers and blind spots that beset us all, and harnessing a critical new ingredient: cognitive diversity.” Matthew Syed, Rebel Ideas.
We work to promote the benefits of diverse thinking across all that we do. We seek views and perspectives that differ from our own. We encourage our clients and our colleagues to bring different voices in the room.
Cognitive diversity is an important ingredient for success for professional services firms. However, for us it has another role and it is why it is one of our core values. It helps us to challenge what good looks like. If we challenge what good looks like we challenge the status quo and we make our teams stronger.
We believe in diversity in all of it's forms. Yes it drives success, but more than that, by embracing it, we learn more and we grow stronger. Together.