The Participation Blog

The Unnatural Skill to Build

We’re living in a time of relentless talk where we’re encouraged to continually spew our opinions (and photos of most of our meals) through social media. And broadcast infotainment and angertainment is populated by any number of talking heads, many of whom clearly have their sphincters on the pulse of America. It’s easy to lose sight of the most critical skill that public engagement practitioners need to develop and should constantly hone. This work requires not only speaking in ways that other people want to listen to you, but listening in ways that other people want to keep speaking to you – the fine art of listening, hearing and doing something with what you’ve heard. Consider these two slightly different but comparable takes on this superpower.