Overcoming racism through listening

Listening – and asking questions – is a potent way to help overcome all forms of discrimination, including racism.

That was the clear and powerful message of US author, thought leader and CEO Alaina Love on a Tasmanian Leaders webinar this morning, delivered in the context of #covid19 and #BlackLivesMatter.

As Alaina put it to the group: “Leaders need to listen. It can be very hard because leaders think they are supposed to have the answers, the solutions. But listening with intent to understand is critical; not to judge or to say something smart in response but just to listen. Because that helps to manage the pain we are feeling.”

And as Alaina said to me in a private LinkedIn message afterwards: “You cannot lead from an echo chamber, therefore soliciting the insights, the opinions, the experiences, of those who are part of the organization is really the only way to gain greater insight.”

100% agree!

Listening is counter-cultural. It’s not easy. It requires effort to be quiet. To close one’s mouth and open one’s mind and heart with the pure intent to learn from someone else’s lived experience or pain.

All power to you Alaina. And thank you to Tasmanian Leaders for bringing another incredible international speaker to our shores via the wizardry of technology.