Today we talk to Head of Talent Development and BlueCurrent UK, Faith Howe on her #LISTENINGFACE…
Describe your listening face
My listening face is a mix of contradictions. A deadly serious and slightly scary, steely-eyed fix, interjected with big smiles which I would like to think are warm and beaming but are probably actually pretty goofy. I am always told that my face says it all so I think people get the gist of whether I like what I am hearing pretty quickly!
Recount a time you listened to somebody
Five years into my career my MD at the time – who is still one of my greatest mentors today – told me that if I really wanted to accelerate my development I needed another string to my bow, so I should do an MBA.I really wasn’t sure. I was enjoying my job and my life in London, and having been not too long out of education I really didn’t fancy returning to journal articles and burning the midnight oil churning out essays. But I listened, I stepped out of the race for a year and went to live and study in Bath. It was the best thing I ever did. The MBA taught me so much about the wider business context -knowledge that I still draw on every day. It is safe to say that I would have never been able to make the lateral career move that I did to join FleishmanHillard without this expertise to offer. But more than gaining knowledge, during that year I built an amazing international network of wonderful friends and contacts –not to mention meeting my now husband!It was win-win on every front.
Recount a time somebody listened to you
I am happy and humbled to say that people listen to me every day. As a specialist in Talent Development I help our team to solve the most important and sometimes complex challenges that any business faces –how to help, support, empower, motivate and sometime course correct when it comes to teams and people. I value the huge trust and collaboration that I experience among my peers and colleagues and being listened to is an important facet of that – it is what gets me out of bed every day.
Recount a time you didn’t listen
As one of life’s great talkers –loud talkers –I am ashamed to admit that there probably far too many occasions when people feel that I didn’t listen. Really listening, rather than waiting to talk, is a skill that I have had to work hard to develop and continue to focus on every day. Because listening has been a development journey for me, I have consciously experienced the joy of really listening, compared to not. It is such a rewarding revelation when you truly connect with another view-point or can empathize with a situation that you have not personally experienced because you have taken the trouble to deeply understand, and this serves as a good reminder to me as to why God gave us two ears, and one mouth. For me listening is a work in progress, but I am deeply committed to the cause.