Monday, June 17, 2013

An Introduction to the Active Listening Primer

351/365 Books are like mirrors by Iryna Yeroshko, cc license
Over the past few months, I've been doing some "conversation coaching," helping folks work through and prepare for a challenging conversation they're facing. I find myself coming back again and again to some basic active listening skills that go a long way to promote more direct, honest, and still compassionate communication. In my humble opinion, our world would be greatly improved if active listening was routinely taught, modeled, and practiced in our schools, places of work, and homes. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and so it can be useful to be introduced to (or be reminded of) alternative methods of communication. Hence, I thought it might be fun and useful to put forth my own primer on active listening skills.

Friday, June 7, 2013

It Takes a Community: Inspiration from Promise Coaches

Last fall I was recruited to be a trainer for The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA (TMP), an organization that "maximizes the opportunity for mentoring to transform the lives of young people so they may reach their full potential." TMP does this by helping other organizations develop mentoring programs and then offering ongoing support, e.g. by training mentors (that's where I get to come in!). One of the programs I've been supporting is the Promise Coaches Campaign, which "aims to create a college going culture in the City of Pittsburgh by empowering adults to help youth earn a high school diploma and succeed in college and careers.