Everyone In Our Trust – Listening

30 November 2022 |

At Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, we are committed to being better.

We have adopted a new approach to continuous performance management, developed with our cooperative values as the driving force, entitled myTalent. Ensuring we all know, understand and believe in these values is essential. From this, we have created a clear framework of the expected behaviours, one of which is Listening.

Hearing may be one of our five senses, but listening is a skill that we must work truly hard to hone and develop. Why is genuinely listening so important? Not only does it enhance our ability to understand better and make us better communicators, but it also makes discussion and conversation more enjoyable for those involved. Listening connects us to others; this connectedness has been shown to be one of the fundamental pillars of human happiness. Our human connections and relationships matter far more to us and our wellbeing than money, material possessions or being “right.”

As life changes and digital communication becomes the norm, it is more important now than ever to truly reclaim the art and skill of listening. It is too easy to be distracted, to be partially present, to give in to seeing a conversation as a transaction where we say what we want to rather than listen to what is needed. For our young people growing up in a world very different to our own, the demands and expectations of social media mean it is too tempting to be always communicating but very seldom listening. Technology has given us platforms to broadcast our opinions and we’ve begun to prioritise sending over receiving; this is a dangerous error and one which degrades our listening, our connectedness and ultimately, our humanity.

Below is a poem from the Good Listening project, called “Words of Silver”

Dark clouds around here,
But the attention is on
Their silver linings.
Language, charged,
Slyly command feeling;
Escapes detection

For example,
Every “they” has a name;
Every “should,” a will

Words I live by
For life is best lived
With others.

– Dan Morrow – CEO and Trust Leader