Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

The Power of Active Listening

photo credit: Elise Katz
photo credit: Elise Katz

I am still reeling from the excitement & energy of the ALA Youth Media Awards this week. As part of this year’s Caldecott Committee, I spent the majority of my Midwinter Conference in book discussions with fourteen other committee members participating in the book discussion of a lifetime. It was an incredible thing and I absolutely adore my fellow committee members-I learned so much from them and I felt we all created an incredible bond that can only happen with such an experience.

As I reflect on my committee experience, I feel as though I am not only a better librarian and feel more equipped to understand the awards process, but I also feel as though I am coming away from this experience as a better librarian.

During our discussions, the power of active listening really demonstrated itself. Listening fully to what others had to say without interrupting or coming to your own conclusions is a powerful and incredible thing. I felt appreciated and respected. It was an incredible experience and made me love the people I was with.

It also made me think how I can practice active listening more as a Youth Services Manager with my staff and my patrons. I want to listen to my staff and hear their concerns and questions as well as their praise. I want to remember to stop, pause, and think about what they have said before I respond. I want to show them respect and really listen to what they have to say. 

I am so thankful for this experience and I am so grateful to the committee for making it so wonderful. Thank you for demonstrating a wonderful tool that I can take back and use as a manager. I know it’s an experience I will never forget.

One comment

  1. Carol

    The difference between members actively listening and not is enormous. Kudos to the committee for doing an excellent job and for bonding together into a unit. Wonderful!

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