First thanks to Jerry Panas who shared information about Dr. Goman’s work in his missive “7 Rules to Listening.”
In a world where we increasingly communicate via electronic means Jerry’s 7 Rules take on increased importance. Fundraisers, in particular, will benefit from a quick review of the “rules.” Those new to the profession might consider practicing these “rules” along with a partner or from having someone record them in action.
Early in my careers, I was afforded opportunities to take both of these steps, first having a fellow staff member who was mentoring me provide insight about my mannerisms (both positive and not so positive). A few years later, a former VP at the same university brought to campus an alumnus who recorded each fundraiser then provided feedback to us; it was a humbling and instructive experience.
That these two exercises still cause a visceral reaction in me is evidence of what a powerful experience it can be to receive insight about how others perceive us. Much of my work is done online these days; I am sure that I could benefit from revisiting such an exercise to learn to what degree I currently adhere to these “7 Rules”.
All this said, I have recently been learning about and interfacing with individuals and families living with Autism. I feel compelled to note that fundraisers may need to learn new skills or ways of communicating with individuals and families living with Autism. So too I realize that these rules may vary, or might not even apply, based on the cultural background or other factors.
Are there rules that you would add to the list? Have you practiced these skills or similar ones; if so, what lessons might you share with other readers based on your experience? Do you have thoughts to share about communicating with individuals for whom these “rules” might not apply? As always, your thoughts are welcome.
Sophie Penney, Ph.D.