Deep Listening Starts Here

By Henry Berman, Exponent Philanthropy, and Jen Lachman, Lachman Consulting

Listening. It’s a skill we’ve been talking about a lot here at Exponent Philanthropy.


First, because we believe that listening is an essential skill for effective philanthropy. When—and only when—we listen deeply and humbly to those we serve, can we learn about their true needs and how we can partner most effectively to create meaningful change.

And second, because most people (grantmakers not excluded) are not as good at listening as we’d like to think. Listening deeply to another person takes real focus and attention, and our multitasking brains and fast-paced environments present endless distractions that make it hard for us to really tune in to what someone is saying.

At Exponent Philanthropy, we’re committed to closing this skill gap and helping our members become better listeners. At our CONNECT conference in October, we’re offering a Listening Workshop that will help attendees learn, practice, and apply deep listening skills.

Jen Lachman, co-facilitator of the CONNECT Listening Workshop, offers some suggestions for how you can deepen your listening.

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Are You Listening?

By Jen Lachman, Lachman Consulting

On September 25, 27 funders and philanthropic leaders from across the country gathered in Chicago for a daylong training as part of Exponent Philanthropy’s inaugural Coaching for Effective Philanthropy program.

The training began with the most important coaching skill, which has the potential to transform any leaders’ impact:


I can hear you saying, “Really? Listening can transform my leadership?”

I know. It’s a bold statement. But think about this for a second…

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