capabilities engaging the community

Listening and understanding

Involves the ability to be fully present and engaged in effective dialogue with others in a way that communicates a deep respect and empathy for their circumstances, background, culture and intentions.  At its deepest it includes insightfully reading the unspoken thoughts or feelings of others and underlying assumptions, intentions or reasons for their behaviour.


  1. Listens attentively

    Makes oneself available and provides undivided attention to others, even when stressed and busy. Listens attentively, with an open mind when others are speaking. Others feel they have had the opportunity to speak, be heard and know that their contribution is valued.

  2. Speaks clearly and sensitively

    Presents messages in a clear, logical and respectful manner. Communicates difficult or unpopular information in an honest and diplomatic way that is both sensitive and responsive to the different circumstances, background, beliefs and culture of others.

  3. Openly engages others

    Makes it safe for others to talk truthfully and openly. Makes it clear that their views are genuinely heard and understood. This includes asking clarifying questions and reflecting back to confirm understanding. When unclear, invites others to elaborate so as to gain a full and clear understanding of the situation or perspective.

  4. Understands deeply

    Understands the deeper, underlying reasons for the patterns of behavior, unspoken thoughts and feelings of others. Uses this deep understanding of underlying intentions, concerns or motives to anticipate and interpret behaviours or actions.