Listening with understanding
We invited Lee Renata, founder of Success Begins With Listening, to join us at our recent Tūhono and talk about how we can support people better through the power of listening.
In our line of work, listening to people's stories is vital. This is the time people show their vulnerability either openly or hesitantly. We learn about their dreams and how their disability impacts on their everyday life and relationships.
So when Lee talked about the importance of building trust when listening to people, this resonated with us. For us, the foundation of building trust is demonstrating genuine sincerity and empathy. One of the ways we show this is by asking how often tangata whaikaha and their whānau want to engage with us and how.
We have set up teams that enable us to walk with people more closely or to resolve queries as promptly as we can. And we can do this in a way that suits them, be it over the phone, video conference or in person.
Another listening tip Lee shared is understanding our role in the conversation. As the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination provider for disabled people in Auckland, we are sometimes perceived as gatekeepers to disability funding.
We are focused to bring people closer to supports and services that they can access. We also rely on our community of services to work efficiently with one another through regular dialogue and listening, so we can reach better outcomes for people.
What do we do with the stories shared with us?
We've heard stories about people wanting to become more independent, to study, find work or go out more in the community.
After listening to people's goals, we talk to them about their options or supports that are available through the Ministry of Health. We can also talk to them about disability supports provided by other agencies.
We also listen to parents' and carers' stories on how their loved one's disability impacts them. We tell them about respite or carer support options or signpost them to support groups and workshops with people who are on the same journey.
We're here to support people in their journey. We guide them in determining the supports they need to reach their goals. We feel that it is always a privilege to listen to people's stories. We're committed to show our respect and appreciation of this trust through listening with understanding.