Today, May 9th, has been named Teacher's Day. It is a day set aside to thank and honor the positive impact teachers make on our communities throughout the year. In honor of the many great educators working with smith & beta we will be celebrating our teachers not only today, but all month long. Matt Lemay has been teaching with smith & beta since the very beginning and has become one of our most well rounded and sought after educators. We sat down with Matt to discuss his love for teaching, experience with smith & beta and the value of active listening.
“I have been teaching for smith & beta as long as there has been a smith & beta, which is several years now. And it has been an absolute delight!”
“I love teaching concepts people think of as difficult, esoteric or specialized because almost everything - once you break it down to the experiential level - is pretty easy to grasp and is fairly accessible to people. It’s always a real joy to see people who thought something was beyond their comprehension or beyond their understanding start to gain first hand experience. In doing so they gain a sense that this is something that they intuitively understand better than they thought they did even if the jargon is relatively new to them.”
“The class I taught today is called Talk Less, Listen More and it’s about active listening which is a really important topic. In part because it can be so transformative for how people interact with each other but also because it is one of those things that every company says it wants but individuals within companies have a really really hard time actually doing. This class was focused on not only why actively listening is important and how to practice active listening but more specifically how to practice active listening in an organization where incentives don’t always align with humility and understanding.”
“I think the big takeaways that people walk away with from this class are that there are actual tactical steps you can take toward bringing active listening to your organization. It’s not this totally esoteric thing that you cultivate by sitting quietly in a field and thinking about inner peace. That helps of course but within an organization there are specific things you can do in meetings and in one on one conversations to really activate the power of active listening and create space for people to share meaningful things with each other in a way that is encouraging and helpful enough.”
smith & beta is now 6 years into our research of the capabilities and ways of working at agencies. We just released our 2018 Talent and Transformation report and we're excited to share with you what we found.