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Dear To My Heart

Category Icon TestAs you all know, the St. Louis region has been in the news lately. The turmoil in Ferguson has been publicized internationally. This is a community that is near and dear to my heart. My first design position was with the Ferguson/Florissant School District as a district designer back in 1971. It is a beautiful historic community and I am saddened by what has happened. With unrest flaring up in other parts of the United States, it appears that St. Louis is not the only area of our country that has problems.

The community of Ferguson, has gotten the attention of the world and the process of healing and correcting wrongs has started in community groups and hopefully change for the better will come out of the turmoil. But this healing process is going to take a lot of uncomfortable conversations requiring listening, understanding and learning. The skill of listening is the most important but often the hardest.

New Orleans Saints football player Benjamin Watson recently shared his thoughts regarding Ferguson on a Facebook post. It articulates the feelings many people are having in regards to the turmoil of Ferguson. I encourage you to read it and then share it with your friends. After that, sit down and have a conversation and do your best to listen and learn from one another.

Good listening skills will not only help in the healing necessary in this country but also in the relationships with our family, co-workers and clients. Here are some tips on being a good listener.


  • A good listener is fully present and in the moment and listening to what the speaker is saying.
  • Good listeners ask questions – not to embarrass or attack, but to clarify and distill.
  • Good listeners ask one question at a time and give ample time for an answer. They do not interrupt or impose their “solutions.”
  • Good listeners ask questions if anything is not clear when the speaker has finished.
  • Good listeners are not hasty in making judgments. They are willing to think about something for a while.
  • Good listeners are willing to listen to something even if it’s hard to hear. They don’t stop listening as soon as they become offended or turned off by the speaker.


My wish for this Holiday Season is Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.

About the Author

Rich Fava is an Account Executive at Optima Graphics.
He has spent his career in the graphics world since earning his Design degree and in Trade Show since the early 90s.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, other Authors, Optima Graphics or Taylor Corp.

  1. robert hughes
    December 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

    RIch- thanks for a wonderful post- especially at this time of year, when we have many opportunities, to listen at all the gatherings we will be part of over the holiday season …

  2. December 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Rich, I hear you… and respect you as a good listener yourself. I wish for 2015 that we all embrace these skills and make for a better and more prosperous year for all. Cheers, J

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