Backstage Q-and-A With Secretary Reich

November 2, 2018

Robert B. Reich [albert chau]
Robert B. Reich [albert chau]

How can people become, in your words, an eloquent listener? What habits should they develop?

Repeat what you’ve been told aloud so the other person understands that you’ve heard it. Ask questions of the other person to clarify anything you don’t understand, and be open to his or her arguments. You can communicate that openness by saying things like “you’ve got a good point,” if you believe so.

What are some ways communications professionals can build trust with the public?

Never lie. Go out of your way to be transparent, revealing facts and issues that the public may not always like but reinforce your honesty. Convince clients to get ahead of any unfavorable issues or stories by getting them all out in their entirety as early as possible.

How can people move past the ideological bias of their geographic bubbles?

Travel can be helpful, but more important is seeking out people and sources of information that disagree with you or your preconceptions. Make a point of reaching out to family members and old friends you disagree with, and make a point of reading reputable columnists, journalists and thinkers who challenge your worldview. — Dean Essner


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