Learning to have ears | Alice Springs News


By KIERAN FINNANE with FIONA WALSH

Little by little more and more people are referring to the place where the town of Alice Springs grew, as Mparntwe, the name of an Aboriginal estate that persists here and an important site within the area.

In the unyielding grand structures of the place – the river, the ranges, the hills – the power and stories of Mparntwe survive. Across much of the town area though, Country and its sacred trees and sites have been hemmed in, concreted over, built out, damaged and abused since colonisers arrived. Yet for Arrernte Traditional Owners the places, their narratives and cultural meaning are as present as ever.

“To their eyes it’s a town,” says one, “to our eyes, it’s a different vision, we see it as sacred. They see buildings, we don’t, we see places, things were there they can’t see.”

This speaker is one of a group of Arrernte Traditional Owners who came together to talk about Mparntwe as they live it – now, in the past and into the future. For as much as there have been grievous losses and that ignorance and prejudice will likely lead to more, Mparntwe will abide: “Our Country’s alive, forever, it’s there for life.”

Their recorded conversations have been put together as an audio tour called Awemele itelaretyeke, meaning “Listen to understand.” For $9 you can download it to your phone from an App store or Google Play. If lots of people do then the creators will see the app is valued and hopefully find ways to update it to keep up with new phone models.

Taking advantage of a recent cool and blustery morning, we met at the top of Untyeyetwelye, one of the Arrernte names for Anzac Hill, looking to experience more of the Country spread before us through Traditional Owners’ eyes. Or perhaps we should say, through their voices, guiding our gaze, informing our perceptions.

At the app’s first interpretive sign just below the crest of the hill, we started to listen.  Our re-orientation was immediate, with the Custodian calling out to Country as to another being, telling the spirits of the area “that everything’s all right …let them know he’s having a look around.”

Our first “look around” was to the south – antekerre – that much photographed view towards Ntaripe, known in English as Heavitree Gap.

Above: The early days of developing the app: Amelia Kngwarraye Turner points to Ntaripe. With her are Beth Sometimes, Stephen Kernan and Magdalene Marshall. Photo KF. 

In recent times, particularly in the debate over the location of the proposed national Aboriginal art gallery, we have heard about Ntaripe as an important gateway. Once Aboriginal visitors approaching Mparntwe from the south would wait for permission from senior male Traditional Owners before the visitors could come through. (There was a ceremonial acknowledgement of this protocol at the time of the Olympic Torch relay in 2000 but not since, to our knowledge.)

In the gallery debate, the protocol has been invoked as part of the reason for locating such a cultural project south of the gap. There has also been discussion about reinstating the protocol in some form as part of the gallery’s cultural approach.

We learned from the app that people approaching from the north would also seek permission to enter the Mparntwe area.

And how would the visitors communicate their request? “They made smokes” – lit a fire. Today the practice persists among at least some people although the message probably goes via mobile phone. On the app, two of the Traditional Owners talk of the advance notice they sent through to communities in Western Australia when they were hoping to travel: “They gave us permission to go through there.”

Women weren’t allowed to come through Ntaripe: it was a “men’s place only” where sacred objects were kept in a cave, now obliterated by the railway track, according to one of the speakers. (In the past, women travelled into the area by alternative, longer routes.)

There was another reason for the area’s special status: “It was because of the water … I guess that’s why our Elders were strict on that, because of the water sources.” (Surface waters were so precious in these dry lands that they were carefully used and managed.)

Within the town area, there are women’s sacred places too, places men can’t talk about. One visible in southern vista from the hill is Akeyulerre, known in English as Billygoat Hill. The site has lent its name to the healing centre at its base, Akeyulerre Inc, credited as producers of the app, with funding support from Centrecorp. Beth Sometimes, a multi-lingual artist, interpreter and translator, was a key collaborator.

In the broader Alice Springs community, when a place’s sacred standing arises as an issue there is often cynical pushback or outright rejection. Frequently, this is based on the speaker’s blinkered view of any cultural practice other than their own, as well as on a denial of Central Australia’s colonial history. These tensions have come to the fore in the recently announced decision to close the ascent to Alhekulyele / Mt Gillen. (Some Traditional Owners have been asking people not to climb Alhekulyele for decades.)

Above: View from the hill to Alhekulyele / Mt Gillen across the Alice Springs industrial area. Photo FW.

It’s clear how offensive and frustrating Traditional Owners find such closed minds: “Some of them are ignorant to learn, ‘cause they’ve got no ears,” says one, “standing in their own way, gotta do this, do this, do this, but in reality they know which Country they living on … you got to respect it.”

This respect is more than an attitude, it’s a practice: “Wherever you go, whatever you touch make sure you place it back, pick up a rock, put it back where it is, you are on someone’s else Apmere –ground.” (Simple translations from the Arrernte dictionary of Apmere also include country, camp, region, home.)

“When you see the gum tree, it’s very old, very wise from Dreaming. Don’t just go there and burn it, you burning our Dreams away.”

“Trees are like people too…like us…White gum trees are very special for us, not only gum trees, all trees, because most of trees have got sacred names. You can use it for a purpose, things like Sorry business, medicine, smoking. These trees we’ve got here in Mparntwe, they’re useful for our knowledge and for our kids to pass it on.”

In town these long-established Arrernte ways of respecting Country are often in conflict with non-Arrernte ways or expectations – some people and organisations expect to be able to go wherever they like, do whatever they want to, all the more so if they’ve got power and money.

The ways in which Arrernte decisions are made are not well understood by the general population, so the app’s enlightening conversation (at tab 4) about how Arrernte governance works is particularly useful.

It would be wrong to imagine that it delivers neat definitions or anything like a flow chart of linear logic. An instructive and charming aspect of the listening experience is the inter-weaving of perspectives and the reach for ways of explaining something that is deeply ingrained for the speakers.

There is talk of the roles of Kwerterngerle – “a caretaker, looking after the place” – and Apmere-ke Artweye – “the big boss, you got to listen to him what he says.” (The masculine pronoun is used but the roles fall to women as well.)

These roles (often inadequately translated and undifferentiated as Custodian) are part and parcel of the Arrernte kinship system – Anpernirrentye. An example is given: at Sandy Bore homeland Peltharre and Kngwarraye are the skin groups of the story-owners: “They got the book in their hand, they hold the story.”

Angale and Ampetyane become the Kwerterngerle for the story-owners: “That’s how it works. We need each other for our Countries.”

“Kwerterngerle gotta be there when the stories are written with the Apmere-ke Artweye. You hold the land, this one manage the land. They got to know all that story and who’s in that story. Is my father in that story, or is my mother?”

“You got to know your cousin’s Country and vice versa, the story of the land, how people are connected …”

“They’re the caretakers and I’m the keeper, make sure everything’s done in a good way, make sure everything’s right …”

Although one speaker describes the Apmere-ke Artweye as “the big boss”, another speaker evokes the power of the Kwerterngerle: “Someone’s managing that Country, they got the power to say yes and no. Apmere-ke Artweye can say yes, Kwerterngerle can say no, and shut everything right off. He’s got a say, he can tell you what to do on your Country as well because he’s in charge for your Country when you’re not there. Kwerterngerle is very important for us Apmere-ke Artweye mob because without them we’ve got no foundations, sort of thing. So you get your permission from your Kwerterngerles.”

This is a much more complex picture of Arrernte decision-making for Country than is allowed for in standard consultation processes, where governments and others want the convenience of a single individual or representative body – often in a box-ticking exercise.

In the app’s conversations Traditional Owners speak plainly about what happened in the Centre historically:  “White people come and pushed [us] out, claimed land … invaded, not only this place but all over Australia … they could have asked where to put their cattle station, should have come and asked Traditional Owners.”

That kind of entitled land grab can still happen, even though it might be masked by some attempt at cultural acknowledgement.

Here’s how one speaker describes a recent example:

I don’t like it when they come to ask us for the names of the tracks they are on now. In the first place when they was talking about making bike tracks in the hills there, they should have come and consulted Traditional Owners. Now they want to come and ask if they can name the places in Arrernte, but they was ignorant in the first place not to come and ask people about that. Why think about it now?

There are special places there … my son Coco [Peter Wallace] tells me, shows me where the sites are, not going into the site, standing away, telling stories about the Land. So we don’t like people to go into the sites, so they can go in and destroy it … it’s the life story of our Creators.

Above: View from below the crest of the hill to Athnelke Ulpaye / Charles Creek and beyond towards the Telegraph Station, among “the first local sites of Arrernte settlement as traditional life was forcibly ended.” Photo by KF. 

For this article, length requires us to skip over whole sections of the Hill Tour, though we equally enjoyed them. We listened to a rich stream of Arrernte and English, layered with sounds from the environment as well as traditional and contemporary music. Among the offerings  are accounts of the forced move out to Arltunga and later Santa Teresa, before the return to Alice Springs in “the Freedom Ride days” when “everybody started moving from mission, decided to get their Apmere back”;  dreamy accounts of “the peace and quiet” people find when they get away from town out to their homelands, albeit having to contend with mosquitoes and flies and other “creepy crawlies” like centipedes, “long ones, big ones.”

There is an an account of the Ayeperenye Dreaming, traced across a vast stretch of Country; a dramatic account of the Mount Undoolya epic – Antulye, the “Shadow of the Eagle” – complete with the resonant singing of the late Edward Arranye Johnson. And there are many interesting commentaries on Arrernte language, including its rapid evolution such that old people today might ask, “What the hell you talking?”

The conversations are assembled around these themes but are not regimented. They take us into the lived experience of the speakers, with past and present, colonial impacts and Arrernte traditions and contemporary influences all interwoven.

A final short section offers a very lively take on the many ways of saying “Werte” and what it actually means – literally “what”, as in variously  “what’s up?”, “what’s happening?”, even “what’s wrong?” It is much more inquiring of the other person than the English “hello” to which Werte is often translated.

We had spent the better part of two hours by the time we finished the Hill Tour. It was rewarding to yield to the experience of listening rather than rushing to the next tourist spot or appointment. The app had covered a lot of ground, culturally speaking, all from the vantage point of the top of the hill. Not all of the sections are spite-specific, which went against expectations, yet some of those discussions we found the richest and it was good to listen to them while in the thrall of Country stretching out in every direction, sending its winds whipping around us.

This said, we had the benefit of a cool grey day. The crest of the hill is shadeless so taking the tour in the warm season would be best timed to early morning or evening. Or recommend it to visitors in the cool season.

Creators of the app made it primarily for their next generations, but many non-Arrernte people like us will want to listen to it. Some, particularly visitors, might struggle to understand all of the spoken Arrernte English and to grasp some of the geographies being referred to – a map might have been a useful incorporation. We also wondered if photos of the speakers might personalise it more for visitors and listeners who don’t know them.

In a cultural tour like this, encapsulated in relatively unmediated conversations – not a potted digest – it is a matter of going with the flow, accepting that not everything will be clear, while making the most of what has been generously offered.

Days later, what we have learned about the place we have lived in for decades, from those who know and hold Country in their bodies, stays with us.

At top: Getting ready to use the app, looking from the hill towards Ntaripe / Heavitree Gap. Photo FW. 

Below: Starting point for the tour, just below the crest of the hill, where the Aboriginal flag now flies year round (except for Anzac Day), after a protracted campaign. Photo KF. 

Notes:

As well as the Hill Tour the app offers a CBD walking tour, which we look forward to doing sometime soon.

The people speaking on the tours are: Alison Furber, Amelia Kngwarraye Turner, Benedict Stevens, Edward (Arranye) Johnson (d), Felicity Hayes, Gabriel Kngwarraye Turner, Julie Hayes, Julie Hayes, Lorrayne Gorey, Magdalene Marshall, Margaret Kemarre Turner, Mervyn Rubuntja, Michael Gorey, Peter Coco Wallace, Shirley Kngwarraye Turner, Stephen Kernan, Veronica Kngwarraye Turner, William (Nookie) Lowah, Wyonna Palmer.

The app is a legacy project of the Apmere Angkentye-kenhe language project (2017-20), produced and contributed to by many Arrernte people, artists and supporters.

 



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The pylons have ears. Moscow allocates roughly $2 million for a new traffic-monitoring system that will capture the MAC-address from your mobile device




In its efforts to manage and monitor the flow of human beings through the city, Moscow officials have experimented with mobile apps, QR codes, and telephone hotlines. Many of these systems have confused the elderly, overwhelmed operators, and frustrated virtually everyone. According to a new public contract reported in the Russian news media, the capital now plans to invest in a less intrusive technology that silently tracks traffic flows by logging background connections with random mobile devices. Meduza summarizes a new report by the newspaper Kommersant.



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Coronavirus: Police threat of fines falls on deaf ears as large groups in fancy dress descend on Nottingham | UK News


Large groups of young people in fancy dress drank alcohol and chanted near police vehicles on the streets of Nottingham last night – hours before the toughest coronavirus restrictions were imposed on the city.

The gatherings came despite police warning that they would have “no hesitation” in fining those who deliberately flout the rules.

Nottingham officially moved into Tier 3 at 12.01am today, and new rules will include a ban on buying alcohol from shops after 9pm.

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A police officer moves on crowds after pubs and bars shut
Large crowds of young people were seen on the streets of Nottingham last night
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Some groups were seen chanting near police vehicles

Some of the youngsters appeared to be celebrating Halloween two days early. A few police vehicles were present in the city centre, as well as an ambulance.

Earlier on Thursday, Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: “Sadly there has been a minority of people who think the legislation doesn’t apply to them and we have been forced to take action, and in some cases hand out fines.

“In the last week we have given £10,000 fines to four people who organised parties with more than 30 people present as well as numerous £200 fines to people who wantonly broke the law.”

She added that people who break the rules “with no regard for the impact their actions have on families and frontline key workers” will be fined.

Kay Cutts, the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said the 9pm alcohol ban had been requested to stop students partying.

She told reporters: “That’s something which has been blighting a bit of Nottinghamshire… younger people don’t ever think they are going to catch anything.”

Large crowds of young people were seen on the streets of Nottingham last night
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The youngsters – some in fancy dress – appeared to be celebrating Halloween early
Large crowds of young people were seen on the streets of Nottingham last night
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Several police cars and an ambulance were present in the city centre

Similar scenes were seen on the streets of Liverpool the night before Tier 3 restrictions were imposed there in mid-October.

After footage of large crowds in Concert Square were circulated on social media, intensive care doctors told Sky News they were “disgusted” by what had happened, adding: “They don’t care that people are dying from this disease, it is heart-breaking to watch.”

Nottinghamshire’s public health director, Jonathan Gribbin, has said that the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the county is now 40% higher than the peak of the first wave in April.

He warned that “even a well-organised NHS and care system will struggle to cope” with the sharp rise in patients.

As of 27 October, 361 beds across the county were occupied by people suffering from COVID-19 – but this rose to 413 just one day later.

“I think straight away it gives you an indication of how quickly it’s increasing,” he said.

Measures under Tiers 1, 2 and 3 of England's lockdown system

Several cancer operations have had to be postponed in Nottinghamshire because of “pressure on intensive care units”.

With Nottinghamshire entering Tier 3 – and West Yorkshire set to follow suit on Monday – 11 million will now be living in the highest level of coronavirus restrictions. That’s 19.6% of the population.

The Tees Valley and the West Midlands could also be moved to Tier 3, meaning millions more could soon be under the strictest level of lockdown in England.

Meanwhile, data from NHS England shows the number of beds occupied by confirmed coronavirus patients has more than doubled in two weeks – from 4,105 on 13 October to 8,595 on Tuesday.

There were also 743 COVID-19 patients in mechanical ventilation beds on Tuesday, up from 560 a week earlier.

The NHS Test and Trace system has also recorded its highest-ever weekly number of positive cases, while a study by Imperial College London has found that almost 100,000 people are catching COVID-19 on a daily basis.

With France entering a second lockdown from today, and Germany imposing a partial four-week lockdown, the UK government is coming under pressure to adopt a more national approach to tackle surging infection rates.

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Patel refuses to rule out national lockdown

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the government has not ruled anything out.

On Thursday, government figures showed that there have been 23,065 more lab-confirmed cases in the UK, and a further 280 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Social Care also said more than a dozen regions will move from the lowest to the middle tier of restrictions on Saturday.

These include East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston-upon-Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford, the Wrekin, Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak, Charnwood, Luton and Oxford.



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Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monuments


Utah has some of the most beautiful—and most crowded—national parks in the country. That’s why you should check out the state’s less visited monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, while you still can. When it comes to accessible outdoor action, America’s national monuments often outshine our national parks anyway. You can ride a mountain bike off-road. You can bring your dog and camp almost anywhere. Most of the time, there’s no entry fee. What more could you ask for?

In the case of Utah’s Mighty Monuments, you could ask to have them back, for starters.

Once recognized among the largest national monuments managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears have suffered the largest rollback of public lands protections in U.S. history. Despite ongoing legal challenges, a pair of dubious presidential proclamations designed to dismember these monuments were recently set in motion, effectively slashing Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase by about half.

The adopted management plans unveiled by the Interior Department in February allow for mining, drilling and other development on vast swaths of the acres the Trump administration carved out of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, national monuments designated by Presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton to preserve the unique geology, cultural treasures and iconic Western landscapes.

For the moment, the changes are only on paper. It’s (still) not clear that a president has the authority to abolish or shrink national monument boundaries, so the sinuous slot canyons, slickrock trails, sheer cliffs and spires that define the region remain accessible. These lands present endless opportunities for climbers, canyoneers, mountain bikers, boaters, fly-fishermen and adventurers at large.

Experience and enjoy these magnificent monuments while you can—before they become fodder for a somber John Prine song, because there’s no telling how long before “Mr. Peabody’s coal train hauls it away.”

Paddling the San Juan River below Mexican Hat, Utah. Andrej Safaric / Shutterstock

Bears Ears National Monument

Go With the Flow: The postcard-picture outpost of Bluff, Utah, is the launch point for all things Bears Ears, including the Bears Ears Education Center, which provides information on everything from archeology to adventure. It’s also the staging site for one of the nation’s premier desert river runs on the San Juan River. The Class II float from the nearby BLM boat launch/campground at Sand Island to the takeout at Mexican Hat flows 27 miles along the southern border of Bears Ears’ Shash Jáa Unit and offers ample side-hikes to explore the area’s archeology, geology and wildlife. Extend your trip down to Clay Hills for an 84-mile multi-day immersion into the canyonlands. The mellow, meandering San Juan is ideal for all abilities and almost any type of vessel, but you’ll need a permit to launch a private trip. Otherwise, local outfitter Wild Expeditions can take care of all the gritty details.

Cruising Utah Valley of the Gods in a camper van
Cruising the Valley of the Gods. oksana.perkins / Shutterstock

Make Peace With Your Gods: Technically no longer part of BENM, the stunning 17-mile spur route known as Valley of the Gods is a masterpiece of sandstone monoliths, pinnacles and buttes. The road is graded gravel and clay, offering fair-weather access to most vehicles including mountain bikes, although off-road travel is not an option. Dispersed camping on surrounding BLM lands is available, along with several scenic stops to grab a pack and explore the landscape.

Newspaper Rock Indian Creek State Park
Newspaper Rock, one of the largest known collections of ancient petroglyphs, located in Indian Creek State Park. Abbie Warnock / Shutterstock

Climb the Creek: Indian Creek is the undisputed epicenter of crack climbing, offering trad rock climbers a virtually endless array of splitters along the massive walls leading to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The namesake of Bears Ears’s revised northern unit is on the must-do list for every core climber, but local guides and clinics help make the scene accessible for mere mortals. If , hiking is a natural choice, often with the bonus of ancient artifacts. The roadside Newspaper Rock is essentially a 2,000-year-old Instagram feed with over 650 pictures pecked into the varnished sandstone.

Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Kris Wiktor / Shutterstock

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Get Lost: There’s a reason the rugged labyrinth of canyons, creeks, cliffs and terraces surrounding Escalante was the last place in the lower 48 to be mapped. Spooky Gulch, Zebra Slot Canyon and Coyote Gulch are among the many mysterious stone mazes worth exploring, and the 130-foot-high Lower Calf Creek Falls rewards hikers with a cool plunge pool after a three-mile trek. Bonus points for packing in a fly rod to land one of the resident trout. Visit Escalante Outfitters in town for gear, beer and guide service in and around the monument.

Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Hiking Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Kris Wiktor / Shutterstock

Go Long: The Escalante River Canyon offers the monument’s holy grail of adventure in a remote 73-mile self-supported kayak or packraft (or SUP) excursion landing in Lake Powell. Basic Class III skills are enough to navigate the rapids, although the biggest challenge lies in hitting the seasonal sweet spot for fickle river flows. In high or low water, the exotic canyon features more than a dozen side-hikes into stunning slot canyons and along feeder streams filled with wild trout. Allow three to seven days to savor the canyon and book a boat shuttle from Powell’s Bullfrog Marina to minimize logistical stress.

Aquarius Plateau Utah
Subalpine meadows at the top of Boulder Mountain on Aquarius Plateau. Serj Malomuzh / Shutterstock

Bring the Bike: While Moab steals the headlines, abundant slickrock, spectacular scenery and secluded, technical trails make for a comparable mountain biker’s mecca at Grand Staircase-Escalante. The monument remains one of the largest roadless areas in the West, but singletrack trails range from the high tableland of the Aquarius Plateau, across Hell’s Backbone and into the hidden desert canyons that punctuate the landscape. The Slot Canyons Inn offers riding right out the door while Rim Tours out of Moab and Vegas-based Escape Adventures both provide multi-day packages for varying ability levels (at both GSENM and BENM).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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All ears: how being a good listener can improve your business


Good listening is so much more than simply hearing what someone is saying, adding the occasional ‘mmm, hmmm’ for effect, and being able to echo what you’ve heard to the speaker when they finish (“So, what you’re saying is…”). It is a conversation; an exchange during which the person speaking recognises (and genuinely feels) that you are focused on what they are saying and are there to help or contribute in a meaningful way.

As a business manager or leader, good listening extends beyond your immediate report/s. It’s integral to all of your relationships, whether that’s with your immediate or a broader team, suppliers, customers and clients, or external contractors.

Good listening is one of the foundations of being an effective leader.

What makes a good listener?

American leadership development consultancy, Zenger/Folkman, analysed data describing the behaviour of 3492 participants in a leadership coaching program for managers. They were then able to group the results into four main findings, which essentially determined that good listeners are those people who:

  1. Stay actively engaged in the conversation, rather than just sitting silently.
  2. Build confidence in the speaker by encouraging and supporting them.
  3. Cooperate, rather than stressing a single point or line of thinking.
  4. Provide feedback and suggestions (yes, this is contrary to popular belief!).

Additionally, good listening tends to be accompanied by a number of other useful characteristics, all of which can be improved with practice, including:

  1. Presence and mindfulness. For example, clearing your workspace of distractions (like mobile phones) to ensure you’re focused on the listener.
  2. Inquisitiveness, so being authentically curious about what the speaker is saying.
  3. Withholding judgement and the art of biting your tongue – a good listener will leave his or her ego at the door.
  4. The capacity to hold another person’s opinions at the same time as retaining and respecting his/her own boundaries or limits.

How can listening improve my workplace?

Active listening enables you to draw often important information or conclusions which affect the business – during a job interview, for example, it’s imperative that you clearly understand the candidate’s suitability for the role. Or as an investor, it’s vital you understand your opportunities and risks during a pitch meeting for funding.

Good listening by management will build trust and so improve relationships with staff, which then flows on to positively affect productivity. Staff want to feel heard, so effective managers will make sure they are constantly working on their listening and communication skills.

According to leadership strategist and Forbes contributor, Glenn Llopis, “Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty. You know the leaders who have their employees’ best interests at heart because they truly listen to them.” The same goes for staff, with good listening directly affecting people’s capacity to perform tasks accurately. The better the workflow, the more confidence staff will have, which builds morale, and so on.

A workplace in which listening and open and honest communication is valued will be one in which collaboration and ideas sharing exists as part of the company culture. In fact, collaboration is the key to developing and maintaining authentic, cooperative relationships, internally between team members, externally, with clients and customers, and beyond, with the wider community.

According to Llopis, “[t]hose who do listen to their employees are in a much better position to lead the increasingly diverse and multigenerational workforce. The ‘one-approach-fits-all’ way of thinking has become outdated and those who embrace the high art of listening are destined to be the better, more compassionate leaders.”

It’s a win-win-win, and it all starts with a generous ear.

Mellissa Larkin, Founder and Managing Director, Peripheral Blue 





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Suns chairman Tony Cochrane would “bash your ears off” over Dew criticism


Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has re-affirmed his strong support of the recently re-signed coach Stuart Dew, saying he’d “bash (the) ears off” of anyone who dared to criticise him.

After a 206-game playing career at Port Adelaide and Hawthorn, Dew joined Sydney as an assistant coach before being appointed head coach of the Suns ahead of the 2018 season.

After a difficult first season at the helm, Dew has won praise for the way his side has conducted itself this year, leading to a two-year contract extension in July.

Cochrane is “110 per cent” invested in the long-term future of Dew at the Suns, saying it was important to “go the journey” with football department members who he believes in.

“It’s not good picking the people who think are the best people and then not backing them in 110 per cent,” he said on SEN’s Pat and Heals.

“You’ve got to go the journey, it’s just a part of me I guess but I’m a 6000 pound gorilla and if you want to criticise the people that I think are the right people to do the game you better have a good critique going before I’ll bash your ears off.”

Queensland has played a crucial role in the current season, with 15 of the AFL’s 18 clubs currently based up north due to the COVID-19 situation in Victoria.

Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium will end up hosting over 40 games in 2020, roughly the same amount as the MCG usually holds in a regular season.

Cochrane said Queensland’s role in effectively saving the AFL season proved it was a worthy investment in both the state and Gold Coast Suns more generally.

“There is nothing I’ve been surer of in my life,” he said about the success of AFL on the Gold Coast.

“The Gold Coast is a fantastic city; it’s growing all the time and heading towards a population of 700,000. We’re 10 years into a 20-year plan from the AFL Commission and we’ve achieved a lot.

“Our facility on the Gold Coast and all the sports hubs around that, that’s a half a billion-dollar investment so it’s world class. It’s as good as any other facility any AFL team has in Australia.

“We’ve done a lot of things right and over the journey we’ve got a lot of things wrong but I’ve got a belief that all good footy and sporting sides have one thing in common – they’ve got good people.

“From top to bottom we’ve got good people; we’ve built our future on a really strong junior program that we’re just starting to see the green shoots of now.

“We’re on the journey and the next three-to-five years I think will be a very exciting time to be a Suns fan.”






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Australia just keeps getting ‘whipped over the ears’ by troubled UN


Australia just keeps getting ‘whipped over the ears’ by troubled UN

Liberal Senator James McGrath says if the UN was a state or federal body “we’d probably have a royal commission into it” as it is clearly not “fit for purpose”.

“I just don’t know what it does,” he said.

Criticism of international bodies has reached fever pitch during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, primarily after the World Health Organisation’s handling and reaction to the virus.

Advance Australia Director Liz Storer told Sky News the UN is unelected and “all we ever get is lectured by them”.

There is an “endless stream of other countries” with massive human rights abuses records including China, yet “Australia keeps getting whipped over the ears about all sorts,” she said.

Image: AP



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Wireless earbuds music to ears of new subscribers


The demand for news has never been greater.

And we take great pride in giving you everything you’ll need to stay connected to the world at a time when accurate, fast and constant news is so vital.

Our latest news subscription deal bundles unrestricted digital access to our website with a superb pair of stylish, great-sounding Sennheiser earbuds.

The offer bundles a set of Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless earbuds and a 12-month digital subscription for just $7 per week for the first 12 months – delivering $750 of value for a minimum cost of $364.

Readers who want to combine the earbuds with a digital subscription and home delivery of Saturday’s paper can pay $99 up front and $7.50 per week for the first 12 months for a minimum cost of $489 – for a bundle worth $785.

Terms and Conditions apply.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tiny but terrific … Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless earbuds

Either bundle delivers superb value: subscribers receive unrestricted access to our website and its extensive coverage of news (including the latest on the coronavirus), sport, lifestyle, entertainment and opinion.

Not only does that give you access to the best local stories – all of our premium content – but also the best stories from The Courier Mail and major sites like The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, along with other regional titles from the Cairns Post to The Mercury in Tasmania.

You’ll also get access to email and app alerts on big breaking COVID-19 and national stories.

And, every day, your digital subscription provides access to our digital edition – a complete digital replica of our print editions with access to some archival content.

EXCEPTIONAL: Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless earphones.

EXCEPTIONAL: Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earphones.

HERE’S WHERE TO GET THE SENNHEISER BUNDLE

Subscribers also get access to our +Rewards program with access to special offers including free e-book downloads, digital magazine subscriptions, discount wines and special pricing on some cool tech products from Amazon.
As well as all that, with this special limited time offer you’ll also receive a pair of Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless earbuds (RRP$449)  – a superb product from a long-time leader in personal audio.
Sennheiser has been in business for 75 years and has built a reputation for quality sound.

Smart sound ... Sennheiser's stylish MOMENTUM True Wireless earbuds

Smart sound … Sennheiser’s stylish MOMENTUM True Wireless earbuds

The MOMENTUM True Wireless model continues that tradition, combining technology, comfort, sound quality and convenience into tiny package.

They’re compatible with iOS & Android devices, are designed to allow activation of Siri or Google Assistant with a simple tap on the right earbud, and begin charging when they’re placed back in their rechargeable folding case.

The stylish and clever fabric-wrapped case stores enough power for two full recharges.
They come with ear tips in four sizes so they’re both comfortable and provide good sound isolation.

If you don’t want earbuds but want to subscribe, we also have a digital subscription bundle offering  access for $5 a month for the first three months.

Join us to be informed and to help support local journalism.





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