Tag Archives: listening

“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

table blog post

“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

What a wonderful insight from the Dasra Foundation!

Dasra is an innovative foundation working on extreme social change in India.  I just heard them speak at an amazing conference at Stanford focusing on Indian philanthropy. Local Indians and Silicon Valley Indian entrepreneurs gathered together to discuss how to give intelligently.

Dasra’s strategic approach to social problems has dramatically increased the impact and scale of social change in India.  They helped take nearly 1000 nonprofits and socially conscious businesses to the next level. They have more than 28 research reports ranging from adolescent girls’ empowerment to child malnutrition and sports for development.

And Pakzan is right.   The Advisory Leader of Dasra knows that we need to collaborate, listen, and support one another in order to achieve true success.

So the “right language” is not really about a dialect.  It’s about our motivations.

Before we come to the table, we need to be on the same page.   That means our motives and aspirations are aligned.   Then we are really listening!  And the conversation builds to higher levels to serve the world, our communities and our partnerships.

Are you facing a challenge in philanthropy today? Or how about your own life?

We can take Pakzan’s advice.   Let’s slow down. We can make sure we are listening.   Are we speaking the same language? You might both be speaking Hindi.  But if you don’t have the same values, your words will blow right one another.

To truly scale we must have the same values.      

We can be great social innovators, communicators and doers by speaking the same language: Listen, love and support your partner.


As India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation, Dasra actively shapes the process of social change by forming powerful partnerships with funders and social enterprises. In the past 15 years, Dasra has been working towards building a ‘thriving ecosystem’ that enables knowledge creation, capacity building, strategic funding, and collaboration in order to touch and transform the lives of 800 million Indians. 

The Pamela Positive: “What’s Important to You Is Important to Me”

Pamela’s Favorite…Pamela Positive

“What’s Important To You Is Important To Me”

This is one of my favorite statements.  It helps me understand and sincerely care about others.  When we truly listen to our family, friends, partners, team mates, improv players, then we can really hear…what’s important.

Sometimes it might be a clean kitchen.  For others, it might be taking the dog for a walk or getting the car cleaned.  Or it might be that you showed up at your daughter’s gymnastics recital. And sometimes, sitting down and listening to your boyfriend, while not multitasking and cleaning the dishes at the same time, may be the biggest sign of attention. It can even be as small as keeping your desk clean at work because you know it inspires your manager.

The point is, we all fall into habits.  These habits are what are most comfortable, and convenient, for us.  They are our priorities. But they are not necessarily important to others.  Instead, we need to take a look at what motivates others.

So even if we can live with a messy desk, if we know the manager is inspired to see an ordered workspace, then we can try to rise to that new standard.  If it bothers our companion that we’re doing something else while he’s talking about a serious issue, then we need to stop and sit down, and give our undivided attention.  If it makes a difference to our mom that we check the stove one more time before you leave the kitchen, then we make her feel cared for, and can do it again.

These are the small and important ways that we can let someone know they are important to us.

It’s the Substance of what builds or breaks down any relationship.

Many of us have felt that overwhelmingly warm feeling when someone does something for us… It specifically hits our hearts.  “Ah…how grateful I am that they took out the recycling!  I love an ordered home…”  It’s something that puts you at  peace.  And that positive energy allows you to give more.

“What’s Important to You is Important to Me.”

What a beautiful way to live…

The Classic Pamela Positive: Don’t Ever Give This Up: Humble Will

peak-299011_640Don’t ever give this up.  Your Humble Will.   It’s your commitment to persevere.

Business models will change and do change. Systems change, marketplaces change, technology changes.

But your Humble Will to persevere cannot.  Your organization relies on it; your team must know it. And you must found this commitment to persevere deeply within your soul and daily execution.

Please note I add “humble will.” It’s a listening commitment, a listening perseverance. You can’t just bulldoze ahead….. You have to be in touch with your marketplace, sector, clients, board, partners, team in order to know the best way to go, each moment, each day. And that takes humble listening.

Don’t ever give up your Humble Will to persevere.

The Pamela Positive: Listening – A Business Bliss

When getting involved internationally, it’s so important to listen to others. Respect the person, the culture, and their local community.  To do so is to honor the unique wisdom and presence they bring to the world.

Listening, and striving to understand other people, is the right thing to do. It will also open your business up to new opportunities. When you honor people and their local customs, they will want to work with you.  And you will love working with them!  Listening is mirrored in Respect,  which is a type of “business bliss.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: Start by Listening

the magic flute.jpg

“My goal is to extract a design that emerges from the essence of the music rather than to decorate its story…   This process usually takes two to three months of immersing myself in the opera by listening to it 200 to 300 times.” – Jun Kaneko

Master designer Jun Kaneko provides the design for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute…and what a powerful way he envisages how to create this vision for us all.  It’s synergistic, based on pulling all elements together and starting with one of the most important qualities…listening.

Jun Kaneko is a Japanese-American visual artist, with sculptures and other artwork in more than 50 museums.  He has previously worked on opera productions for Madama Butterfly and Fidelio.  He was the Production Designer for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, in June 2012.

Goodnet: How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause Part II

This is Part II of our series from Goodnet, a socially conscious magazine, with an article on “How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause.”

Missed Part I? Read it here!

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4. What inspires you?

Every day I’m inspired by stories of individuals’ and communities’ incredible resilience in the face of adversity. Two things especially inspire me. First, I’m “causeless.” Someone goes without a meal.  A little girl doesn’t have a roof over her head. Maybe there’s a natural disaster. Whatever the situation, we want people to live happy, peaceful, “whole” lives, in every meaning of that word. They should have homes, food, education, and health… the ability to choose the jobs they want, their partners in life, and essentially to be loved and have love in their lives. Therefore we care about every cause.

Secondly, I really believe in local leaders on the ground. That’s why we know that the work that UniversalGiving’s partner organizations do to serve communities is invaluable. The Rural Development Center aims to improve food security in rural households in Cameroon by developing and teaching an environmentally-friendly approach to agriculture and health. BiblioWorks builds and maintains libraries in communities in Bolivia in order to develop long-term literacy among children. By really listening to the people of the community, they are able to make a meaningful impact.

5. Who’s your favorite good doer figure?

I have to give an honest answer – it’s my mom.  She’s just a tireless figure for good. I don’t mean in all the time she spends volunteering. It’s simply in being a kind, giving person; it’s in her gracious demeanor, her kind heart, and her presence.  Almost every time I call, she picks up. You know she is there for you!

Another woman with an incredible story is Olga Murray, founder and CEO of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Olga founded the organization in 1990, she experienced first-hand the poverty facing Nepali youth. Each year she expanded the organization’s services until they were providing a full range of services: housing for impoverished children and orphans, educational scholarships, medical care, and daily meals. Now the organization even intervenes to help young girls from being sold into bonded servitude by their impoverished families. That’s a great, on-the-ground leader.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Every day I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people I have the opportunity to work with. That’s really it. You have to have a great team, board, and clients. Our people truly believe in and live our mission. One of my favorites is staying in touch with our UniversalGiving Ambassadors. These are people who have “graduated” from UniversalGiving – they worked for us, interned, or volunteered – and still want to stay in touch and help. What a community we have.

Another UniversalGiving partner, GVN Foundation

Another UniversalGiving partner, GVN Foundation, inspires learning, innovation and action in international communities (UniversalGiving)

 

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Be on the lookout for our next installment this Friday! 

Can’t wait? See the full article here.

Goodnet: How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause Part I

This is Part I of our series from Goodnet, a socially conscious magazine, with an article on “How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause.”

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So you want to pitch in and make the world a better place, but you’re not quite sure where to start? With thousands of volunteer organizations around the world working on various projects, and just as many charities taking donations, it’s really no wonder. How are we meant to know where our hours or our dollars would be best spent?

Enter UniversalGiving, the award-winning nonprofit that allows people to donate and volunteer with top performing, vetted organizations all over the world. In this week’s 10 Good Questions, the organization’s founder and CEO Pamela Hawley tells Goodnet about how UniversalGiving guarantees social impact, what makes their model different, and her biggest good doer inspiration – her mom.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

At UniversalGiving, we connect people to quality giving and volunteer opportunities worldwide. Our web-based platform allows donors and volunteers to connect with nonprofit organizations working all over the world! To date we have matched more than a $31 million dollars worth of volunteer hours. All projects are vetted through UniversalGiving’s proprietary Quality Model™.

UniversalGiving CEO Pamela Hawley

CEO Pamela Hawley talks giving with a UniversalGiving board member 

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

We’re unique in that 100% of every donation made through UniversalGiving goes directly to the cause. We’re financially sustainable through UniversalGiving Corporate, which assists Fortune 500 companies in scaling their global CSR programs worldwide. Some of our key clients include Cisco, Gap, BHP Billiton, and RSF Social Finance.

3. What three words describe your organization?

At UniversalGiving, we constantly work towards and emphasize our core values: Listening, Measurable Results, and Inspiration. We take time to listen sincerely to each person whether they be a team member, client, NGO partner, corporation, or board member. We consistently measure our results to ensure we are meeting all goals and objectives. And perhaps most importantly, we believe in being inspired and inspiring others through joy, graciousness, and goodness in our daily work.

The UniversalGiving Team takes a break from doing good

The UniversalGiving Team takes a break from doing good

 

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Stay tuned for the next installment of Goodnet: “How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause” this Wednesday!

Can’t wait? See the full article here.