The Transformative Power of Offering a Listening Ear with Jeff Hoffman

How can listening help organizations have impact on critical global issues, while understanding and acting upon local needs? This tension is the space our next guest leans into in order to understand the real needs and potential.

Jeff Hoffman is a Proven Public Affairs executive for The Walt Disney Company, the world’s most storied and admired media and entertainment enterprise. He currently leads The Conference Board’s Institute on Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, part of the ESG Center. He manages his own firm specializing in global corporate citizenship, ESG (environmental, social and governance), sustainability, philanthropy, and cause marketing. 

In this episode Jeff discusses the transformative power of offering a listening ear, which brings about magical experiences that enriches individuals’ lives and has positive effects on their company and the community they’re a part of. He also shares how he has navigated failures, challenges and successes, where listening or not listening well has played a role. Understand better how to have a bigger impact on global issues, yet adjust to the nuances of local needs.

“The important thing about listening is also to understand what you’re hearing… really try to pull the facts out of what you’re listening to.” – Jeff Hoffman

Listening SUPERPOWER Notes:

00:33 – That time he experienced the power of listening by giving the people he talked to a magical listening experience

03:36 – What he realizes about the power of listening.

06:00 – Describing the corporate culture at Disney: You want your cast member to be the best and to bring out the richness of their own experiences into their role within the company.

12:13 – Understanding and recognizing everyone’s differences: You have to understand where you are and what the needs are, and the differences.

20:35 – How he engages with the communities he serves in a manner that creates a powerful impact on them.

26:20 – Serving together to be effective: Habitat for Humanity International has done an amazing program where you can have volunteers volunteering with the people who are going to live in that home.

29:07 – Neighboring over volunteering

30:24 – Achieving the United Nations Sustainability Goals: It’s all about coming together in community and collaboration and service.

35:32 – One important insight to understand about listening

Key Takeaways:

“… to understand differences, you need to talk to people, but you really need to listen and understand what they’re saying.” – Jeff Hoffman

“We don’t do a lot of telling now. We ask a lot of questions because we want you to tell us. We know (listening) is going to be more effective. And we’re seeing that effectiveness where programs today are based on a lot of input from the people who are being served.” – Jeff Hoffman


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