These resources will help you to foster a safe and encouraging culture that proactively seeks employee input and is receptive to their opinions and ideas about how the organization can deliver on its sustainability commitments.

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Liberating Structures

There are five conventional structures that guide the way we organise routine interactions and how groups work together: presentations, managed discussions, open discussions, status reports, and brainstorm sessions. These structures, however, can stifle inclusion and engagement, and are often too inhibiting or too loose and disorganised. To complement these more conventional options and improve shared knowledge and engagement, Liberating Structures introduces a menu of 33 innovative methods. Each method includes expected outcomes, step-by-step instructions, "tips and traps," examples, and more.

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5 Ways to Listen Better

If you are thinking about how to support employees to become better listeners, this Ted Talk is a good place to start. Julian Treasure explains how and why we are losing our listening, and offers a few simple exercises and strategies to improve your listening. You may want to consider digging a bit deeper into his idea of “listening positions,” which is detailed in his book Sound Business.

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Bring Out the Best in Your Team

If you are bringing together a group of employees to work on a sustainability issue, ask them to first take an inventory of the relevant knowledge each of them is bringing to the table. This quick read from the Harvard Business Review summarises a study that found that teams who do this outperform those that don’t.

Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All cover

Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All

In order to foster a culture that is receptive to employees' opinions and ideas about sustainability, employees must learn to listen effectively and articulate strategically. In this book, author Bernard T. Ferrari reveals some powerful techniques and provides a step-by-step process that will help readers become active listeners capable of shaping any conversation. If you are short on time, we suggest that you focus on Chapters 2 & 3.

Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! cover

Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

“We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic.” Ernesto Sirolli started his career in the 1970’s doing development work in Africa. In this Ted Talk he tells a few stories that are very relevant for sustainability practitioners today. His experiences may provoke you to reflect on how you interact with people in your organization and the communities in which you operate.

10 ways to have a better conversation cover

10 ways to have a better conversation

This is a great TED Talk for improving your listening skills. Celeste Headlee draws on years of experience in public radio to share ten useful rules for having better conversations.

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Be A Guide: Our Guiding Principles

Project InsideOut created these "irreducible, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing" guiding principles to guide people to transform and shift consumption patterns and behaviour. Informed by clinical psychologists, sustainability professionals, researchers, and design thinkers, these five guiding principles - attune, reveal, convene, equip, sustain - are grounded in evidence-based studies, research, best practices, and years of wisdom. If your organisation is looking to create, foster, and grow a culture of connection and support, this resource is a good starting point, and especially for leaders, HR personnel, and change agents.