Intercultural Leadership for Generational Impact

Session 7


Session length : 30 minutes 14 seconds

Listening Well

In this session you will understand why listening with undivided attention and intentionality is key to cultivating a successful and trusting intercultural relationship that can lead to positive changes.

Learning Objectives

You will learn what systematic listening looks like in an intercultural relationship.
You will learn the importance of really seeing and hearing a community’s ideas and dreams as opposed to imposing your own agenda on them.
You will learn about practical examples of listening, particularly through Child Champions.
You will learn techniques and ways to listen to children and adolescents.

Key Takeaways

  • The discipline of listening: When communicating cross-culturally, the goal is to really see and hear the people you're serving and try to understand their experiences and points of view. Watching for verbal and nonverbal cues while listening is important. It’s also important to ask how we can better serve them, know them, and allow their input to influence the program.
  • Systematic listening: We need to stop and listen to make sure that people are being heard and that we are taking the time to pay attention to what they’re trying to say. For OneChild, this means intentional and frequent engagement with the children, partners, and people who serve the children in OneChild’s programs.
  • Practical examples of listening: Kids at Hope Centers are given a survey of questions so that they have a chance to think intentionally about their experience in the program. More important, those questions create conversations between the kids and those who care for them and allow the kids to be heard. A child must feel empowered to share what’s going on with him or her. After listening, it’s important to follow up with action to ensure that the child was heard.
  • Listening as an intervention: The action of listening -- that time we spend in conversation with children -- empowers them, gives them dignity, and helps them understand that they can be leaders. In OneChild’s Hope Centers, children are seen and heard.
  • Feedback
  • Intentional listening
  • Hearing vs. listening
  • Empower
  • Influence
  • Proverbs 18:13
  • Proverbs 19:27
  • James 1:19
  • Luke 11:28
  • Jeremiah 29:20
  • Psalm 34:15
  • What is the goal of systematic listening?
  • What are some of the potential consequences of not listening intentionally to the person or people you’re trying to serve?
  • How do you feel when your voice is heard, when someone listens to your ideas?
  • “Intentional Listening: How to Facilitate a Positive Client Experience,” by Brad Elson, Forbes magazine


Erica Henderson is Global Program Manager at OneChild, a global community of Child Champions that advocates for and provides holistic care to more than 40,000 children in 16 of the world’s poorest countries. Erica was born in San Antonio, Texas, but has called five U.S. states and three countries home. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Iowa State University receiving a double major in global resource systems and environmental studies as well as a minor in nutrition. After spending time on the U.S. side of the nonprofit industry, Erica spent a year working in rural South Africa leading the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of a school gardening program that successfully planted 11 community gardens. Passionate about listening to the communities she serves, Erica joined the OneChild team as Program Research Monitoring & Evaluation Manager overseeing OneChild’s Systematic Listening implementation as well as managing OneChild's community development initiative Special Projects Aimed at Reaching Kids (SPARKs).


Elsa Miranda is OneChild’s Regional Support Program Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. She has been part of OneChild since 2017, supporting the team in the Dominican Republic, and comes with 10 years of experience working in various areas such as child and youth holistic development, educational programs, case management, and counseling. She has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work from Georgia State University. Elsa is married to Julio Perez, and they have one child.

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