Dear ILA Colleagues and Friends,
As members of the International Listening Association we are here to study and promote Listening. This is just what we were doing in February 2020 when the Listening Post was released. I remember the excitement of knowing we had people registered from 6 different countries and 46 presentations scheduled for the 41st Annual ILA Convention in Seattle. I remember sharing that “we have the whole world at our side to continue to develop our knowledge and skills about Listening. We have a profound body of Listening literature to draw from and think afresh on Listening with new perspectives and imagination!”
There was much enthusiasm about the program content focused on the theme “Embrace the World: Listen to Build Relationships”. We saw the results in the program of the enormous amount of work many ILA members and guests contributed to launch our 41st Annual ILA Convention.
In March the world took an unexpected turn with the COVID-19 virus. Seattle was the first city in the US to see the devastating effects of this virus. As it became clear that our priority should be to slow this virus Seattle began the process of lockdown. Additionally the ILA Convention planning team made the difficult and important decision to postpone the convention. During the week of March 25-28, I reflected on our good work and how on Saturday night instead of sitting home watching a movie with my family I would have been in the Visions Ballroom at the Seattle Renaissance for the ILA Awards Banquet and Celebration. I missed our chance to celebrate our Listening work as planned.
The Covid19 pandemic has dramatically interrupted all lives across the world in some way. Many people are working hard to assemble their lives in a way that keeps us safe and healthy. Meanwhile there are many things we wish to do that we are unable to at this time and there’s never been a better time for us to promote listening and continue to build relationships.
In these uncertain times the ILA sprang into action! The convention planning team along with many ILA members were highly motivated to continue to move ILA Listening forward. ILA Members believed we could still provide some of our wonderful convention programs by moving them online. Below are some examples of the activities we have created since the postponement of the 41st Annual Convention due to the Covid19 crisis.
ILA Activities during the Covid19 Pandemic:
• March 15: ILA Zoom think and listen session about the “2020 Convention Transition” with Lori Joubert. Ideas were gathered to transition convention program content to both online format and a rescheduled date in either Seattle or some other place.
• March 23: ILA Exchange “Movies and Listening” with Marc Wong
• March 25: ILA Board Meeting to transition to the 2020-2021 Board and “passing the gavel” to the new ILA President and the ILA Convention Transition Team Meeting
• April 2: ILA Meet-Up about “Educators Adapting to Online Teaching”
• April 2: ILA CARES Initiative facilitated by Dick Halley using ILAcoronavirusreport@listen.org
• April 6: ILA Exchange "Learning to Listen Through Autism" with Jennie Grau and Christopher Ruge
• April 15: Another edition of the International Journal of Listening was published online including articles such as ‘Employees’ Perception of Listening as a Holistic Phenomenon’; ‘Listening Across the Life Span’ and a book review entitled ‘If I understood you, would I have this look on my face?’
• April 17: ILA Meet-Up about the California State University “Listening to Students” project with Donna Knifong
• April 24: ILA Meet-Up about “Listening to Move Programs Forward” with Annie Rappeport
• April 27: ILA Exchange "Listening is a Muscle: Improv is the Gym" with Kat Koppett and Livia Walker
• April 30: ILA Meet-Up about “Ethical Listening” with Jerry Catt and Dick Halley
• May 8: ILA Meet-Up about “Listening Research” with Laura Janusik and Teri Lynn Varner
As you can see, many activities have happened since the announcement of the 2020 convention postponement and ILA members have been using this time to network in new ways to connect, promote listening and keep the value of listening at the center of our lives and in our communities. We will continue to transition the 2020 Convention program presentations to online formats. in creative ways.
Additionally, we have extended the dates for the 2021 Bloomington, Minnesota Convention to be a 4-day ILA convention rather than the traditional 3-day ILA Convention. This will allow us to include programs that were scheduled for 2020 in Seattle for the 41st Annual ILA Convention Program and give Melissa Beall and me the opportunity to collaborate on a spectacular 2020/2021 joint convention program. More details to come soon!
On a final note, I am delighted by our ILA Listening resilience during this time of the Covid19 Crisis and want to thank you! It is a pleasure to be a member of ILA and your new ILA President this year. I look forward to the opportunity to serve alongside you in the coming year ahead.
Please watch for my next Listening Post article as your new ILA President! I wish you and your families continued health and safety.
With Warm Regards,
Lori Joubert, MA, CLP
President, International Listening Association
March 13 Please review the COVID-19 Update