Listening: an ethical imperative for servant-leaders

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Leaders, as decision-makers, visionaries, and role models must be attuned to the needs of people and organizations (Greenleaf, 2002) and have a heightened ability to filter out the
proverbial noise and discern between the senses and the spirit. The purpose of this paper is to
present a discussion and literature review of listening in the contexts of servant-leadership,
otherness, and ethics. The review draws on literature particularly from servant-leadership (Spears, 2003; Greenleaf, 2002), deaf epistemology (Hauser et al., 2010; Holcomb, 2010;
Schriempf, 2009), and listening studies (Lipari, 2009; Schotter, 2009). Listening, it is argued,
must be conceptualized less as the processing of sound and more as an ethical imperative, i.e. opening the heart to otherness. Suggestions for listening activities as an application of the ideas presented are offered in the appendices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationServant-leadership: Practice and application
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Proceedings of Marylhurst University's Pacific Northwest Regional Servant Leadership Conference, March 22-23, 2012
EditorsRob Abramovitz, David McNamee
Place of PublicationMarylhurst, Oregon, USA
PublisherMarylhurst University Center for Servant Leadership
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781300613022, 1300613025
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventPacific Northwest Regional Servant Leadership Conference - Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, United States
Duration: 22 Mar 201223 Mar 2012


ConferencePacific Northwest Regional Servant Leadership Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Leadership
  • Listening
  • Ethics
  • Servant Leadership


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