Reflective Listening

Continually listening, reflecting and evaluating is a natural part of communicating generatively. Inviting feedback from others deepens our understanding and helps to inform our communication choices going forward.

I used to think a consultant’s job was to provide answers, proven models for action, and prescriptive solutions—indeed, that “experts” knew best. Then I discovered a deeper reality.
    -Mary A. Ferdig, Ph.D.
Mary is able to unpack and describe complex systems and ideas in down-to-earth ways that help others grasp and apply them. She uses real life examples from her work and personal life which allow us to better understand how we create our unfolding experience of the world, our communities, our relationships and ourselves. While this is serious and important business with great implications for our shared journeys through life, Mary handles it all with a light and inviting touch.“
Mary is an insightful and creative thinker who is thorough in her analyses and focused on bringing about positive change in organizations.
Kim Morrow
Director, Climate Planning and Resilience
Verdis Group
Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ
All of us stand on the shoulders of those who lead the way before us, and following Mary’s work has been a continuing and uplifting force for my work in our shared community.
Eric Williams
Director, Omaha Public Power District
Natural Resources Planner
Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District
Mary brings an informed, candid, supportive and open inquisitiveness to conversations and projects. Her way of being opens the field for collaboration, creativity, and our best selves to emerge. I appreciate her inclusive "can-do" attitude because I've seen how it encourages people to show up and engage.
Sherry L. Helmke
New View Now
Colleague and Thought Leader
Mary has a wonderful talent for facilitating a group, getting to the core of the matter and then laying it out in a clear and concise manner.
Janet Phelan
Executive Director of Midwest Childcare Association
I cannot begin to tell how much I value Mary’s input, perspective and intellect. She provides a safe and supportive environment for exploring vulnerable and half-formulated ideas. I am honored to have her in my life.
Rob Hallam
CEO of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra
Organization Development Advisor, Cuso International at Council of Voluntary Social Services
British Columbia, Canada
The overarching element that my mother brings to everything she does is passion. Raising kids, playing the piano, running for the schoolboard, seeking academic achievements, throwing parties, sweeping the kitchen floor, organizing family events, creating itineraries for travel, entertaining grandchildren. . . . She does not do anything half-assed. Her work and her words have culminated in unique ideas that have practical applications for all of our lives. It is an honor to be her daughter.
Living well with anyone for 57 years requires straightforward communication and figuring things out together. I’d say we’re both pretty hard-headed. Though I appreciate Mary’s insistence that we get honest, share what we’re thinking and challenge each other’s certainty claims that are mostly just interpretations or opinions. It seems to work for us. I think I’ll stick with her.
Ron Ferdig, CPA
Husband, philosopher, and father of their children
Mary takes facilitation to a new level. She’s a master at creating spaces for people to get real with each other, to listen and learn as they seek joint understanding, generate possibilities for action, and reach agreement for moving forward. Her skilled touch keeps us on point without manipulating the creative process or outcomes.
Joseph Alonzo
Workshop Participant
Talent & Organizational Development
Morning Star Company, Williams, CA

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