Listen to learn in 2022; so pay attention to the five words you’ll probably hear the most in the new year
By Chad Carlton
Listening is a crucial part of communication.
If you don’t understand what your partner or client is saying, your messages and priorities may be seen as out of place, inappropriate, or worse yet, downright conflicting.
If you aren’t paying attention to what’s being discussed in boardrooms or committee meetings, it’s hard to become part of the community conversation.
As we head into the New Year, resolve to listen more.
Think about the words you hear frequently when chatting with co-workers, clients, friends, and family. And use that information to stay up-to-date, timely and additive in your communications.
Five words you’ll hear in 2022
Workforce challenges will continue over the coming year. Finding âtalentâ, people who can do the job well and strengthen the team, will remain a top priority for many employers.
Expect more discussion on how targeted investments in workforce education and training can solve short-term shortages. But the real value will be the long-term collaborations between educators and employers.
We’re seeing this statewide in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System with programs like KY TRAINS, a state-funded initiative to reduce the costs of training, recruiting and retaining businesses. KY TRAINS covers 75% of all expenses related to creating a business-friendly, practical and personalized technical training program. In Louisville, Jefferson Workforce Solutions is at the forefront of bridging the talent gap, helping businesses of all sizes use KY TRAINS funding to improve their bottom line and employee productivity.
On its Louisville campus, MedQuest College is also working with area employers to adapt its programs to best prepare students to meet the changing needs of Commonwealth healthcare facilities.
The reciprocal of talent is technology. Businesses, governments and nonprofits will talk more about redirecting resources to investments in software, hardware and consulting firms to increase efficiency and do more with fewer people .
Artificial intelligence, video and robotics will infiltrate our conversations and our daily lives. Listening to more will help us understand how these technological tools are changing everything from education to manufacturing to entertainment.
The switch turns on – literally – as more and more people begin to understand how quickly energy resources are changing. The false fight between fossil fuels and renewable resources will continue, but more and more people will talk about the continued need for both categories (renewable and non-renewable).
As companies like Ford Motor Co. make multibillion-dollar investments in electric vehicles right here in Kentucky, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are undergoing a unique shift in power production. The transition is likely to go faster than some realize due to private sector investment.
The federal infrastructure bill will invest more than $ 550 billion in new investments in bridges, roads, water and energy systems, broadband and more. The real benefit is to connect communities and increase resilience in ways that will improve economic development and quality of life for decades.
In our region, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will work with its counterparts in Indiana and Ohio on some of the country’s most important projects. Look for transportation discussions to focus on:
â¢ Renovation of the Brent Spence Bridge, the I-75 bottleneck between Cincinnati and Covington, and the addition of a companion bridge.
â¢ Complete I-69 Ohio River Crossing at Henderson and Evansville, the crucial link that will expand a much needed freight corridor that runs through Indiana and creates great economic opportunity for western Kentucky.
â¢ Complete the Mountain Parkway The expansion, widening works and safety improvements that will create a four-lane trail from Pikeville to Paducah.
We live in an age where division is rife and compromise is seen as a weakness. Politics, race, gender, sexual orientation, rights, responsibilities, etc.
How did we get to this place where compromise is a dirty word? Is our state motto, “United we stand, Divided, we fall” as outdated and irrelevant as the pioneer and statesman on the Kentucky flag?
Perhaps we got here, in part, by only listening to people who look like us, think like us, have similar experiences, belong to the same groups.
In 2022, resolve to listen to different voices. Focus more on learning and understanding. Asking questions helps us see different points of view, gather information, consider alternatives, break with assumed truths and arbitrary ways of thinking.
You don’t have to change your mind. However, listening a little more could help open up new possibilities.