Talk is cheap, listening isn't. This is human engagement at work.
Throughout my working life (which has spanned 23 years, 3 careers, in private corporations, international mega companies, grass roots NGOs, family businesses, my own businesses, local and state government orgs) I've seen the full gamut of human interaction and behaviour. Some of it's been pretty, some of it not.
Without a doubt, the agencies and organisations that retain their staff and have cordial, if not extremely positive relationships with constituents, customers and people practice something called "human engagement".
Leaders and professionals who do this:
1. Show up, even when it's hard
2. Regulate their emotion (by shaking things off!)
3. Practice empathy (including toward themselves)
4. Ask good questions
5. Listen more than they speak
6. Take action, even if it's not perfect
7. Forgive mistakes (including their own)
8. Lead by example
9. Use good to create more good
10. Share relevant parts of themselves through storytelling, to build community, trust and motivation.
Practiced on a regular basis, these ingredients have the power to transform the outcomes you get, even in extremely tough and adversarial community engagement climates.