Howard Binkow is an old friend of India Supera and a former Feathered Pipe Foundation Board Member. At 88 years old, his life is dedicated to the subject of listening, and he has been a listener in training for 28 years.
Howard has had several careers in his lifetime: a home builder, radio host, sales person, author, publisher and currently CEO of the We Do Listen Foundation, a 501c3 that empowers children to become better listeners through a series of books, animations and songs based on the adventures of the Howard B. Wigglebottom and Wonder Kitty characters. With the help of Reverend Ana Volinski, Howard has co-created 17 children's books, which have been translated into Chinese, Korean and French and have sold over 2.5 million print copies.
In today’s conversation, we focus on the two pillars of listening that he learned from author Steven Covey: “Seek first to understand before being understood” and “be present.” He walks us through his journey of chasing money to chasing meaning, a midlife crisis that led him into the woods of Michigan for a two-year isolated retreat, and eventually to the work that he does today: visiting schools, reading his books to 4-7 year olds and introducing them to the concepts of listening that he believes will help them grow into receptive, caring and balanced adults.
Howard speaks from his own experience of awakening as a 60-year-old man, recognizing that his entire life, he equated listening with obedience and doing as he was told in order to escape punishment, whether at home, school or work. Now, as an apprentice to the art of listening, he says the practice has improved his relationships, finances, free time and fulfillment.
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