City of Houston

Nov 6, 2013

“I just want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I know you probably can’t do anything about my problem. But, at least you cared enough to listen to what I had to say.” The Community Liaison sat speechless when she heard these words after a long day of being fussed at and chewed out on the phone by irate callers. This was the response she received after implementing some of the techniques from HCC’s “Compassionate Communications” course. The surprising response caught her off guard.

“The employees were very impressed with HCC’s training,” said Ms. Claudia Vasquez, Director of Citizens Assistance. “It represented a paradigm shift for even some of our best Community Liaisons. They are very good at using their knowledge of the city’s structure and departments to resolve citizens’ problems. But, sometimes, the harder they try to fix problems, the more upset the citizens become. The class taught us that sometimes it’s not about resolving the immediate issue. Sometimes citizens just need to know that their mayor cares.”

The Compassionate Communications course recently conducted by HCC for the City of Houston, Mayor’s Office teaches productive ways to motivate others using genuine compassion. Many people use fear, blame, punishment and threats to get what they want in life. This often leads to anger, frustration and sometimes even depression. Through Compassionate Communications, students learn to build relationships built on trust and mutuality. They learn to accurately hear what other people feel and need, even when the other person is expressing themselves in a hostile manner. The effective use of this technique allows us to resolve conflicts in a way that improves the likelihood of both people getting some of what they want. This reduces stress in the workplace and improves the productivity, health and happiness of employees.