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The art of listening

By Kay Psencik, Frederick Brown and Stephanie Hirsh
August 2021
The Learning Principal, by Kay Psencik, Frederick Brown, and Stephanie Hirsh, is Learning Forward’s latest book in a series focused on putting professional learning at the heart of improvement for leaders, teams, and systems. The book is full of practical tools, many of which are useful for leaders at multiple levels, including principals. In the April 2021 issue of The Learning Professional, we shared a tool about implementing change effectively. In this issue, we’re featuring a tool about effective listening skills. Chapter 6 of the book homes in on the role leaders play in providing feedback and coaching as well as the skills they need to fulfill that role effectively. Listening is one of those core skills. As the authors write, “Effective listening skills are

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Kay Psencik is a senior consultant for Learning Forward and served in Texas public schools for more than 30 years. She supports school districts and other educational organizations across the nation in efforts to transform their organizations by facilitating and coaching principals to lead high-performing schools.

Chief Learning Officer/Deputy at Learning Forward | + posts

Frederick Brown is Learning Forward’s chief learning officer/deputy, where he leads the association’s business services and membership teams as well as overseeing program content for the Learning Forward Academy and conferences and institutes.

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Stephanie Hirsh retired in June 2019 after 31 years with Learning Forward, an international association of more than 13,000 educators committed to increasing student achievement through effective professional learning. Hirsh led the organization as its executive director for the last 13 years where she presented, published, and consulted on Learning Forward’s behalf across North America.


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