Written by Diane Wild, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

The “What Matters to You?” Day campaign provides an opportunity to pause and think about how well we are listening to others.

The provincial “What Matters to You Day” campaign encourages patients and care providers to ask what matters, listen to what matters, and do what matters on June 6 and beyond.

“What Matters to You?” Day is about encouraging people to listen more deeply, in order to truly understand what is being communicated. It provides an opportunity to pause and think about how well we are listening to others.

The B.C. Patient Safety and Quality Council has provided some ideas that can help improve our ability to listen:

  • Take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on the conversations you had.
    • Did you spend more time listening or talking?
    • Did you listen to understand, or were you waiting for your turn to speak?
  • Listen with an open mind. In doing this, try to see from the other person’s point of view to understand what is important to them. Remember that listening involves more than your ears. Signals such as making eye contact, nodding, and leaning in can also demonstrate that you are paying attention.
  • Relationships require both people to make an effort. Listen to others the way you want to be listened to.
  • Repeat back what you have heard, to check that you understood what the other person meant to say. This is called “closed loop communication.”

After you ask “What matters to you?” give the other person time to talk without interrupting. Try silently counting to 10 after they finish speaking before saying something, as they might just be pausing between thoughts.

Find more tools and resources on the What Matters To You? Day website.


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