Listen First!

Medium

 

Dr. Jim O’Connell is one cool dude.

He’s a professor at Harvard Med and Mass General, president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), and he’s spent more than three decades treating homeless patients.

But the most impressive thing about Jim isn’t his resume; it’s that he’s so dang likable! He radiates humility, a surprising quality in such an accomplished guy.

I met Jim in New Orleans, where he was a speaker at Burness’ 30th anniversary retreat. At Burness, we use strategic communication to make people act. That means while Jim is on the streets of Boston literally saving lives, we’re behind our computers writing op-eds and tweets, creating videos and pitching reporters with research that, we hope, might trickle down to help someone save lives.

So our fields are slightly different. But we share a common goal: to make people’s lives better and to help create a more just world.

During Jim’s talk, he imparted some wisdom that applies not just to his work as a doctor but to mine as a strategic communicator.

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