Change happens when employers and allies work together with people who stutter to create stuttering-friendly teams.
Creating stuttering friendly-teams:
In stuttering-friendly teams people show patience and respect to stuttering voices, while better understanding their own experiences as a listener. They understand that "it takes two to stutter".
"The experience reminded me that the essential things in life cannot be seen with the eye. Both patience and presence are needed for a mutually beneficial partnership. 'It takes two to stutter' captures this idea well"
Speaking with a stutter
For people who stutter, even though the frequency and variability of our stutter will fluctuate, our stuttering is a reality of how we speak.
Stuttering is complicated and difficult to understand, even for people who stutter. To learn more, please see our section ‘What is stuttering?’.
Listening to a stutter
Most people don't hear stuttering voices very often. When we do, it can feel uncomfortable and awkward.
Acknowledging this difficult reality of the listener's experience is an essential part of creating a stuttering-friendly culture.
Helping listeners to understand stuttering and be patient and respectful when a colleague stutters makes a world of difference for both. It enhances the quality of the conversation, the enjoyment of the moment and the benefits that flow.
Imagine if people hadn't listened to famous stutterers from the past - the prophet Moses, the philosopher Demosthenes, or Prime Minister Winston Churchill (see also our list of stuttering communicators). Our world would be very different today.
In this short video Sally Bibb, founder of Engaging Minds and author of the best-selling book ‘Strengths Based Recruitment’, shares her listening experience as an interviewer on our Practice Interview pilot.
Better listening skills
As Sally’s video highlights, learning to listen attentively to stuttering voices can help us to become better listeners – a key skill in work and in life.
“What struck me was the quality of attention and, flowing from that, the quality of presence that I gave and felt during the interview was quite remarkable and I would say quite unusual. It gave me something to think about and to add to my own practice in any conversation but also my skills as an interviewer.”
Sally Bibb, UK
Listening to stuttering voices
These short educational films give an opportunity to:
- Hear different stuttering voices
- Appreciate some of the benefits for employers when they embrace stuttering
- Understand some of the challenges for people who stutter at work
- Consider changes in your working environment for the benefit of all.
Check Your Prejudices
With many thanks to La Fundación Española de la Tartamudez in Spain, this powerful two-minute video follows the interview process for a person who stutters applying for a hotel head of reception role.
It shows his professional communication skills in action, dealing with an angry member of the public as well as the prejudice in the boardroom.
Also available captioned in Spanish
With many thanks to John Ampiah-Addison and the Ghana Stammering Association, this 15 minute video (2018) features adults in different professions, from lawyers to government agency employees, talking openly about:
- Cultural attitudes
- Growing up in Ghana with a stutter
- Stuttering in adulthood at work.
If you would like to receive a written transcript of this video, please contact us at email@example.com
For Employers: Stuttering in the Workplace
With many thanks to the National Stuttering Association in the USA, this informative four-minute video for employers (2018) shows how to interact with employees or prospective employees who stutter and why hiring people who stutter is often a smart decision.
Also available without captions on the NSA website