Gloucestershire business lessons: Listening more and understanding each person’s skills can create a stronger team

In the fifth of our ‘business lessons’ interview series, in partnership with Nimble Elearning, we speak to Hazlewoods partner and chairwoman of GFirst LEP, Ruth Dooley, who tells us why we should never stop listening and learning.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
A culture in which we listen and believe there is always something more to learn is invaluable, says Ruth Dooley.

Taking the time to understand how your colleagues tackle their roles is not just worthwhile, it can be inspirational and transformational for your team too, according to Ruth Dooley, chairwoman of GFirst LEP and partner at Hazlewoods.

In the fifth in our series with Stonehouse-headquartered Nimble Elearning, in which we ask Gloucestershire business leaders what lessons, tips and mantras have stuck with them, Dooley explains how understanding our differences can be beneficial, and no matter how much we may think we know, a little more listening can go a long way.

Dooley, who became chair of the county’s powerful business-led local enterprise partnership, GFirst LEP, in 2021 and is one of accountants and business expert Hazlewoods' most experienced partners and tax advisors, also had some advice for each and every business too.

Ruth Dooley, chairwoman of GFirst LEP and partner at Hazlewoods.

She said: ‘A key business and life lesson was to understand how different people will approach tasks and challenges and to try to respect and adapt to this.

‘This helped me to understand that a really strong team is comprised of people with different skills sets and approaches according to their type of personality.'

Asked if she had a mantra that had stuck with her, she said: ‘Something someone once said to me was ‘you have two ears and one mouth – try and use them in those proportions!’. I try to listen and understand before opining or acting.’

And when it came to the bigger picture – what could a business benefit from instilling into its culture? Continual learning and development within staff teams, no matter what level, is something Hazlewoods has found invaluable.

Dooley said: ‘It is incredibly important to have this culture and I always say to the newest trainee to the most experienced employee – never stop challenging, questioning or voicing your thoughts.

'You may well be right and the leader may be wrong! This openness is very much part of the culture at Hazlewoods.’

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