We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Arlen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
My career has taught me to love people without condition. As a community health outreach worker promoting risk reducing behaviors, as a minister working with bereaved families, as facilitator and mediator, even in the political space, people respond well to being loved. When people trust that they are loved, in my experience, they respond in kind. In this context, love is demonstrated rather than exclaimed. There are limitless ways that love can be expressed…. in attentive listening, through compassionate inquiry, or even managing divergent perspectives with grace and humility. Love, in this context, is an ever-present intention that creates a context of mutuality and respect.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Soft Skills Company works to foster positive relational dynamics among diverse workplaces. While we’ve developed client-specific workshops and courses, we work with organizations to address their specific objectives. Our motto is “We work with good people who are doing good things.” As a creative consultancy, our iterative processes help our clients to clearly articulate their challenges, identify barriers to change, and develop aggressive strategies to achieve their goals. I also provide facilitation, mediation, and project-based consulting services. The most significant challenge I’ve faced was creating an enterprise that allowed me build on my experience in the nonprofit sector while using the diverse skill sets I’ve acquired over the years. It was difficult to make it all fit. But I’ve learned to marry my imagination with my experience. As I listen to the challenges my clients are facing, I trust my imagination and intuition to identify new contexts to resolve the challenge. Most important, I work with my clients so that they too can imagine a successful outcome inspired by new possibilities rather than being disempowered by the challenge. My brand, across the many realms of my life, comes back to love. I believe in people and what we can accomplish when we work together, across our many differences, in good faith, with humility and grace.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love good food and I love good people. When family or friends visit, I enjoy their company and would most likely just spend time at home; cooking and talking with one another. There are a lot of great things to do, but being with them would be the most important.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am most grateful for the love and support of my husband, Damon.