“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones
who do more listening than talking.”
― Bernard M. Baruch
7th October 2021
I recently opened an email from a client that read, “Thank you, you really get me!”
This made me really happy to hear. But it also made me wonder, “Do other people not get her, and if not, why not?”
I only had one call with this woman, but it wasn’t very difficult to “get her”, to understand what she wanted, and what values were important to her.
It’s all about listening. I mean really listening. Since becoming a coach I’ve paid much more attention to this. Sometimes, it’s hard to do because I know I have the answer to what their problem is. But by forcing myself to really listen, listen to what they are not saying, ask questions and listen again, more often than not they find the answers themselves. This is a much more powerful outcome.
So the next time you want to make an impact on a person, listen like they are the most important person in the world.
Taking the LEAP with you!
Have you ever noticed how GOOD it feels to be really listened to?
It’s impactful, particularly when the listening goes beyond just the words you’re speaking. That kind of artful listening conveys respect and value to the speaker, and promotes positive relationships of all kinds. And, like any art, it takes practice.
According to widely referenced statistics by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, known for his pioneering work in nonverbal communication, only 7% of communication happens through a person’s actual words (38% through tone and 55% through body language). That’s why it’s important to hone our skills to listen (and observe) at deeper levels.
A good place to start is by understanding the three listening levels described in the book Co-Active Coaching, by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House and Phil Sandahl.
Level 1: Internal
- We hear the other person’s words, but our focus is on what it means to us—our thoughts, feelings, judgments and conclusions. We may also be concerned with what the other person thinks of us. This level is useful for checking in with our feelings or to make decisions.
Level 2: Laser-Focused
- Our attention is focused like a laser beam on the other person, with little awareness of anything else. With such strong focus, we are curious, open and have little time to pay attention to our own feelings or worry about how we are being received. Mind chatter disappears with such a sharp focus.
Level 3: Global
- Our attention is spread out like an antenna with a 360-degree range. It allows us to pick up emotions, energy, body language and the environment itself. Intuition heightens as we tune into the deeper layers of what is going on around us.
All three levels are necessary. However, when we spend too much time in self-focused Level 1 listening, our communication can seriously suffer. Engaging all three levels at once, with more emphasis on Levels 2 and 3, can improve how we listen—and the impact of how we are received.
Having spent more than 20 years training business people in listening skills, Richard Anstruther and his team of communication experts at HighGain, Inc., have identified five main listening blocks:
- Listeners are not paying attention to the speaker due to disinterest in the speaker or subject, thinking about other things or multitasking.
- Listeners are emotionally detached from the speaker, concerned with content only, not the feelings behind it. They may be only half listening, not really interacting, and miss the message’s underlying meaning.
- Listeners are concentrating on what to say or do next, rather than focusing on the speaker’s message.
- Listeners have a different opinion that causes them to block out new ideas and information or lose track of the conversation. They analyze and interpret the speaker’s delivery or message, missing the point. They criticize, give advice and make assumptions.
- Listeners don’t allow the speaker to talk at his or her own pace. They constantly interrupt with comments or questions, and don’t allow the speaker to finish a point.
Below are a few suggestions for honing your listening skills. Enjoy them!
1. Experiment with Levels 1, 2 and 3 listening, one at a time, to fully understand the dynamics at each level. Try this in everyday conversation, or practice with someone. Take turns telling a story and listening. The results may surprise you!
2. Spend some time noticing how often you fall into tuning out, detaching, rehearsing, judging or controlling. What can you do to keep from falling into these common traps?
3. In your everyday conversations, or in an intentional practice session with a partner, explore each listening block, one at a time. Notice how you feel and the impact on the person with whom you are communicating.
The first step to developing artful listening is to choose to truly listen. As you continue to develop your listening skills, your communications and your relationships are likely to become increasingly satisfying and rich!
RESOURCES and more...
Here is a fun video about how listening is the key to a good society! It is loaded with good common sense advice about how to be a good listener. Click here to enjoy!
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Renée Blasky is the Founder and CEO of The LEAP Network Ltd.
Renée discovered her business and mindset coaching super powers when she was approached by a woman looking for assistance in developing a business opportunity. She hasn’t looked back since. Coaching women fits with her passion to empower women so they live a fulfilled life and make choices from a foundation of personal power, financial freedom and a deep sense of accomplishment.
Through her own experiences, as well as coaching women entrepreneurs and women in finance, Renée understands women often undermine their confidence and self-esteem. Consequently, they jeopardize their success paths, and mental fitness. As mindset accounts for an estimated 80% of success and happiness, Renée helps her clients to understand the lies they are telling themselves, how they are sabotaging their performance, wellness and relationships and helps them to establish a new journey to thrive utilizing their superpowers.
Renée helps her clients find clarity, regain their passion, set stick-worthy goals, stay focused, create the right mindset, and be accountable. She also gently pushes her clients outside of their comfort zones and helps them face their fears so they can achieve their dreams. Renée works with her clients through various online courses, webinars, one-on-one coaching, and group coaching programs.
Renée, who trained as a life coach with Tony Robbins and Cloé Madanes, is also a certified trainer for Marci Shimoff's Happy for No Reason and Susan Jeffer's Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway courses based on their respective books of the same name. She is also in the process of getting certified in the Positive Intelligence® program to increase her client’s mental fitness.
Renée is aptly qualified to coach women entrepreneurs and women in investments having founded two of her own businesses; investment management consulting services and business coaching. She is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and loves multi-cultural environments, having lived abroad for 35 years with assignments in 13 countries. She obtained her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter in 1990, and has over 30 years of experience in the investment/finance industry. She is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in Finance. She has also received various awards and recognition in the investment industry through her work with the CFA Institute and the development of capital markets in East Africa.
Learn more about Renée and The LEAP Network by visiting her website here: www.theleapnetwork.coachesconsole.com.
You can also send an email directly to Renée at email@example.com (not “.com”)