Discover your Listening Villain
Paul Nadeau
Apple Award Winning Podcast
Podcast Episode 071: How to listen for difference rather than similarities

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Paul Nadeau is a highly decorated former police detective, hostage negotiator and international peacekeeper.

He shares the story of how a terrorist saved his life, and why the cost of not listening can be fatal.

Learn how to ask the right questions and build rapport. Paul says that at the core, hostage negotiation and crisis negotiation is listening. Opening a space for them to speak and making people feel heard.

Learn how Paul was able to truly connect with a man who terrified his other police colleagues.

By asking people to speak and really listening – Paul has learnt that people are more like us than they are different.

Transcript

Podcast Episode 071: How to listen for difference rather than similarities

Paul Nadeau:
So we always went to the director’s office early and we were leaving the director’s office, walking back towards ours, in the desert on a very hot morning. And when we were… There were 40 or so of these insurgent cadets that were hiding behind a building that surrounded my partner and I. And they were armed. They didn’t have a gun, fortunately, but they surrounded my partner and I. And I remember exactly what my partner Jamo told me because we knew this was the attack and he was taller than me, patted me on the head and he says, “This is going to hurt little, buddy.” And I said, “Yeah, sure is.” And no sooner did I say that, they reached in, they grabbed us and they started beating us and we were fighting, and we were fighting for our lives. And right into it, I could hear a voice from a distance yelling my name, “Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul…”

Oscar Trimboli:
Deep listening impact beyond words. Hi, I’m Oscar Trimboli, and this is the Deep Listening Podcast Series, designed to move you from an unconscious listener to a deep and productive listener. Did you know you spend 55% of your day listening? Yet only 2% of us have had any listening training whatsoever. Frustration, misunderstanding, wasted time and opportunity, along with creating poor relationships are just some of the costs of not listening. Each episode of the series is designed to provide you with practical, actionable and impactful tips to move you through the five levels of listening. So I invite you to visit oscartrimboli.com/Facebook to learn about the five levels of listening, and how others are making an impact beyond words.

Oscar Trimboli:
Paul Nadeau is a highly decorated former police detective, a hostage negotiator and an international peacekeeper. And one of Canada’s most highly recognised hostage negotiators. Together, we will explore the cost of not listening and it’s measured in people’s lives, whether that’s in the deserts of Jordan or when you are confronted by the Incredible Hulk in the middle of an icy cold Canadian winter night. If we went back to your police training, what training did you receive in how to improve your listening while you were being trained as a police officer?

Paul Nadeau:
While I was a detective and I would walk in if I was investigating a murder or a rape. You watch all those cop shows where the cop walks in and says, “Hey, we know you did it. Now it is time for you to tell us where… Don’t haul about it. We got you.” This kind of stuff, that is not reality. Reality is if you want a confession or if you want cooperation, you walk in and you ask them to speak. You give them reasons to speak and then you listen, you encourage them. One of the greatest lessons Oscar, I ever learned and recognised as a police officer was to recognise that the person standing or sitting across from me, was more like me than they were different, which means that I really put myself into their shoes. If I was a cop telling them something or if I was asking for their cooperation, how would I react if a police officer were speaking to me the way that I’m speaking to them?

Oscar Trimboli:
How would you contrast the training you received around listening when it came to hostage negotiating?

Paul Nadeau:
They do teach you to listen, they do teach you to ask questions. And if you have watched any good television shows or in movies on hostage crises, or even if a person is in a personal distress, because hostage negotiators are also crisis negotiators. But if you watch a good movie or a good television show on that topic, you will see that the good negotiators walk in and say, “It looks like you are having a terrible day. What’s going on?” It’s very, very simple. And then you really listen. You really listen and you make sure that you understand. And a lot of times I would be talking to somebody and if I wasn’t clear, or if I thought, I assumed I knew, I wouldn’t do that. I would turn around and I would say, “So Oscar, if I understand you correctly, what you’re asking me or what you’re telling me is this.” And then the receiver of that, the moment you say, “What…” “You hear this? He is asking me if he understood me correctly. Well, I like this person. That person is really listening to me.” We don’t do it enough.

Paul Nadeau:
We think we know what the other person is experiencing or feeling, but that is based on what we might have experienced, but we are all different. I said that we were more similar than we are different, yeah, but sometimes we react differently because of our upbringing or our circumstances of our background, whatever it is. So, to take the time to really listen and if there’s something about what they said that you don’t understand, you just say, “Hey, if I understand you correctly, is this what you’re saying?” And encourage them to speak more.

Paul Nadeau:
So if I’m talking to John who has just taken a hostage and I have asked him what is going on in his life, I really do want to hear what is going on in his life because in order to connect with him, in order to get them to know me, like me and trust me enough that we can work together at a solution, that includes a lot of asking questions, but a lot of listening. Ask the right questions and do the listening. And that’s how you get co-operation in life.

Oscar Trimboli:
Well, you talked with example questions there that are what I call, what and how based questions, and a lot of people will tend to commence conversations with questions that are around why or discovering why. And could you contrast how you would think about not just the what and the how questions, but how to either avoid or engage in questions that explore the context around why?

Paul Nadeau:
You don’t start by asking the whys or the how’s, you start by building a rapport. And that could be as simple as just talking about the weather and we talk about something that connects us, that we share in common. And that is such an important piece of communication because it links people together and it makes people get to know each other and like each other, and even in a very short period of time, maybe even trust each other. And once you establish that, and if I was doing an interrogation, I knew that happened when their body language opened or when they started calling me by my first name or they leaned into me again, I’m listening with my eyes, what is their body doing? How is their tone of voice? Now that I have got us to a rapport, this connection that we have made, let’s get onto what we are here to discuss.

Paul Nadeau:
So, I have gotten to know you Oscar in this very short period of time and I can’t understand what is going on here or what happened. So, tell me what did happen, Oscar? That night, what happened? And it’s amazing, the moment they feel that connection to you and that they believe that you are going to listen to them, the door is open. And I had about a 90% success rate in getting people to tell me the truth. I won’t use the word confess because it is a confession, but it is just, tell me what happened, what happened? And I earned that by establishing rapport.

Oscar Trimboli:
This is a masterclass from Paul on rapport building. And he reinforces the importance of using what based questions. Paul uses really simple, short and neutral questions. Neutral questions have no bias in them whatsoever. If your question gets more than seven words long, it is probably biassed. So, when we come back and think about some of those phrases that Paul use, my favourite one though, it’s so short, it’s so simple, it’s so neutral. He simply asks, “What happened?” When journalists research a story, what happened is the question they use to collect different perspectives and notice how to listen both for similarities and differences in the same story by asking the same question, what happened?

Oscar Trimboli:
It might be a great question for you to practise when you are talking to somebody who has to deal with a lot of complex and complicated information, take them back to the beginning and ask them what happened. But they are short what based questions and how based questions. Take me back to episode two when we spoke to Alan Stokes and he discuss with me what it’s like being a telephone based suicide counsellor. I was lucky enough to visit Alan in his workplace and I was able to sit next to him while he was taking phone calls. And he discussed with those people who dialled in what happened.

Alan Stokes:
Now, when you are on the phone, it’s absolutely essential to avoid lecturing someone or talking at them or making them feel like they are interrogated. But when it comes to truly hearing someone’s story, truly deep listening, you need open questions. You need to empower someone to tell you what they want you to hear. So the use of the word, how. How does that feel for you? How have you been able to cope? What have you been doing that is helping you through this? What would you like to see happen next? What if you had a magic wand would next week look like for you? What is your big idea in your big dream to solve this problem?

Oscar Trimboli:
An example of an open ended question, sometimes that falls flat is the why question.

Alan Stokes:
Why questions are loaded with judgement quite often, not always, but 90% of the time. Why do you do that? Why are you asking me in that tone of voice? Why did you decide to stay with your abusive wife or husband? Why didn’t you do this? As you can see in all of those questions, there is an implied judgement , an implied negativity. It is not a positive nonjudgmental approach. It is an approach that somehow comes with baggage.

Oscar Trimboli:
How conscious are you of the questions you ask? The simplest question to ask before listening to somebody is, what would you like from me in the conversation? Sometimes they would say, “Oh, look, I just need to speak it out louder, I don’t really need an answer,” or, “I need some time to tell you what the issues are, so I can organise my thoughts in some kind of way.” And sometimes they will say, “Look, I just want to get thoughts out of my head and then let us discuss some ideas or solutions after that.” (beep).

Oscar Trimboli:
So here is a deep listening tip, tomorrow keep account of when you ask questions and simply track three things. Which questions are why based questions, which questions are how based questions and which questions are what based questions? For extra points you might want to keep it track of the length of your question, but for now the deep listening tip is keep a track of three questions. Track, how many times you ask why based questions, how many times you ask how base questions and how many times you ask what base questions.

Oscar Trimboli:
Deep listening is about impact beyond words, and to create the kind of impact that Paul has already created in his life and will continue to create. I think all of us need to explore and listen to different people and different opinions. So if you want to understand some of your own listening biases or barriers, visit listeningquiz.com, that is listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute quiz, which will create a unique report, tailored to you with three actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Oscar Trimboli:
Paul has been a police officer, a negotiator and a police trainer. In 2005, Paul was sent to Jordan to help to train Iraqi police officers.

Paul Nadeau:
In 2005, I was deployed to Jordan in the Middle East on a peacekeeping mission. Iraq was at war and Canada did not send soldiers, we sent peacekeepers. And I was sent as a police trainer for the Iraqi police cadets at the Jordanian International Police Training Centre. So my job was to teach about 55 police cadets aged from about 16 to about 65 for two weeks, and every two weeks, I would get another 55. And I was going to teach them criminal investigations, human rights and report taking, that kind of stuff. So I decided again, I didn’t understand the Middle East as much as I do now, back then. And I worried about how I would be received and what dangers I might be walking into. But I decided that I was going to treat everybody the way that I wanted to be treated.

Paul Nadeau:
So, what I would do is the every two weeks that I had my class, I would start off with a speech. And my speech would be something like, “My name is Paul Nadeau, I’m a police officer and I have some knowledge that I want to share it with you. First of all, I want to tell you what an honour it is for me to be here with you and how much I appreciate this. And over the next two weeks, I will be sharing some information with you, not telling you what to do, but I will be sharing with you some techniques that I hope you will be able to use as you enforce the law in your country. Now, as much as you may be hearing from me, I want to hear from you because I don’t understand what is going on here. And I don’t understand what your personal lies are right now, but boy, I would really like to get to know you guys. I would really like to get to know what is going on. So how about we do this, how about we make this class a sharing experience?”

Paul Nadeau:
And that speech was always well received. And I followed through, at the end of the day, I would encourage them to tell stories and I would encourage them to sing because I knew that these guys… Man, they got up at 4:30. Oscar, imagine this, you have got police officers, 16 years old. They are not supposed to be 16, they are supposed to be 18, but 3000 cadets, every eight weeks were being sent to us from Iraq. And Iraq couldn’t vet them quickly enough, so they were getting in with false identifications and some were illiterate, they couldn’t read, they couldn’t write, some of them had university degrees. Some of them were being sent to us with mental illnesses already. And they were just not being vetted quickly enough.

Paul Nadeau:
So one of my jobs was to find the ones that needed that help and maybe get them redeployed. But for the ones that were in my class, actively participating, some of these guys had never been away from home for a day. Imagine this, in the Middle East, you may live in a village and your family is your whole world. You don’t have devices like the internet, you may not have anything. You might have just a small coffee stand in your village, but you have never gone on a weekend away from home and never been away from your family. At the end of the day, I would say, “Okay, now it is time for us to take 40 minutes just to unwind guys. And who here can sing?” Every class there were about four or five singers and they all loved it.

Paul Nadeau:
So they would sing and they would take these empty jugs of water, those five gallon jugs of water and they would play the drums and they would be singing and telling stories. And my language assistant was translating the stories as quickly as he could and some of them were just amazing. Well, during one of the classes, because we had Sunni’s and Shiites in the class, obviously, but we also had terrorists because terrorists had infiltrated the academy under the guise of being police officers. And they had one mission, at some point they were going to kill international instructors and they were also going to kill a number of the cadets because they wanted to make headlines back then. And they still do obviously.

Paul Nadeau:
But one of the students that had come to my class, unbeknownst to us was a terrorist. And in fact, he wasn’t just a terrorist, he was a cell leader. And throughout the two weeks that he was with me, he actually connected with me. He asked a lot of questions, very intelligent questions and I didn’t suspect him as a terrorist one second. He would wait for me after class, he would ask me a few questions, he would not. And he always had a bodyguard with him and that wasn’t unusual. So, let’s fast forward, about a month later, I was now working in the advocacy and counselling division as a counsellor and an advocate for the conditions of the cadets of the academy. And one young man came in to me and said, “There is going to be an attack on the academy. And I can’t tell you exactly when, but the cadets are gathering weapons now and you can expect it and it could be any day now.”

Paul Nadeau:
So, we alerted our academy security. And of course you don’t get to go home when you are in a war or when you are on a peacekeeping mission, it’s not like, “Hey, tomorrow’s day is going to be a little bit iffy, so I’m going to stay home.” No, you don’t get to do that. A few days after I got that warning and I had alerted the security and everybody in the academy was aware of it, I had a finished partner. He and I used to get to the academy the earliest because our job was to go to the director with the different reports. And we had papers that would recommend the repatriation of some of the cadets for a number of different reasons, whether it was violence or whether it was suicidal tendencies. So, we always went to the director’s office early.

Paul Nadeau:
We were leaving the director’s office, walking back towards ours, in the desert on a very hot morning. And when we were… There were 40 or so of these insurgent cadets that were hiding behind a building that surrounded my partner and I, and they were armed. They didn’t have a gun fortunately, but they surrounded my partner and I. And I remember exactly what my partner Jamo told me because we knew this was the attack and he was taller than me patted me on the head and he says, “This is going to hurt a little, buddy.” And I said, “Yeah, sure is.” And no sooner did I say that, they reached in, they grabbed us and they started beating us and we were fighting and we were fighting for our lives. Right into it, I could hear a voice from a distance yelling my name, “Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul, Mr. Paul.”

Paul Nadeau:
And he yelled something in Arabic and I couldn’t understand, I didn’t have my language assistance with me, but what he yelled put a stop to the attack immediately and all the men moved away from us. We were both injured, my partner and I, and my head was a little bit spinning from that. And when I was able to focus and look and hear the voice of the man who had called my name, he came up to me and I recognised him. He was my former student, the one that took an interest and waited for me after class. And it turned out that he was the cell leader and he had just given an order not to kill us, and he let us go free that day. And I am alive because a terror saved my life. And when I tell that story people are in awe. And I attribute a lot of that to the way that I treated my cadets with dignity and respect, but also by really listening and encouraging them to speak.

Oscar Trimboli:
I imagine you and this cell leader, as you explained were sitting on a bench, having a conversation, and you mentioned that he was asking questions, and you mentioned that the questions were quite intelligent. I’m curious, the kinds of questions he was asking you as you were developing that rapport outside of the classroom.

Paul Nadeau:
Why are you different than the other instructors? And they had some instructors that weren’t treating them very well. And he wondered why I was talking a little bit different and I was behaving a little bit different. So, he was curious about Canada, he was curious about me. The questions were not so much about my political position or understanding, although that did come up, he said, “What do you think of this?” And again, not knowing all the answers or having very, very little information I had to ask him, why don’t you tell me what this is about? Tell me what this is about because I would like to understand from your point of view. I know enough to be able to sit here intelligently and tell you what I think, because I don’t know enough. And I didn’t.

Paul Nadeau:
We talked about our families. It turns out he had two children as well and he had a wife that he loved very much and he was caring for his parents. So, the conversation, sitting there, having coffee after class was really building rapport and a lot of it was at first me asking him because he at first asked me, “What do you think about all this?” And I said, “Why don’t you tell me what this is all about?” So, the conversations… We became friendly with one another, let’s put it that way. I thought he was a nice student and it turned out that he was a cell leader. But he wasn’t recruited for the… A lot of people think that this is something that you join up, like, “Hey, I’m going to become a terrorist because I believe in a war of some type.” That wasn’t the case with this man. I mean, I come to find out that he was given an ultimatum, it was either he can do a mission for his cell or they kill his whole family.

Oscar Trimboli:
Working with some people here in Australia, one of the fascinating conversations I had recently was the importance of listening to violence. And violence is the ultimate cry for people who are not being heard.

Paul Nadeau:
I have listened to violence and I have questioned, what it is that led to this violence. In my longstanding career, I had 31 years, I was a detective, polygraph examiner and I got to interrogate and interview a lot of people. And some of those people were gang members, bikers, killers, molesters. And when I got in and really use the techniques that you are teaching and that we are talking about here day, and that I understand when I got them talking, it amazed me that in so many of those instances, Oscar, the reason they did what they did or joined the gang that they did or whatever it was, they were not heard at home. There was a disconnection, they weren’t listened to at school, they fell through the cracks, there wasn’t somebody there to care for them.

Paul Nadeau:
We are a social species, we need and depend on each other. That’s what we need. We need to be heard, everybody needs to be heard. So imagine we were not being heard at home, when your cries are going unanswered, or you are not being encouraged. How is your day? No, really, how is your day going? And I really want to know, are you going through something? So I remember talking to bikers who would actually break down and cry and say, “You are the first person who has listened to me. You are the first person to treat me this way.” Not even their gang members were helping in that way, but they were drawn to the gang because the gang welcomed them. They were being acknowledged. And the bikers and the gang members, it’s like a family, they need to belong somewhere.

Oscar Trimboli:
Deep listening is about creating an impact beyond words and to create the kind of impact that Paul has created and continues to create, you need to embrace and listen to different people and different opinions. If you want to understand some of your own listening biases, barriers, then visit listeningquiz.com, that is listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute listening challenge quiz. And we will create a unique report just for you with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener. Coming up next, Paul takes us back to his early days as a police officer, where he meets the Incredible Hulk in the middle of an icy cold Canadian night.

Paul Nadeau:
I remember being a young officer, again, screams for violence and listening to violence. I was called to an unknown problem, one very cold October night. That was about two o’clock in the morning and I was a single man unit dispatched to an unknown problem. And it turned out that when I got there, it was a residential neighbourhood, high rise buildings all around. There was an ambulance at the side of the road and two ambulance attendants were sitting down. This was 1979, 1980, maybe. And the ambulance attendants were sitting down and they had just been assaulted by a man. And they said, “Well, good, you are here. We are leaving and that is him. He is going through some fit because he says, he has got a migraine, but he just assaulted us and we are leaving, we are not taking him.” And they said, “Oh, by the way, do you have any backup coming?” And I said, “Yes, I do.” And they said, “Well, good. You are going to need it because that is Jimmy Donovan,” and they pointed at this man.

Paul Nadeau:
And I looked at this man, and I’m not kidding, about six foot two, six foot three, built, very muscular, long hair, standing only in his white underwear. It was almost like he was howling at the moon. He was holding his head and he was just in pain. And the ambulance attendants were true to their word, they got into the ambulance and they left, leaving me standing in the middle of the road at about 10 or 15 feet away from my cruiser and about 10 feet away from him. And they warned me that he was a very violent man and that I was going to need that backup.

Paul Nadeau:
So while I’m standing there as an inexperienced cop, deciding what I’m going to do, I thought, okay, well, I can’t run to the car because training has told me that if I run, he is going to pounce on me. I just won’t be fast enough to get into the car. So, I’m just going to gently move backwards while I’m watching him and ease into my car, lock the door and wait for backup. Well, good plans sometimes don’t always turn out the way that you want. And sure enough, my radio goes off about that time and this big Hulk of a man spotted me and turned around and he did one of those, I don’t know if you saw Thor, Ragnarok or whatever, where the Hulk clenches his fist when he’s lighting with Thor and picks him up like a ragdoll and just pounces him into the pavement a few times, he was like a bull and I was like a matador and he was about to pounce on me. And the only thing I could think of was putting my hands up with my palms open. The sign that I mean you no harm.

Paul Nadeau:
And I just said, “You look cold, why don’t I get you a blanket?” So I went to the back of my police cruiser and I got him a blanket and I put it around him and I said, “Listen, the ambulance attendants are not coming back. Why don’t you sit in the front of the cruiser with me and I will take you to the hospital?” And he did, didn’t say a word. When he got into my cruiser, remember this was a cold night and all he was wearing was his white underwear. When he got into my cruiser, I had the heat going and it obviously soothed him. He put his head down and he started crying and so I called in my position and I let the dispatcher know what is going on of course, [crosstalk 00:31:21] I got all kinds of warnings from the coppers who were on the air, jumping over each other saying, “Hey, he is going to kill you. He is dangerous, wait for backup, wait for us.”

Paul Nadeau:
I drove to the hospital, which was a couple of miles away, got us a private room and just waiting for the doctor. He and I started to talk. He started to talk and we were actually having a fairly pleasant conversation. I didn’t know, at the time that this guy had served many years in the Kingston Penitentiary for attempted murder, I didn’t know the list of violent crimes that this man had committed. I had no idea who he was. I just knew that he was vio… I could see by the scars on his face and on his body, he had been in a few fights. And I had been told by the ambulance attendants and also by the coppers who were warning me that this was a very violent man, but we were actually chatting. We were chatting.

Paul Nadeau:
In about five minutes after I get to the hospital, the door swings open in this small private waiting room that Jim and I were in and in burst about four cops trying to get into the doorway at the same time. One guy had his billy club out, one guy had his gun out and the other two were just trying to squeeze through. And I imagine they wanted to get a piece of Jim for what he may have done to them. Because I come to find out it takes about seven cops to put Jimmy down in a fight. He loves to fight, he was missing teeth, he was good at it and he just loved to fight. So these guys are trying to squeeze their way into the room. Jimmy is sitting on one of those examination benches waiting for the doctor to come in. He jumps up, throws the blanket off and does this Hulk impression and these cops finally squeezed in through the door and I’m standing in the middle of these two warring gangs. And I’m thinking, oh no, this is not going to well.

Paul Nadeau:
So, the first thing I did was I yelled and I said, “Jimmy, sit down.” And I said, “As for you guys, you get the heck out of here. If I need you, I will call you. I don’t need you, just leave now. I will keep my radio on.” And they reluctantly left the room. Doctor came in, he examined Jim. And Jim and I left and I brought him home. It was about 3:30 in the morning and I brought him home and he turns around to me and he says, “You know what, Paul?” He says, “You are one of the nicest cops I have ever met.” And he says, “Do you want to come and meet my fiance.” It’s 3:30 in the morning, Oscar and I’m thinking to myself, wow, okay.

Paul Nadeau:
Now, Jimmy, was not the most handsome man. I think at one time he was before he got his teeth knocked out and before he got all these scars on his face, but I figured, okay. And at the time I was going to church and I had already mentioned to Jimmy, I said, “Listen, if ever you want to come to church…” And I don’t know what possessed me to do that but I did. Anyways, I said, “If ever you want to come to church, I would be happy to take you.” So at 3:30 in the morning, I am going up this elevator with Jim and I’m imagining in my mind that he is not a good looking man, I’m wondering what his fiance might look like. Well, was I ever surprised to see that the door was answered by a very beautiful, soft spoken woman wearing a dress, I still remember the dress vividly. And she looks at me and she says, “Thank you officer for bringing my Jimmy home.” And I said, “You are welcome.”

Paul Nadeau:
So they had my telephone number and I left never thinking that I was going to hear back from them. And then about two weeks later, I get a phone call from his fiance saying, “Hey, is that often to go to church still open?” I said, “Sure it is.” And so I picked them up and she looked exquisite and I had no doubt she would. And Jim looked fantastic, his hair was washed, he had a three piece suit on, albeit that had a couple of holes in it, but he had the biggest grin on his face and he looked happy. We went to church and the pastor greeted us and made Jimmy and his fiance feel very, very welcomed. But unfortunately after church, nobody came up to Jim and nobody said, hello to him or his fiance or to me. And I was a regular member there and everybody liked me. I think they looked at Jim and the word got around that he was a hardened criminal and nobody wanted to risk saying hello.

Paul Nadeau:
Well, this happened about four weeks in a row. Every week, Jim would have the same three piece suit on and his girlfriend was looking amazing. We would go, the pastor would welcome us. After church, I would wait around for a few minutes, not one person came over to say hello. After that fifth week, Jim said, “Sorry, Paul.” He says, “We are not coming back.” And I said, “Yeah, I understand.” And we remained friends, I have dropped in to see him for coffee and we would see each other once in a while. Then he left, about a year after that, he went to the west coast. It was about two years after that happened, that I got notification as did our police department, that Jim died in a gun battle with the police. And when I look back at that whole thing, I wonder how different his life would have been if somebody had come to him and made him feel welcomed and welcomed him into a new family.

Oscar Trimboli:
Thanks for sharing that story.

Paul Nadeau:
That was a sad story.

Oscar Trimboli:
I’m glad you took extra time.

Paul Nadeau:
Thank you. That one still gives me goosebumps whenever I think about it, because he had become a friend and he had so much potential. And the smile on his face, Oscar when he first came to church wearing that old three piece suit of his, but boy, it was a smile and that smile made him so handsome. It really did. And I could see that he was just shouting on the inside, come. And one of the things that really upset me about that too, was that in this church that I was going to was a man who was once like Jimmy and he had found a family in that church and turn things around and he didn’t even acknowledge Jimmy although, they had run in the same circles years before. I just don’t get it. And I didn’t get it.

Oscar Trimboli:
Do you listen for similarities or do you listen for difference? When we operate from our default listening orientation, we listen for similarities. We seek out what’s common, what’s familiar to us. And Paul explained this so well when he talked about his work with having a coffee with the Iraqi trainee police officers in Jordan that was seeking to find mutually common things. And they talked about families, children and the day to day experiences that we all share in common. He did this with me when he asked me about the weather. Deep listening moves us away from default listening, it moves us away from autopilot listening. Deep listening helps us to notice, acknowledge and appreciate difference. Paul did this so well when he listened to people from different backgrounds and even from different sides of the law. How do you listen for differences? For me each Sunday morning, I set aside two hours while I will walk, and this is two hours where I listen to completely different perspectives from me, whether they are podcasts or catch up TV.

Oscar Trimboli:
And I listen to opinions that I know I will probably disagree with. I have to remind myself, listening is the willingness to have your mind changed. And if we only listen for what is common, what is similar, our impact will be limited only to what we know. Deep listening is about impact beyond words and to create the kind of impact that Paul has already created in his life and will continue to create, I think all of us need to explore and listen to different people and different opinions. So, if you want to understand some of your own listening biases or barriers, visit listeningquiz.com, that is listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute quiz, which will create a unique report, tailored to you with three actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener. Thanks for listening.

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