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Podcast Episode 072: The 4 different ways adults listen and why it’s so hard

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How do you listen in such a way that the speaker better understands themselves?

Leadership expert and author, Jennifer Garvey Berger, gives a masterclass in how to listen at Level 5: listening for meaning.

Jennifer shares her experiences of shaping conversations through listening, diving deeper than the content of what’s being said and revealing what has given rise to the dialogue in the first place.

Learn the four ways people listen differently.

Learn why everyone you listen to is the most interesting person in the world.

Transcript

Podcast Episode 072: The 4 different ways adults listen and why it’s so hard

 

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I was talking to one of the guys who was a taxi driver from Africa. And he was telling me about his village and the contradictions he was experiencing between life in the US and life in his tribe. And as he spoke, and I was doing this listening thing that I needed to do in this interview, which was a research study at Harvard, which was kind of high stakes. And as he spoke, and I was listening so hard, I realised I was listening with my skin cells, like I could feel my skin opening as I was trying to take in this total stranger. And I looked at him and I thought, “Oh, my God, you’re so beautiful.” And I couldn’t believe this feeling I had, a connection with this man … Like I was a Harvard researcher with a clipboard coming in to study him and yet there was this incredible thing that I was learning from him about the possibility of connection and that possibility of connection by finding out that actually every person you talk to is the most interesting person in the world.

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.

Oscar Trimboli:
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:
Jennifer Garvey Berger is a global leader who shapes the thinking of the most significant commercial public sector and health systems in the globe. She’s co-authored the book, Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practises for Leaders. And it’s one I recommend to a majority of my clients because it’s a practical intersection of academic evidence and a pragmatic practitioner’s perspective, how to get it done, day to day.

Oscar Trimboli:
Jennifer takes us through a masterclass in how to listen at level five, listening for the meaning. Jennifer explains how to shape conversations like water simply by listening. Take note of how she explains that people are in different places as it relates to their listening on their journey of adult development. She explains how this listening capacity is accelerated by where you are in adult development theory and also how people listen differently, depending where they are in the adult development journey. Let’s listen to Jennifer. What frustrates you when other people don’t Listen to you?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
Like you, I am a lover of listening. It is the thing I care maybe most about in human interaction. There are of course times when I get frustrated by people not listening. But so often I go in listening to them, that the space between us is interesting. I don’t know about you, but I find listening is kind of contagious. And if you listen well to someone, they get more curious about you. I mean, they love to talk about themselves, but they also get more curious than about you and eventually the tide turns and they start to listen.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And I think I also use, and I don’t know if this happens to you, I also use listening as a way to shape the conversation because I can shape a conversation that I’m listening to. I think I shape with water. I think it’s very gentle. I think the thing that people say is that I listen to how they mean something, why it matters to them. I’m most curious about those questions of meaning. Why is this most important to you? What’s most beautiful about it? What’s the scariest thing about it?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And so we get to go places that they haven’t been before. And so I have the sense of holding somebody’s hand and walking with them through their own sense making as far as they want to go, but kind of helping them know that I’m there and curious.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I started listening well, I think in graduate school and I was studying with Bob Kegan and I learned to do this thing called the Subject- Object Interview, which sounds very formal and boring. But it’s actually … it’s super, super interesting. It’s just seeks to understand not the content of what somebody is talking about, but the structure of the world that gives rise to their conversation. And so you can really explore the shape of a person’s meaning. Whatever they’re talking about, you can kind of get underneath that and say, “Okay, so this is the stuff you’re talking about.” But the person who’s talking lives in a world with particular beliefs and assumptions and ways of making sense of the world. That’s what I’m curious about.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And we were doing this study, I was learning to do this thing. It’s really hard to learn to do and I was struggling, like in our practise sessions. And I was in this study and went to do my interviews and I ended up talking to this guy who was an immigrant. This was a study of people who are getting their high school equivalencies as adults. Many of them were blue collar workers, factory shop for workers, and many of them were immigrants. Some of the immigrants, by the way, had well advanced degrees in their countries that weren’t recognised by the United States where I was studying.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
But anyways, talking to one of the guys who was a taxi driver from Africa, and he was telling me about his village and the contradictions he was experiencing between life in the US and life in his tribe in Africa. And as he spoke, and I was doing this listening thing that I needed to do in this interview, which was a research study at Harvard, which was kind of high stakes. And as he spoke, and I was listening so hard, I realised that I was listening with my skin cells, like I could feel my skin opening as I was trying to take in this total stranger. And I looked at him and I thought, “Oh my God, you’re so beautiful.” And I couldn’t believe this feeling I had, a connection with this man. Like I was a Harvard researcher with a clipboard, coming in to study him and yet there was this incredible thing that I was learning from him about the possibility of connection. And that possibility of connection by finding out that actually every person you talk to is the most interesting person in the world.

Oscar Trimboli:
I’m most fascinated by what he was giving you back that kind of changed your perspective there.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I think it was watching him wrestle with this question that was really important to him. He’s was wrestling with … In this case, it was a question about how could you be loyal to your family and your tribe at home and also live in this new context and find your way there. And I think I saw the total beauty and coherence of that struggle. It wasn’t my struggle we were talking about. Like, a bride that his family had bought for him and how to deal with this bride and a purchase … like these were very foreign concepts to me. And in another context, I might have found myself in a space where I had advice for him or I had some kind of judgement about the fact that he was buying a bride.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
But in that moment, my job was to do this deep structural interview, this is deep listening space. And it was such a hard thing to do that I didn’t have the wherewithal to also be judging or also be giving advice or … like I didn’t know anything, I was just doing this one job and listening as hard as I could.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And I think it was that thing that when I could quiet down the noise of my own opinion or my own desire to help him or fix him in some way. If I could quiet that down and just be super curious about, “Okay, what is this dilemma like from inside your mind?” Like that was just a different way of having a conversation.

Oscar Trimboli:
We were talking about earlier is that to be a deep listener, your role is to help the other person hear themselves not necessarily for you to understand what they’re saying.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
The thing that I was going for was an understanding of how the world looked from his eyes as opposed to an understanding of what he was talking about or what he ought to do. Like the whole content of the piece was not a thing that I could even get my hands around. This is so, so foreign for me.

Oscar Trimboli:
I’m curious right now, and I always wrestle with this tension about asking a question, if it’s about me or the audience, I’ll explore it with you. The question I want to ask that I think the audience would like to know is, you talked earlier about this subject-object approach, and our audience is always looking for practical tips and tricks as well as great stories which is a beautiful example of one. I’d like to invite you to explore talking us through the subject-object framework that helped to create this breakthrough for you.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
Yeah, I do think it helped create the breakthrough for me. I’ve gone on to teach coaches and leaders like you I teach listening. Like you I have layers of listening, mine are not as sophisticated as yours. I think that the question, the Subject-Object Interview asks, Is, what can this person see, and what is this person not seeing? Sort of this question about subject and object. What can you hold as an object in your hands and turn it over and look at it? And what are you subject to? What is like the lens you’re looking through that just seems so obvious and true to you that you can’t imagine that you could hold it out and look at it, you’re just being it? And asking that kind of core question. What can I see? What can I look at and what am I being? What do I look through, turns out to be like, if that’s the hunt you’re on as a listener, it changes everything.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
Because you have this theory that listening is for the speaker. I have this fear that listening is this very co-constructed space. And it’s that the speaker gets enormous good out of it, but that the listener also is transformed by it.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And so the space for me is about what’s the hunt that I can be on as a listener that enables me to be guided by the person I’m with, but also to be looking for something. You were talking earlier about how easy it is to be distracted. If I’m actually hunting for this subject-object question, it’s much harder for me to be distracted because I have the thing to look for.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And so it’s not kind of I’ll go wherever they follow. It is a shaping of that conversation. But it’s a shaping that brings us deeper and deeper is why you asked me, how do I shape and I said water. It’s like a river that carves a canyon over time. It brings us on the path that the person is taking, but deeper than they thought they could go.

Oscar Trimboli:
Deep listening is about impact beyond words, to create the impact that Jennifer has created and continues to create, listening for you or listening for them. Before we can get to a place where we really understand how to listen for meaning, we need to understand what are the barriers that are getting in our way. If you want to understand some of your listening biases or barriers, visit listeningquiz.com, that’s listeningquiz.com and take the simple seven-minute quiz, which will create a unique report with three-tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Oscar Trimboli:
Do you have a contrasting story that might bring that to life in a slightly different way?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
One of the people I learned the most about listening from is my kids. I will find myself even though I listen, I think very well and it is one of my passions and I teach it. And if I had a magic wand and could change one thing about the world, I think like you, it would be the quality of the listening that people bring to relationships. I think it could change everything. So I believe all those things and yet with my kids, sometimes I’m just trying to fix them. Like, they just say stuff. And I find myself going into, “Okay, what do I need to do to fix this thing?” Or, “What do I need to do to convince them that this isn’t an issue?”

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I was doing work, where I was helping leaders understand the levels of listening I work with, which are quite simple, and they’re intentional. They’re about our intention. Are you listening to win in a conversation? Are you listening to fix or are you listening to learn? These are very kind of simple ways to think about listening. But anyway, I was teaching this with a case study, a quick case study that I use with leaders that was kind of about a kid complaining on a Sunday night about school the next day. And most people when you give them this little case study complaining, most people say their response to the kid would be like, “Yeah, I hate work too, you have to go to school” or “Pull your socks up, sweetheart.” Like, “Do you know how much I pay for your school?” Or like, “I hated school as a kid too, get over it,” Or, “No, you always have fun at school, you have so many friends,” or whatever. These are the common responses. And then we explore together and in our workshops, the way those common responses might not be as helpful as they could be. And so I teach this regularly.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And then one Sunday, Aiden, my son said to me, “You know, I’m really dreading school tomorrow. I really don’t want to go, I really think school is so boring. I really hate school.” And out of my mouth came, “Oh sweetie, school is really important and nobody likes everything all the time, but it’s really important for you to go.” And I thought, “Oh my God, I changes this.” We had this exact example. And here it is, here I am in the momenta, and this is the thing that like automatically leaves my lips. And I stopped with a horror that I had just said. So many of the sentences I write down and then later, the leaders and I laugh that that had been their first reaction.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And I said, “Wow, that sounds really hard. Can you tell me what feels hardest right now for you about going to school tomorrow?” And we had the most beautiful conversation. I just stopped. I stopped trying to fix him. I stopped trying to cure the thing. I stopped trying to just make it go away and I found out what was going for him, and to find out what’s going on for another person, particularly somebody you love so much as we love our children. That’s extraordinary. It’s extraordinary.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And so, yeah, I think there are times when, no matter how much we’d love to listen, we still listen shallowly.

Oscar Trimboli:
I’m curious how much shaping was happening in that conversation.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I think the thing that listening to the someone’s meaning does for them is it helps them understand what the actual problem is. In the quiet place we don’t even tell ourselves about there’s some deeper reason for the emotions that are arising. And listening very well helps us find that place so that we can have a conversation with ourselves about what that is. And then we can make different decisions about it. And that the things I learned about Aiden that day were very deep and really powerful for me to learn and I think powerful for him to learn. But the being together in the hardness of it and not trying fix it or solve it or sort it or telling me it was wrong, was, I think, a key piece of the endeavour.

Oscar Trimboli:
And those really powerful moments that you just explored with Aiden. Do you think shaping is like a wave or it was a bit more subtle in that conversation?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
That conversation it felt like a still pool of water. Like how could we quiet together and just hold our breath and go as deep into that still pool as we possibly could and find that sometimes those still pools are really deep and there’s lots going on. And so it felt more like the time it takes to notice and explore, as opposed to, I gave up trying to shape his opinion about things, which is what I had been doing before. I’ve been failing to do before, but I’ve been attempting to do it.

Oscar Trimboli:
Did he go to school?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I don’t even remember. I don’t even remember.

Oscar Trimboli:
There’s so much beauty in that whole story. What do you think the cost would have been if you didn’t take that extra moment to listen to learn with him?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I think I would have known him less well. And I do think that the more that you know someone, I think probably anyone, the more you can deeply relate to them and the more you can love that person. And so whether we’re talking about a work colleague or a kid or a partner or whatever, I believe that one of the things humans do best, and one of the things that is the best about us is our capacity to love and to be loved. And listening, I think amplifies that capacity in both directions.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
So I think listening is great for problem solving. And I think it’s great to help people get unstuck. And I think it’s great for complexity because it helps us learn and explore things that our own minds wouldn’t hold because we can take more perspectives when we listen.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
So all those things are great. But at the deepest level, I think it helps us love and be loved. And I think that that’s really more than anything what makes life on this planet meaningful.

Oscar Trimboli:
Jennifer’s just reminded me of episode seven where world class mediator Ken Cloke explains the role of language and meaning and how some dirty dishes in a dishwasher create enough conflict between the couple Ken is working with to help each party understand what they really mean.

Ken Cloke:
The couple comes to see me and we spend a couple of hours together and it’s very useful. And they walk away and they feel good about the conversation we just had. So they come back a week later. And I say to them, “How is it been this last week?” And he says, great, and she says, awful. Well, awful trumps great. So you can’t say what was great about it, you have to go instead and say, “Okay, what was awful.” And she says, “Well, just this morning, as we’re leaving the house, he left his dirty dish in the sink.” And he rolls his eyes and has a huge sigh, and says, “I can’t believe you’re bringing that up.” And she said, “Well, that’s just like you to pay no attention to what I want, and to the things that I object to.” And now they’re often running so the argument goes on and on.

Ken Cloke:
So here’s the basic situation, they’re getting into this huge argument, and the emotions are getting very hot. And the thing that they’re arguing about is a dirty dish in the sink. And those two things don’t match. So if they don’t match, in other words, if you can’t make an equal sign between them, it means there’s something else other than just the dirty dish in the sink. And the other thing that there is, is the meaning of the dirty dish in the sink. So I say to her, after they’ve argued a little bit, “What did it mean to you that he left his dirty dishes in the sink?” And she said, “It means he doesn’t respect me.” Okay, now that’s significantly more important. You can understand why somebody would get upset not so much about a dish, but about respect.

Ken Cloke:
But this even doesn’t go quite deep enough because I can tell from their argument that this is touched a deep place inside of her. She’s really upset about this and he doesn’t get it. And so I say to her, “What does it mean to you that he doesn’t respect you?” And she says, “It means he doesn’t love me.” Okay, now we’ve got it. The dirty dish in the sink, doesn’t just mean the dirty dish, it means he doesn’t respect her. And because he doesn’t respect her, it means he must not love her. And now his mouth drops open because he can’t believe that we’ve gone from this dirty dish to the fact that he doesn’t love her. And so, he’s kind of stunned. And so I turn to him and I say, “Is that right? Is she right? Do you not love her?”

Ken Cloke:
And the reason I say that is because she’s taken him to an existential place, a place, which is means everything for their relationship. Maybe he doesn’t love her. And maybe that is the truth, and that is what’s going on. But if that is the truth, I have to give him permission to say that, because if I don’t, she won’t believe what his answer is. And so I say, “Is that true?” And he says, “No, it isn’t true.” So I say, “Tell her whether you love her or not.” And so he turns to her and he says, “I do love you. And I do respect you. And I’m sorry about the dirty dish in the sink.” And so now he’s apologising for what happened.

Oscar Trimboli:
Listening at level five, listening for the meaning is the ability to create an impact beyond words. It’s an ability to create a step change through what you do, through what you can contribute, and what you can create in the world. There are many barriers that get in our way before we can achieve mastery at level five. If you want to understand some of your listening biases or barriers, visit listening quiz.com, that’s listeningquiz.com and take the seven-minute quiz, which will create a unique report that’s tailored with three specific actions that will help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Oscar Trimboli:
Jennifer is somebody who consults to significant global corporations, to the significant government departments, to policy makers to organisations that influence the healthcare outcomes of nations. What do you think the cost of not listening is when we look at it through the lens of an organisation and a system?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I think the cost of not listening is just dramatic. Oh my goodness, I was teaching a really deep form of listening. I had a leadership programme once, and it was a pilot. And this was a big, big global tech company. And these were senior leaders. And I got to a place I don’t know if this happens to you in your programmes, but I got to a place where I thought this particular variety of listening I was trying to teach is just too hard. It’s too hard. They’re struggling with it. They don’t understand the benefits of it. I overshot on this one. And I was feeling my head was going, right?

Oscar Trimboli:
Hmm.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And they were in trios practising this deep form of subject- object listening, which we call listening to unlock, because it very often gets to something that unlocks a possibility. But it’s tricky. It’s a tricky thing to learn to do. And it’s a little slippery what you’re listening for and people had been practising it, they were going off into problem solving, and we kept bringing them back. And they were like, “but if the point isn’t to solve the problem? What are we going to do?” But we stuck with it because we were halfway in, so we needed to keep pushing through until the end of that exercise.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And at the end of that exercise, one of the leaders that had been the most confused and at and kind of encouraging us to change the design in the middle of that activity, said, “You know, I went into this and as you know, for the first little while, I didn’t understand what you were going for. And I couldn’t hear the thing you were wanting me to listen for. But actually, once I started to hear what you wanted me to listen for, a whole different possibility opened up. And now, I just have the sense that if the top leaders in this company could listen to each other, in this way, peer to peer could listen to each other in this way, it would fix about 80% of the difficulties in this organisation. Because I think that most of the difficulties we have with the top leadership with the strategy and the implementation and the rewards and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all these things are because we’re not listening to each other deeply enough.”

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And that module stayed in that programme, as you can imagine, and they’ve been trying to expand the number of leaders who get access to this practise, which is really hard of suspending what you’re on about, and listening deeply in this unlocking way to another person. And what we have found is that people discover the thing that’s been keeping a relationship stuck, an issue stuck, a product stuck. And once they bring it out into the open, things get so much easier. And so I think the costs are unbelievable, I think an enormous amount of our time in organisations goes into protecting and defending our patch, our egos, our power, our safety, for all kinds of good reasons. Humans are wired to do that and listening deeply opens us up, opens us as listeners and opens us as speakers up to a new possibility that gets us out of that protective mode and into this co building space that I think is just so much more helpful for human beings who are trying to co-construct a thing like an organisation or a policy or a health system. So I do actually think that it would make an unbelievable difference for leaders to listen to each other more deeply.

Oscar Trimboli:
Do you think there’s any relationship with where people are on their journey as a leader in their development, and their ability to access the kind of thinking that we’re talking about?

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
It’s actually a two-fold question. It’s about how do our adult development capacities shape our ability to listen? But I also think that there’s a second question which is how does our listening to shape our adult development capacity. Because I think listening is itself fundamentally developmental. This adult development theory describes a kind of journey we take or can take over the course of our lives from when we’re kids all the way through our lifespan. And it’s a journey of increasing capacity to sense ourselves and others. And it’s a journey of increasing capacity to sense the system and to influence the system that we’re in. So earlier, we’ve very limited capacity to sense ourselves and others. We are … I call it the self sovereign space, because we’re like the kings and the queens of our own dominion, but it’s a dominion of one person, and we can’t really get into the minds of others.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
Now, I would have told you once that you can’t listen super well from this place, but in fact, I saw my kids listens super well to each other when they were really little. So it’s possible to listen well from that place, but a lot of things have to be suspended. Like you can’t have any skin in the game. It can’t be an issue that you’re really involved and you can pause in this place and listen to another person. But it’s not about you, it’s about a practise that you’re doing.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
Over time, we become much more permeable to other people. And in fact, we open ourselves up and become part of some kind of tribe, some kind of society, some kind of community or practise or profession or religion. And we call this the socialised mind, because this is the time when we actually subordinate our interests for the interests of the group. No longer are we rulers of a dominion of one. Now we’re members of a society of many. And that society tells us what to do, tells us what good and bad is, tells us what success looks like, tells us how we should live our lives, how we should do our jobs. And we can use that external measure which we have breathed in, so it becomes a part of us in the socialised way.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
In the self-authored space, we get a little tired of being just a member of that community, a co-equal member of that community kind of making decisions about our lives. And we get tired of being written by that script. And so we pick up the pen and start to write our own story. We become kind of the chief of that little socialised space we were in and we get the deciding vote when important other people or ideas disagree. And it’s at this point where we can take and hold the perspectives of others. And we can hold our own perspective simultaneously. And it’s there that the capacity for deeper listening really starts to flower. Because I don’t need to not believe what I believed before. A lot of people confuse listening with agreement. “I can’t really listen to her because if I listen really hard to her, then she would think I agreed with her crazy ideas.” Listening is not the same as agreement, but it’s harder to know that earlier in our developmental journey, when by listening to somebody else, I might lose myself.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
As we grow, we can listen deeply to other people and feel confident that we can still hold ourselves well. But there’s still another place on this developmental path which is eventually some people, very few people actually, it’s like less than 5% of the adult population. Eventually, some people realise that they are not, in fact, the sole authors of their lives. That life is very co-constructed and interwoven, and that they will never be, in their own perspective, big enough, strong enough, smart enough, solid enough to handle the world as it comes at them. And then in fact, they are created in communities, and that they are shaped and changed by those communities from moment to moment, not losing themselves, but watching themselves change.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
We call that the self transforming place because life becomes a transformational experience. And I think in that place listening is natural. Like it is the natural habitat, the natural way of walking through the world. It’s not a thing you have to change try to do or remember to do. It’s a thing that happens because you happen to be fascinated about the world and other people.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
And so you engage in the world in a different way. Less than 20% of the population is in that … of the adult population is in that first place, the self sovereign place, you get something like 30%, 40%, who are in that socialised space or just crossing just leaving it. And then you get another whatever percentages are left like 40% of people who are close to the self-authoring place are firmly in it. With just a handful of percents depending on which theory you look at, it’s between two and 5% of people who are crossing into the self transforming space.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
So the bulk of most adult lives is spent either in the socialised space or in the journey to, and the arrival at the self-authored space.

Oscar Trimboli:
I love the next set of questions that Jennifer poses to help all of us understand how to explore meaning during the dialogue.

Jennifer Garvey Berger:
I think really connecting to our curiosity is one of the key steps. Like if you’re listening to make another person happy, I find that doesn’t last very long. But if you’re listening because you yourself are ragingly curious about the other person, that seems to be the fuel that increases our listening capacity. And one of the ways I find that fuel and find that curiosity is by asking questions that kind of pushed to the edges. Like what was the hardest for you about that? What was the most important thing to you about that what was the riskiest, most rewarding? Those kinds of most and least questions, if you ask them and then ask them a couple of times more, you actually get yourself deep into a place very quickly, where the person is talking about something that matters so much to them. And I think it’s really hard not to be fueled by your curiosity when somebody is telling you about what’s most important to them. It’s just always interesting.

Oscar Trimboli:
Little five listening for the meaning, kind of like a marathon, only about 2% of the population will ever get there. But it doesn’t stop any of us from putting on our shoes and going for a run to make some small, incremental improvements. Every single one of us is capable of completing a marathon. But it’s ultimately about deciding to do it rather than overwhelming yourself with a thought of 42 kilometres or 26 miles lacing on your shoes and building some listening muscles. Helping you to listen, beyond the words is all about the small steps. And a really small step I’ve got for you to help you improve is understand what gets in your way. What are your listening barriers? What are your listening biases? If you visit listeningquiz.com, that’s listeningquiz.com and take the seven-minute listening quiz, you’ll get a unique report with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener. Don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear from Penny who recently completed the quiz. And let’s see what she noticed.

Penny:
Well, this quiz is like magic. It takes just a few minutes, but the results make it feel like Oscar has been listening to me for a lifetime. It’s hard to believe how accurately these quiz highlights the seemingly small things that I do, that get in the way of me being a better listener. And already I’m starting to notice when my listening villains begin to creep into my work conversation. And I can now recognise when I’m not listening as well, or as deep as I could be. Thanks Oscar.

Oscar Trimboli:
Whether it’s listening to our children, our partner, or in our professional relationships, Jennifer has explained through her amazing capacity as a teacher to help people to notice what they are listening to, and how they are listening to the world through themselves.

Oscar Trimboli:
I think the way Jennifer teaches how to listen, is completely life changing. For me, she’s created some permanent changes in the way I think about listening. And this is what I took away from the discussion today that I applied immediately. The wonderful phrase, what was hardest for you asking, how can speaker distinguish between what they are speaking about and who they are? And finally, the third point that’s changed the way I think about this, are we discussing the object of the conversation, or the subject of the dialogue? For me, it’s interpreting, is it about the content that they’re speaking about, or is it about their reaction to the content they’re sharing with me?

Oscar Trimboli:
My listening has definitely been changed permanently, and I love the way Jennifer’s been able to shape my conversation with her like water through the Grand Canyon. Thanks for listening.

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