Discover your Listening Villain
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Podcast Episode 075: The surprising importance of impatience and great listening

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David Clutterbuck is an author, thinker, researcher and a reputation for asking massively difficult questions oh and occasional comedian. He is one of the earliest pioneers of coaching and mentoring.  

David shares what makes a powerful question, and the importance of being an impatient listener. 

Transcript

David Clutterbuck:

I’m thinking of one particular case where we had an executive who could not believe that people saw him as a bully. He just saw himself as energetic driven, making things happen, results oriented, constitute about results. We contracted with him that he would inform his team that he’s working on how the impact that he had in meetings. So he was going to demonstrate to them what a bully actually looked like so that they understood the difference between what he was doing and what a bully did.

David Clutterbuck:

So he went out there and he started the meeting and everybody was waiting for it. After two or three minutes of him trying to be the bully, he stopped. And he said, “I think I owe you guys an apology. I can’t tell the different either. So this guy was listening to himself, actually made the difference.

Oscar Trimboli:

Deep Listening, impact beyond words. Good day. I’m Oscar Trimboli and this is the Apple award-winning podcast, Deep Listening. Designed to move you from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful leader. Did you know you spend 55% of your day listening yet only 2% of people have ever been taught how. In each episode, we explore the five levels of listening. Communication is 50% speaking and 50% listening. Yet as a leader, your taught only the importance of communication from the perspective of how to speak. It’s critical you start to build some muscles for the next phase in how to listen.

Oscar Trimboli:

The cost of not listening, it’s confusion, it’s conflict, it’s projects running over schedule, it’s lost customers. It’s great employees that leave before they want to. When you implement the strategies, the tips and tactics that you’ll hear, you’ll get four hours a week back in your schedule. I wonder what you could do with an extra four hours a week. The surprising importance of impatience when it comes to great listening. Today, we speak to an author, a thinker, a researcher. Someone with a reputation for asking massively difficult questions. He’s an occasional comedian too.

Oscar Trimboli:

David Clutterbuck is one of the earliest pioneers in the coaching and mentoring profession. An author of over 70 books in the field and a great management thinker. He is also a visiting professor at four universities. He takes to learning a new challenge every year from skydiving to stand-up comedy. Today, he and I will explore what makes a powerful question and the importance of being an impatient listener. So let’s get on with it and listen to David. Well, I’m curious about what you struggle with when it comes to listening?

David Clutterbuck:

Oh, I think like it like everybody else, I’m a part time academic. I spend my time doing lectures and things. So I have to constantly remind myself, am I in lecture mode or am I in dialogue mode? And I try and make my lectures as much dialogue as possible, but very often that’s not achievable because somebody wants you on a platform for an hour to present some ideas. So you’ve got to basically talk at them. And I find that that’s my big difficulty is just checking out. How can I get more dialogue even into something she’s supposed to be a presentation with big PowerPoint slides.

Oscar Trimboli:

And again, in a nonprofessional context, what’s the struggle for you?

David Clutterbuck:

I think it’s listening to things I don’t want to hear. In common with everybody else.

Oscar Trimboli:

When you do,how do you notice you’re not actually listening?

David Clutterbuck:

Oh, because I’m irritated. So we’ve got, in the UK, we’ve got the whole kerfuffle about Brexit for example, but when I get stopped on the street by some passionate Brexiteer-

Oscar Trimboli:

Excuse me. Oh, I see.

David Clutterbuck:

… my immediate barriers go up. Now, I’m just thinking racist, small minded, all the negative factors. I really have to make an effort to take them seriously and to listen to them because all my negative reactions are there to say, “This person’s an idiot. You don’t really need to talk to him.”

Oscar Trimboli:

And does it take long to notice for you that you’re not listening?

David Clutterbuck:

About half a second.

Oscar Trimboli:

Yeah. Last year I was very deliberate in kind of auditing my media consumption patterns and went, “Okay. I’m already predispose to a particular kind of media.” And I kind of made a point of consuming a different point of view. And boy, that was a struggle. And there was everything in my power that was telling me, “Now you need to listen.” Everything in my power was fighting tooth and nail against it.

David Clutterbuck:

It comes down from me to how are they other people making sense of the world around them? And what is it about the way that they’re interpreting the same things I’m interpreting is that means they have a completely different understanding of it. And I can dismiss some of that as nonsense from a rational point of view. But nonetheless, if that’s the reality of their world, one has to respect that.

Oscar Trimboli:

So you’ve got this Brexiteer in front of you when you’ve noticed you’re not listening. And you’re curious, and you want to learn more of what… Are there any techniques that you’re kind of using there that others who are listening might benefit from in that moment? Not just the moment to notice that you’re not listening, but anything that helps you stay out of judgement in that moment while you continue to listen?

David Clutterbuck:

I think one of the simplest things I’ve found is to switch to questioning. So if you can show interest in somebody else by questioning. And one of the things that I find is most disarming for them is to simply say, “So you’ve got some very strong views. What was it about your experiences in life so far that makes you develop these views?” So there’s no judgement here. It’s just what was it that happened to instil these beliefs in you? In most cases nobody’s ever asked that.

Oscar Trimboli:

What happens to your state in that moment after the question?

David Clutterbuck:

It shifts my mentality as well, because I’m interested in their response. This could be anything from political or religious beliefs. I found going into prisons, for example, that just taking that curiosity, allows me to listen much more deeply to engage with people who’ve done all sorts of crimes. Murder, embezzlement. One of the things that it started me on was a journey I’ve been on before and then sort of stepped away from which was looking at the nature of ethicality and conversations about ethicality.

David Clutterbuck:

There’ve been some surveys of prisoners in English jails. Turns out that the figure is… but it’s something over 80% of them believe that they are passionately. That they are more ethical than people in general. And you say, “Well, how could you possibly do that?” But it’s the way that they interpret the world. And if I understands the way that they interpret the words, then you can start to think about, “Okay, what did we turn to ways of helping these people to become better citizens?” And I think it’s this, how does somebody make sense of the world, keep coming back to that in terms of real high quality listening.

David Clutterbuck:

Because when we’ve got that, then we can work with them in the reality is they see it, not in the reality is as we see it. And I think when we see people who don’t understand the nature of the dialogue that they’re having with other people, then they’re simply encouraging them to understand it what’s going on, not just in their minds, but in other people’s minds at the same time. We can help them to have different conversations. So I think in particular the issue of impact versus intent. Yeah. So many people can’t understand why other people see the middle of their behaviour as negative.

David Clutterbuck:

And if we ask, “Okay, what was your intent here? Okay. What do you think impact on other people was of the way that you went about this?” And always the intent is positive. Then you start to see a difference. I’m thinking of one particular case where we had an executive who could not believe that people saw him as a bully. He just saw himself as energetic, driven, making things happen, results, oriented. He constitute about results. And so we can try to with him that he would inform his team that he’s working on how the impact that he had in meetings.

David Clutterbuck:

He was going to demonstrate to them what a bully actually looked like so that they understood the difference between what he was doing and what a bully did. So he went out there and he started the meeting and everybody was waiting for it. And after two or three minutes of him trying to be the bully, he stopped. And he said, “I think I owe you guys an apology. I can’t tell the difference either.” And so this guy was listening to himself, actually made the difference.

Oscar Trimboli:

Wow, what a powerful exercise that was to get the leader in the workplace to admit to what they discovered about their own bullying by taking a perspective from intent versus impact. And how each party can experience it in a completely different way. As a global expert in the topic, I was curious how David sees the evolution of a listener. And he discusses this through the perspective of listening to argue and refute. Listening to respond and ask. Listening to understand, and then ultimately listening without intent.

David Clutterbuck:

So level one in our five loads of listening is listening to argue or refute. Level two is listening to respond or ask a question. Level three is listening to understand. Level four is listening to see how the other person understands their issue. And level five is listening intuitively or without intent. The first level of listening is listening to argue or refute. That’s all about your ego. Academics do this all the time. Politicians do it all that all the time. You’re thinking there is, “Well, how can I show them where their role?” And of course, if the other person’s on the other end of that kind of listening, they’re going to be thinking, “Okay. Well, if they can’t take what I’m saying seriously, why should I bother? Why do I need to listen to them?” And they start to justify themselves and their opinions.

David Clutterbuck:

So you can create a negative environment. And there’s an assumption if you’re in that kind of listening, that you got superior knowledge or understanding. But that means that the other person feels that their views aren’t being respected. So the whole thing is negative. And what it insults is a lot of defensiveness on both sides. Then the second level is listening to respond and we find that people often assume that there’s a space between when one person stops speaking and the other person starts speaking. It’s just not true.

David Clutterbuck:

In most cultures, there’s actually an overlap because we predict when the sentence is going to end. And then we started. It’s mostly about oneself when you’re talking, when you’re listening to respond. We teach coaches for example, not to ask a question when the pause happens. To just sit there quietly and wait for a while, because then the other person goes on and they feel much more listened to. And what tends to happen is the question that you were going to ask either the person asks it themselves if you give them space to, or they ask a better one.

David Clutterbuck:

Or if neither of those things happened, that question, if you just hold off two or three times and ask it, you’ll refine it. It will be a better question. And so we find that’s just stepping back and not responding allows you to listen a lot more because you’re not thinking in your mind, “What am I going to say?” You’re thinking, “Okay, let’s understand what they’re saying.”

David Clutterbuck:

The third level is listing to make sense of what the other person is saying. So listening to understand. And again, it’s sort of 50,50 about your ego and them. Because listening to understand is how you make sense of the world. The fourth one is listening to how they understand. So how they making sense of things. And that’s much more, I think, much more important because you’re now working on an assumption that you can’t help effectively until the client understands the issue in their own terms, not in your terms. And then in the client’s mind, they actually feeling, “Well, actually, I’m in charge of my thinking here. Nobody’s directing me as to how the think.”

David Clutterbuck:

So it’s much more positive way of going about it. And then the fifth one we’ve identified is what we will call listening intuitively or listening without intent. And that’s basically about listening to everything else that’s going on in the room. Are the people that are present there, but not obvious that the ghosts in the room, if you like. The body language, the compatibility of what the person is saying with the tone they’re saying it in. All of those things, that fifth level.

Oscar Trimboli:

What’s the cost of not listening?

David Clutterbuck:

I’d like to focus on the motivational aspect of it. One of the things that I find myself asking frequently when I’m working with executives is when did you last feel truly listened to? I know sometimes as they respond to that question, they cry because so few of us have really felt listened to. If it’s not happening at home, it’s probably almost certainly not happening in the office or in the workplace.

Oscar Trimboli:

Would you like to learn a bit more about what gets in your way when it comes to listening? What are the barriers that are stopping you from completely listening to yourself and to the other person? Go and visit listeningquiz.com. That’s listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute assessment. You’ll receive a unique report with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Speaker 3:

Oh, wow. This quiz is like magic. It takes just a few minutes, but the results make it feel like Oscar’s 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 conversations. I can now recognise when I’m not listening as well, or as deep as I could be. Thanks Oscar.

Oscar Trimboli:

David explains based on an analysis of hundreds of difference of questions, what makes questions powerful? He calls them prairie questions. Prairie as in the Plains of North America. And with this acronym, he talks about questions that are personal, questions that are resonant. They have some level of emotional impact. Questions that are acute and incisive. They really get to the heart of the issue. He talks about reparation. And does it stimulate a reflection both in the moment and much later on. He talks about questions that are innocent, where the intent from the questioner is not about them or their own agenda, but purely out of curiosity.

Oscar Trimboli:

And then is it explicit? Clearly and explicitly stated. So those again, make up the acronym prairie. Now let’s listen to David. I’m curious about your perspective on the categories of questions that you think are productive in making dialogue effective.

David Clutterbuck:

A lot of people push back against, why? But actually why can be very powerful if it’s used in the right way. Let me give you an example, why do you care? It’s a useful question to ask somebody. But if you say, “Why do you care?” Or “Why do you care? Why do you care? Why do you care?” You’ve got multiple questions all into one. And sometimes it’s the way that we use these very tough questions. The ones that are challenging, if you like. That’s exactly what’s needed. But other times we need question, which are much softer.

David Clutterbuck:

So help me to understand how you decided this was the best way of tackling that problem. It’s a question. It doesn’t have a question mark at the end, but it’s a question. I think it’s less about what words were used and how we use them very often. And we have done some considerable research around this. We’ve identified what makes a powerful question. And there’s an acronym called Prairie. and the P stands for personal. You’ve got to feel that the question is really directed at you. That it’s meaningful for you. Maybe even crafted specifically for you.

David Clutterbuck:

So having the word you and it helps of course. It’s also resonant. So it’s got to have an emotional impact to it. If it’s just intellectual, the impact will be much reduced. It’s acuteness and incentive. That’s in the eye, which means it gets the point straight away. The why do you care is a pretty blunt straightforward question. It’s reverberant. Now what I mean by that is it’s very often hard to answer it straight away. It keeps coming back to haunt you.

David Clutterbuck:

I’ve had people email me to say, “You won’t remember me, but 15 years ago you gave me some brief coaching and asked me some questions. And two of those have occupied me ever since.” He said, “And finally, I have one of those questions I managed to find the answer and I’ve completely changed my profession. I just wanted to say, thank you.” I didn’t know who he was. I don’t know what the questions were, but there’s a power behind powerful questions. That mean you can’t just answer them. Yes or no or very simply. They will come back to haunt you for a long time. And the next I is innocent.

David Clutterbuck:

You’ve got to be asking this question not because you got an agenda behind it, but because it really is… you are asking it for the benefit of the other person. And then it’s explicit. It’s got to be expressed very simply and with a very simple sense it’s structure. So it’s not multiple questions all bound up in one. And what we found is that in looking at the questions we ask when talking to other people, if we can make them as close as possible to that prairie outline, the impact that they have is so much greater.

Oscar Trimboli:

One of our previous guests talked about the fact that five to seven words are concise and not an argument or an opinion. And listening to your prairie deconstruction there. I can see how the two would in a sec quite nicely. Do you get a sense that those reverberant questions are generally shorter?

David Clutterbuck:

Yes. Yeah. I’ll give you another example. Asking somebody basically who just didn’t really have a home life at all. Her life was work. Simple question, how do you reward yourself? It’s such a simple question, but boy, did it have an impact on her. Or what somebody who’s worried about the fact that they’re not spending enough time with the children. Their job is taking it. What is the good enough mother looked like?

Oscar Trimboli:

And these questions are so helpful for all of us. Listening. One of the tensions we struggle with is sometimes listening too much. What’s the shadow? What’s the blind spot for listening too much David?

David Clutterbuck:

I think there are times when you’ve got to step back and work out what’s going on in this conversation. Sometimes people just talk at you simply because they’re talking in order to avoid the issue. They don’t really want to think about it. So the more they can talk about it, they feel that they’re doing something about it, but they’re not really. So if we just sit back quietly, while all this goes on, we really colluding with them in that process. You could spend an hour with somebody on something, an important issue, but they haven’t advanced in their thinking at all. Because basically you’ve just sat back and let them talk to themselves.

David Clutterbuck:

So sometimes you’ve got to step in and help them and challenge them if you like. What’s going on for them. And questions like what’s going on for you right now are really important. So you’re bringing it back to the present, the current moment. Questions like what precise did you want to do about that? Again, the questions that pull you down into a state of decision making, if you like, and they may not be ready for that. But that’s okay. So they say, “Okay. So what would enable you to move to that point where you’re ready to make a decision?” So I think we can use questions. We can help somebody to ground themselves in a place where they can avoid this problem of talking to avoid actually really getting to grips with an issue.

David Clutterbuck:

One of the tools and techniques we teach is not to take notes. People get habituated to taking notes, but if you’re taking notes, you’re not listening. Because we don’t have a part of the brain that’s adapted to writing. So we have to kind of realise the circuits that let them listen. So what we’ve gotten to do is to say every now and then when there’s a pause we say to the other person, “Okay, what would you like to capture from what we’ve just been saying?” And the power of that is you’re putting the authority of the control back into the other person’s head or into their lap.

David Clutterbuck:

So that they can then decide, “Well, what was important about what’s been what’s happened in the last 10 minutes? What we’ve been saying.” So they summarise, and then that allows you to come in and add some things as well. But the main thing is that they are in charge of the process. They are. They can actually now start to listen to themselves or what has been said here. And so they basically are doing the higher quality listening. If you give them that opportunity to pause and reflect and just pull out what was important about what’s been said in the last 10 minutes.

Oscar Trimboli:

And the feedback I get from those listening is it’s all right for you, Oscar. You know how to use silence and you’re comfortable with silence, but I’m not. So how do you think people can progress in becoming more comfortable with the space?

David Clutterbuck:

As I say, why don’t you treat silence like it’s a word and listen to it fully and completely and respectfully. We have a simple technique. We ask them to count to three each time before they speak. So the other person stops and they count to three. Most people can do that. It’s not too difficult. And then once they’re used to doing that, and typically what happens is the other person then continues. So they don’t need to say anything.

David Clutterbuck:

So then we go and say, “Okay, now can you count to five?” And we see how much they can extend the time between the other person stopping speaking, and then them starting speaking. And most people can push it up to about eight or nine seconds without feeling uncomfortable with a little bit of practise.

Oscar Trimboli:

I’m curious if you feel that questions asked the way we discussed earlier are true across more than one culture.

David Clutterbuck:

I had an interesting issue brought to me recently by a Chinese culture who has been trained in Western largely American ways of asking questions. And the Western way tends to very often to have a rigid model that you try and follow through, but essentially you’ll see you want to structure the conversation and therefore your questions become attached to that structure. And you’re trying to move the conversation through a specific structure to help somebody go from identifying the issue all the way through to looking at the context, and then finally looking at what they want to do about it and how they’re going to make sure that it happens.

David Clutterbuck:

But in a Chinese culture, very often people want to start from completely the opposite direction. They don’t know what the issue is. Well, they’re not sure what the issue is. They’re looking at a much wider picture. And so they essentially start the conversation by questioning themselves, by describing all sorts of things around it. And the role of the listener is to help them simply find direction through all of the stuff that they’re trying to explore.

David Clutterbuck:

And by the time they’ve actually narrowed it down and identify what the issue is, they’ve usually worked out what the solution is at the same time. And in this discussion with the coach, we’re saying, “Is that okay?” And we’re saying, “Yes, of course.” It’s a different cultural way of doing it. And actually, although it may seem frustrating to somebody who’s very solutions and goal oriented in terms of actually finding really good workable solutions. Then maybe it has a lot more to go going for it.

Oscar Trimboli:

We’ve spent the 20th century and created an entire industry around teaching people how to speak. We’ve teach people how to speak with influence. We teach people how to speak with impact. When we talk about the persuasive speaker. I’m curious if you have a hypothesis, given that half of the communication is listening. Why there isn’t a similar size industry around listening?

David Clutterbuck:

Nancy Kline who’s booked Time To Think has been very influential. Has been one of the antidotes to the speaking culture. And I think certainly I find her work very helpful. But you’re right. There’s not the same demand. And I think this is because of the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Saxons world and particularly the United States that they teach people. There’s a lot of teaching.

Oscar Trimboli:

Would you like to learn a bit more about what gets in your way when it comes to listening? What are the barriers that are stopping you from completely listening to yourself and to the other person. Go and visit listeningquiz.com. That’s listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute assessment and you’ll receive a unique report with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Oscar Trimboli:

As we move from the information economy to the imagination economy, the question becomes even more potent when we explore our imagination. Do you think these children who develop into adults with these enhanced listening skills will enjoy an advantage in the imagination economy?

David Clutterbuck:

I’m sure they will. Because what they’re learning is the ability to be curious. Not just about things that to see immediately around, you need to be curious about the world as it comes, or is it seen through the eyes of other people. And we know that there are three, possibly four key qualities that underpin great coaches, great mentors, great leaders. Those qualities are curiosity, compassion, courage. And in an African context, we added connectedness. The desire to be connected in a real way to the people around you.

David Clutterbuck:

The concept of Ubuntu. I am because we are is very heavily involved with this. But if we can have those four Cs the curiosity, the courage, the compassion, the connectedness, that’s going to make a big difference.

Oscar Trimboli:

Many people ask me, when does listening need to stop? When does listening become unproductive? When is listening stole them? When is listening stuck? And David is about to blow up a common myth about listening. And he explores what the research says that great listener’s actually impatient. Now this is a commonly held belief. He creates four different perspectives for the listener to explore with the speaker. The four perspectives are stepping through emotion, rational, internal, and external perspective.

David Clutterbuck:

I think that there’s just one thing that came out of our researchers observing really good listeners developed a sense of impatience. Now that completely threw us at the beginning. The two things seem to be incompatible, but then we actually listened to what that inpatients was about. And that gave us an understanding of you don’t have to listen totally passively. When you’re listening, you’re helping somebody else with the quality of their thinking.

David Clutterbuck:

And so if they’ve got an issue of a problem that they want to resolve, the power of your listening kit comes in part from helping them see that issue or problem from multiple perspectives. So if somebody had a really upsetting argument, they’re going to be full of emotions. Negative emotions that stop them thinking, stop them listening to other people, stop thinking about other people’s perspective. And so what we find is if there’s a matrix here on one angle. One access to the matrix is listing or questioning from the perspective of the rational versus the emotional.

David Clutterbuck:

The other access is looking at it from your perspective internally if you like. And then looking at it from other people’s perspective. So where we start the situation I just described, you will be tied up in your own emotions and therefore it’s internally looking and emotional. And there’s only so many questions you can ask somebody about how they feel. And if they’re stuck in that particular box, they’re not going to advance. Nothing’s going to change.

David Clutterbuck:

So they need to need a shift of perspective. So that shifted perspective can come in two ways. You help them to move into the rational and say, “Okay, well, what’s the impact of this?” Looking at it realistically, how are you going to view this in six months time? Is it really going to matter that much? Or you can go into the stay in the emotions, but move into the other person’s perspective and say, “Well, I understand how you’re feeling. How do you think they’re feeling right now?”

David Clutterbuck:

And that enables you to go into the rational and external focusing and say, “Okay, so what are your practical alternatives about rebuilding the relationship with that person?” We find that people can start in any of those quadrants and move to any quadrant. But the critical thing is that you move between one and the other. And so the quality of our listing and our questioning are bound up together here, because we hear where the person is emotionally and rationally.

David Clutterbuck:

And we help them move to a different spot so that they can think more clearly and from different perspectives about the issue that they’re trying to work through.

Oscar Trimboli:

And in that moment, I’m curious about the connection with impatience.

David Clutterbuck:

Well, basically we found that there is an impatience in the sense that the coach or mentor wants to help you move forward and recognises that if you just stay where you are having a good song, nothing’s going to change. And so they might ask you a few questions about how you feel, but then they will want to gently move you on into another place. And so what they’re really doing is, is holding out a hand, if you like figuratively from another position, another perspective and asking you, “Would you like to come and join me here?”

David Clutterbuck:

But if you don’t have a sense of movement, you’re not going to do that. You’re just going to stay with the person where they are.

Oscar Trimboli:

I want to learn a bit more about what gets in your way when it comes to listening? What are the barriers that are stopping you from completely listening to yourself and to the other person. Go and visit listeningquiz.com. That’s listeningquiz.com and take the seven minute assessment. And you’ll receive a unique report with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener. What aren’t we listening to in the future?

David Clutterbuck:

I see around me, not just in the UK with Brexit and politics, but in all sorts of environments. I see a movement towards extremes. That people take an extreme view, leave, remain, give up everything in our modern society and go live and go native. Or embrace technology and climate change isn’t really real. People seem to be being pushed towards extremes. And part of that is there’s two to the overabundance of information and fake information. All of those kinds of things.

David Clutterbuck:

But essentially that’s the biggest barrier to listening. I think we have to learn to be able to listen between extremes and to either or or even better end.

Oscar Trimboli:

Another perspective on the future might be if a generation out and then another generation out, a group of people are born. What aren’t we listening to for what they wish for their future?

David Clutterbuck:

Well, I guess the question I would ask myself and other people is if I’m still here to take them out like I take my grandchildren out on what I call granddad ventures. What’s the conversation that we might be having there compared with a conversation that I would want us to be having there.

Oscar Trimboli:

On those granddad days.

David Clutterbuck:

Yes. Oh, granddad ventures. It’s a nice term.

Oscar Trimboli:

On those granddad ventures. On those granddad adventures. What are your grandchildren teaching you about how to listen?

David Clutterbuck:

Well, one of the things I’m learning is that they are developing the capacity to be engaged with their technology and to be listening to some extent. Because they’ve had to be able to do the two things at once. Not sure how they do it. I don’t think they do it very well, but they they’re gradually evolving into a capacity to be able to have the technology there, but to be able to engage with people around them at the same time. I think this is going to be an essential skill for the rest of the century.

Oscar Trimboli:

Thank you David for your perspective about the past, the present and the future of listening. You exude so much learning, wisdom and enthusiasm for the topic. There’s so much depth in David’s book based on many decades over 30 years of research. Over 70 books on the topic. I wonder what you’re going to take away from today. Is it about being okay to be completely impatient when it comes to listening to somebody else? The impatience that is born from the listeners desire to help the speaker adopt a multiple perspective approach to what they’re saying, rather than getting stuck in one place and in doing so, helping them to make progress.

Oscar Trimboli:

I’m really curious what your take away from today. Is it about the prairie based questions? Is it about impatience? Is it about intent versus impact? I wonder what it is for you. Why don’t you visit our deep listening community, oscartrimboli.com/community. That’s oscartrimboli.com/community and leave a comment with over 300 other people who are sharing their progress and their journey when it comes to listening.

Oscar Trimboli:

Thanks to Ruth who said one of the things she’s looking forward to is getting comfortable with the pause. She says, “It’s a massive challenge for me, and I’ll be aiming for that three seconds and will pay attention then to what’s next.” Thanks to Isaac who left a reflection saying he’s been thinking a lot about what’s happening around the world and the recent social unrest. And what that means in a manifestation is violence. The ultimate signal that you’re being ignored and not listened to. It was a great question.

Oscar Trimboli:

Thanks to Karen who left a comment saying she’s learning so much about the why she’s listening, having fun and improving her listening skills by using the 90 day deep listening challenge. If you’re somebody who likes to learn in groups, rather than just at your own self pace, then oscartrimboli.com/community is a great place for you to learn from others about how they’re listening. It’s really exciting to see the growth and the number of people participating in the listening quiz. The community of practise webinars, and a big thank you to all the people participating right now in the 21 days of listening daily tips.

Oscar Trimboli:

21 days of listening came from a conversation I had with Cole, where he was listening to me. And I posed the question to him about how do I narrow the gap and make a bigger impact between a podcast and our 90 day challenge. We’ll Cole said, “Oscar, why don’t you send me 21 days of text messages with a simple tip each day on how to focus on my listening?” So that’s what I did. Let’s hear from two of the 64 people participating in the current challenge from Roger and from Amber.

Roger:

Hi, I’m Roger. Come to the end of the first week. A couple of areas needing attention or really starting to emerge for me. First of all, the marriage between good listening and questioning. Second of all, I live in work with way too many browser tabs open in my mind and looking at the number of things, my head before I walk into a conversation, it’s becoming clear that it’s simply running out of RAM on my Brain’s hard drive.

Roger:

And my solution to that is to revert to telling stories. I don’t do silence very well. I can work on those things and I’m sure this group will help me improve. Coincidentally, I’ve just come off a run of five different account based marketing workshops in five days. All digital. The warm fuzzy moment came when someone emailed me just this morning to call out that they thought I have really good listening skills. So either I got lucky or Oscar’s magic is really starting to work from the outset. So really looking forward to what’s coming further [inaudible 00:41:48] we go through the 21 days,

Amber:

It’s Amber here. And as we start a new week of listening, I’m reflecting on the last week. And what I really loved about that was getting to grips with the fact that listening is a skill and it’s a learned skill that can be honed. And that hearing is very different to listening. Also really love the top tips about preparing to listen. And I’ve certainly done that before accepting a phone call. I’ve taken three deep breaths. I’m being really mindful of distractions and getting comfortable with silences. I’ve really enjoyed the top tips and especially the summary at the end of the week.

Oscar Trimboli:

Do you like to participate in the 21 days of listening? Practise by sending me a text with your email address and then the number 21. Send it to 0410340185 if you’re in Australia or internationally +61410340185. That’s with your email address and the number 21. David certainly changed my perspective on listening today. I am walking away being really comfortable with being impatient when it comes to listening. I hope you are too. Thanks for listening.

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