Discover your Listening Villain
speaking
Apple Award Winning Podcast
Podcast Episode 089: How to speak so my audience will listen

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Danish Dhamani is co-founder and CEO of Orai, a public speaking app that has helped over 300 hundred thousand  people speak more clearly and confidently with AI feedback. a TEDx speaker coach he is uniquely placed to understand what the audience is listening to and for when you speak because his company Orai has analyzed over 2 million speeches uploaded to the Orai application to improve their speaking. 

I loved spending time with Danish as he has spent over 5 years analysis the difference be good and compelling speakers. 

Listen carefully as Danish explains the impact of categories of speaking impact:

  1. filler words
  2. energy 
  3. tone
  4. volume 
  5. vocal clarity 
  6. Enunciation 
  7. Facial Expressions 

During our discussion, listen carefully for the seven categories during our discussion.

At the end of this episode we answer a range of audience questions.

Transcript

Podcast Episode 089 – How to listen in a video meeting

Danish Dhamani 

I think that’s a big mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make, is not listen to who their target audience might be.

Danish Dhamani 

Listening can also mean when people are not necessarily speaking, they might be writing stuff out there. And Orai is a great place where people are actually talking about their problems, talking about their questions. “I am afraid. I have this speech coming up. What should I do I? How do I start my speech? How fast should I talk? Are filler words okay? What is energy in speech? How do I sound engaging? How do I do vocal exercises?”

Danish Dhamani

And you have all these people from across the globe, diverse backgrounds talking about real problems, real challenges, and that’s a great place to be empathetic, a great place to leave your biases aside and go and listen, really intently. And listening goes one step beyond when you’re an entrepreneur trying to solve a problem. It’s not just listening for the sake of listening, you’re listening to solve a problem.

Oscar Trimboli 

Deep Listening: Impact Beyond Words.

Oscar Trimboli 

G’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.

Oscar Trimboli 

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, you’re 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. 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.

Oscar Trimboli

Danish Dhamani is the co-founder and the CEO of Orai, O-R-A-I, a public speaking app which you can put on your phone. And this app has helped over 300,000 people speak more clearly and speak more confidently, based on the feedback from the AI. Danish is also a TEDx speaker coach, so he actually coaches the people who speak at TEDx. He’s uniquely placed to understand what audiences will be listening to, and for, when you speak, because his company has analysed over 2,000,000 different speeches that have been uploaded into the Orai application, where people want to help improve their speaking every day.

Oscar Trimboli 

I love spending time with Danish because he’s spent nearly five years analysing the difference between a good speaker and a compelling speaker. Listen carefully, as Danish explains the impacts of the seven categories of speaking. He talks about filler words, energy, tone, vocal clarity, enunciation and facial expression.

Oscar Trimboli 

During our discussion, why don’t you listen carefully for these seven categories. Now you might think, “Oscar, it’s a podcast. How am I going to listen to facial expressions?” You can. Be careful. If you notice where the words are coming from, you’ll start to see if they’re said with a smile or a frown.

Oscar Trimboli 

At the end of this episode, we’ll be answering a range of questions that you have provided, that you’ll love some answers from, as well. Let’s listen to Danish.

Oscar Trimboli 

What frustrates you when other people don’t listen to you, Danish?

Danish Dhamani 

I think that happens all the time, where people think they’re listening to you, but they’re actually not. And, I am very, very direct. I just point it out. “Hey, you are not listening to me. Stop moving to point number two. Please acknowledge point number one.” And then they acknowledge point number one and then they go back to point number two. And I’m like, “No, no, no, I don’t just need an acknowledgement, I need a response. I didn’t just state it to be an informative speaker. I stated that thing because I want some outcome and resolution, some decision, some next steps, some action item. That’s why we’re speaking. That’s why we’re having a conversation.”

Oscar Trimboli 

What do you think you struggle with when it comes to listening?

Danish Dhamani

There are so many types of biases out there called biases, that we as humans have. Especially focused on leaders, you are fell victim to one of these biases. And the only way we can come out of them is by first acknowledging, understanding, and then, first, critiquing others; building that critical thinking in your mind. So then your mind can then critique yourself. I think that’s the step process for any soft skills, especially around communication. You need to acknowledge it first. Need to build the skill yourself by first critiquing others and then once your critical thinking is enough, they don’t automatically start critiquing you.

Oscar Trimboli 

What do you think your biggest listening bias is?

Danish Dhamani 

I’m not sure about my biggest. The one that comes to my mind right now is assuming I know the answer. And during work meetings, I’m just assuming what the other person is going to say. And perhaps sometimes I’m not giving them the chance to express out of the box thinking.

Oscar Trimboli 

Do you jump ahead to the solution? Or do you interrupt?

Danish Dhamani 

I don’t usually interrupt. I usually jump ahead to solution. Or do the next step like, “Okay, next step? Next step.” And some will complain, “Danish, that sounds very robotic. It doesn’t sound empathetic. It doesn’t sound friendly. It doesn’t sound like you’re building a relationship with me.” It seems very transactional, especially when I start doing this outside of my work meeting also. Because when you’re running a startup, the whole world overlaps over each other, so there is no nine to five. And then from 5:00 to 10:00, I’m Danish and from 9 to 5 I’m CEO and Co-Founder of Orai. It doesn’t work like that.

Oscar Trimboli

Danish has just provided a great description of the shrewd listening villain. Shrewd rose up as somebody who is anticipating and solving. Experience for the speaker is they can see the cogs going on in your mind. They can see you jumping ahead. They know that you’re not listening to them while you’re in problem solving mode.

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 will receive a unique report with three tailored actions to help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener.

Speaker 3 

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 this 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. And I can now recognise when I’m not listening as well or as deep as I could be. Thanks, Oscar.

Oscar Trimboli 

In your workplace, what do you think the cost of not listening is?

Danish Dhamani 

I’ve never thought of the question like that, the cost of not listening. It’s an interesting question. We can make assumptions. I am assuming that when someone is not listening properly, especially in a fast paced startup, then work gets done that was not meant to get done. You might have two week sprints in a startup. You might have a deep heat at the beginning of the sprint and a deep heat at end of the sprint and within those two weeks are meant to build all these cool things. If listening did not happen well, or if the speaker didn’t communicate well, concisely, persuasively, then things might get built that were not meant to get built. It could mean losing a contract.

Oscar Trimboli 

What actually even prompted you to want to learn how to speak publicly?

Danish Dhamani 

I had just given a presentation at work. As an engineer, I never thought I needed presentation skills. I thought presentations are just something you create a PowerPoint, put two, three, four, 10, 20 slides on it and just present. But then after the presentation, my manager pulls me aside and she’s like, “Danish, you can be the smartest engineer the room, but if you don’t learn how to present confidently, clearly and concisely, you’re just putting a glass ceiling on your head. You’ll never become a manager. You’ll never become a leader.” And I said, “What should I do?” And she recommended I joined this public speaking club called Toastmasters, an amazing club, one of the biggest gifts in my life. I learned a lot and I also realised that this is actually a learnable skill. Anyone anywhere in the world can actually become better. And back at work, I thought I was getting more buy-in for my ideas. I was getting more air time with senior decision makers. And I thought everyone should go to Toastmasters. But my colleagues didn’t want to. So I thought, “How do I bring Toastmasters to them?”

Danish Dhamani 

And so we created the first version of Orai that only detected your ums, and uhs. Other than that, it’s just a cool app. And, lo and behold, after a few years, it is where it is right now. Launched about in 2017. It has more than 300,000 people across the globe web download it and try it out.

Oscar Trimboli 

But there were a few steps between that and today. And one of them was the time you spent in the Orai forums to actually understand the questions that people were asking about speaking. And this is a beautiful example for everybody listening on how to listen to problem sets without having to do very expensive market research. How was that helping you to listen to what the real problems were?

Danish Dhamani 

I think that’s a big mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make is not listen to who their target audience might be. Listening can also mean when people are not necessarily speaking. They might be writing stuff out there, and Orai is a great place where people are actually talking about their problems. Talking about their questions. “I am afraid. I have this speech coming up. What should I do I? How do I start my speech? How fast should I talk? Are filler words okay? What is energy in speech? How do I sound engaging? How do I do vocal exercises?” And you have all these people from across the globe, diverse backgrounds, talking about real problems, real challenges. And that’s a great place to be empathetic, a great place to really leave your biases aside. And go and listen really intently.

Danish Dhamani 

And listening goes one step beyond when you’re an entrepreneur trying to solve a problem. It’s not just listening for the sake of listening. You’re listening to solve a problem.

Oscar Trimboli 

One of the things I noticed is yes, you are listening for content, but you’re also listening for context. You are listening for patterns and themes, and you’re listening for what’s unsaid. And in the themes and the patterns that you discovered, came the context about pacing, facial expression, vocal clarity, using concise language, intentional pausing. How much energy you’re bringing to it and filler words. These are the dimensions of the product that you have created. As people listen to me, they’ve heard me talk about the use of intentional pause. Deconstruct one of those.

Danish Dhamani 

We use AI and machine learning to actually extract the different nuances in your speech, and then give an output around seven things. So the seven are filler words, so your ums and uhs, how fast or slow you’re speaking, your energy, which is your tone and your volume, your vocal clarity and annunciation, how confident you’re sounding, your conciseness, and your facial expressions. So these are the seven things. And we didn’t have all seven of these up front. As I mentioned earlier, we started at filler words. Why did we start there? Because we heard that the most.

Danish Dhamani

When you talk about public speaking, when you talk about communication, the most of the things that you hear from people as a challenge would be using ums and uhs filler words. They just suck the credibility out of your communication, out of you as a individual, whether you are presenting to your boss, whether you’re presenting to your customers, or you’re presenting to your team. If you were to, um, uh, present like this where, um, uh, you’re having a lot of, um, filler words, it just sounds like you might not have all the executive presence to be an executive or be a leader. So we started with filler words. It was easier to do compared to the other things. We knew what the filler words were. We detected them in your speech and we gave that as an output.

Oscar Trimboli 

If you visit oscartrimboli.com/videoconference, that’s oscartrimboli.com/videoconference, we’ve brought all these resources together about how to listen during video conferences. These resources include articles, podcasts, videos, and the ultimate guide on how to listen during video conferences. In this ultimate guide, we breakdown before, during, and after the video conference from a listening perspective. Whether you’re a participant or the host, with over 50 pages, including detailed insights into how to set up intimate, interactive, and broadcast video conferences for success. That location again oscartrimboli.com/videoconference and we will continue to add resources over time so that you can make an impact beyond words when it comes to your video conference.

Danish Dhamani 

The most recent one is facial expressions. And so if you notice how we went, we went from your vocal delivery skills images, just extracting things from your voice and now going to nonverbals, which is your facial expressions. And who knows? Tomorrow Orai will detect your body language maybe as we are on zoom calls all these times. Maybe Orai will detect whether you are having an inappropriate background in an environment for a particular meeting. Whether you’re slouching. Whether you are nodding because nodding is a great sign of listening. Whether you have the eye contact directly at the person or are you looking aside in your camera? So these are some of the interesting things that technology is actually unlocking for us.

Danish Dhamani

And but it all stems directly back to the end user. Listening to them, their problems. People have actually asked me, “Danish, how do you show someone in a virtual environment that you’re actually listening to them? That you’re paying attention to them?” And even though it might be an art, there’s some science behind it. If one of the challenges you have is how do I listen to people? How do I listen to my team members? I’m giving you three tips. Tip number one, nodding your head up and down. Number two, focusing your eye contact on them. And when I say on them I don’t mean the square image that you have of their face. It’s actually of the webcam because a webcam is their eyes looking at you. So number two is looking at the webcam. And number three, not having a frown on your face, having a slight smile, not too much, not too little, just a slight smile. I call it the 20% smile and that just shows that you’re paying attention to them.

Oscar Trimboli 

How am I going with those three tips?

Danish Dhamani 

You’re doing all of them, and that’s where I got this idea. I’m like this, “Oscar is looking at me right in the eye, is continuously smiling, and his head is going up and down as whenever I’m making interesting points. Good, I feel heard. That’s a great feelings As human beings, one of the most rewarding nice feeling is when you’re listened to, when you’re acknowledged. It’s beautiful and this is a gift that you can give others every day.

Oscar Trimboli 

Danish, not only have you started at the beginning with filler words, but as you’ve expanded you go to multiple contexts. You look at speaking in teams, speaking to your manager or your superior, speaking in large groups, or speaking to the community or speaking to customers. How did you listen for those contexts? So we spend a lot of time saying to people on the Deep Listening podcast, “You will listen differently depending on the relationship and the situation.” Listening is situational and it’s relational. And I sense in your multiple contexts, so I encourage everybody to download the Orai app. And there’s a really brief test for you to do, which is a simple trial and then you can move on to paying a very small fee to have that constant feedback. But how are you listening to those different contexts as users were using more of the system?

Danish Dhamani

Listening is actually context dependent. It is relationship dependent. The way you communicate, the way you listen depends on your situation. A lot of people ask me, “Danish, is Orai just going to help me become a robotic speaker?” And I tell them, “No, the goal of Orai is not to take you to a fine point and get you to just one type of personality.” Orai, the way it works is it gives you a range. So when you’re speaking in a pace of 150 words per minute, that might be appropriate to your current speaking setting, but Orai will not tell you, speak at 180 words per minute. Instead, Orai just gives you a score. It gives you your raw output that you spoke at 120 words per minute. That might have been slow, but if you wanted to go slow, that might have been appropriate for you. Orai doesn’t make you robotic or make everyone speak the same way. Instead, Orai gives you a range. And then it’s up to you to use your context, to use your judgement to decide whether that was appropriate or not.

Danish Dhamani 

As we speak about listening, Orai cannot yet tell whether you’re a great listener or not, so the context over there would be harder to do. But that’s a great idea for future product features.

Danish Dhamani

I love our user stories. One of my favourite stories was when a teacher… I was visiting a school, which is one of our customers in Austin and I visited the school. The teacher was showing me around. And they told me, “Danish, do you you see this bookshelf? One of the students used to hide inside this bookshelf during our public speaking classes. She was so afraid. She would stand outside and hide inside it and I would have to go and look for her. But after we implemented Orai in our classroom, she’s one of the most extroverted speakers. She takes up any speaking opportunity because she has just built this level of confidence.” I felt so proud in that moment. I have seen life changing stories for 3rd graders up to executives. I even work with executives who are using Orai. They tell me, “Danish, I know I’m a partner at this consulting company, but when it comes to presenting to my peers, I am nervous. When I’m presenting to, let’s say customers, I’m fine, but when it comes to presenting to my peers who are like my level, I’m afraid. I’m scared.” And we made them use Orai. And after a few weeks what do you know? It helps you, that deliberate practise.

Danish Dhamani 

I had one question for you. We are talking about listening and we’re talking about speaking. We’re merging the two. Do you think they’re very overlap and intertwine, or do you think there is a very fine line between? There’s a thick line between what listening skills are and what speaking skills are.

Oscar Trimboli

The line is very permeable. It’s organic. The best listening cultures are the best storytelling cultures. And I think the best listeners are the people who have the best speaking capability because they’re listening in many dimensions and they know what it takes to be heard. The big irony for me, Danish, I’m on a quest to create 100,000,000 deep listeners in the world and it was only a year ago that I realised I have to speak to help people to listen, this paradox of listening. So I see these things as very intertwined. I see the gap between them very small because great speakers have great empathy for the audience and great listeners have great empathy for the speaker. That possibility that you are me and I am you.

Oscar Trimboli 

There’s very little gap between listening and speaking because listening and speaking is a simultaneous equation. While you’re speaking to me, I’m listening to you and why you’re speaking back I’m listening to you and there’s this simultaneous equation going on. It takes discipline. It takes great awareness. And I think it takes a position of not only what is my position, what is their position and then what is our group position. And those elements of listening and speaking are all common. Why do you think there’s such a big gap between people wanting to learn to speak versus those who want to listen?

Danish Dhamani 

I am 100% sure of that gap because we work with a lot of communication coaching training organisations, A what you see is presentation skills training, virtual presentation skills training, sales training, public speaking training but rarely do you see listening. Why is it the case? Well, as human beings we think we already know how to listen. That is it. No one tells us that we are all at an okay plateau of listening. It’s like for my work, I need to type all day, but the more I type does not mean that I’m going to get faster or that I’m going to be less prone to making errors. Similar to listening, everyone believes that, “I’ve been listening my whole life. I’m okay.” But the fact is, you’re not getting better. You are just okay.

Danish Dhamani 

The way to get better is by doing two things. Number one, deliberate practise and number 2, feedback. If you don’t have either of these, you’re not going to get better. You’re not going to go from okay to expert. Most likely you are okay as a listener. Maybe you might be great, but there’s always room to improving. And if you want to improve, if you want to reach expert level listening and change your life, change the life of those around you and change the lives of those who you serve, then you need to do these two things. Number one deliberate practise and number two feedback.

Danish Dhamani 

I want to bring up this other topic which is the world has changed. The way we communicate, the way we listen has definitely changed. What are some of the tips or advice you’re giving to your clients, to your audience on how do you listen better in zoom calls?

Oscar Trimboli

Tip number one is really simple. Ask yourself the question, do you need to do a Zoom call where an audio only call might be more effective? Tip number two, for whatever the length of the meeting is, have breaks where people can recharge their listening batteries every 15 minutes for five minutes. There might be an opportunity for them to move physically, or it might be just an opportunity for them to pause, collect their thoughts and not try and process everything visually. And then tip number three is make sure that you’re providing feedback to the host about what’s useful in the meeting from a listening perspective. Sometimes we give up our power to the host, where we are all leaders in a video conference. So role model listening by making reflections back to the host. Even though they may ask you a question, you can provide them with the feedback without providing feedback to say, “Hey Danish, it’s a great question, but I notice we haven’t heard from Sally and Mahendra. Could we ask them also?” And then all of a sudden you’re showing collective listening rather than just one among listening. So they’re my three tips: audio only versus video, have breaks where people can recharge their listening batteries, and tip number three role model listening back as if you are hosting the meeting, so you can set a state change for everybody on the call.

Danish Dhamani 

I love that. Actionable, something I can first lead them in this today.

Oscar Trimboli 

I wonder what you’ll take away from Danish’s expertise in our conversation today? I’ve downloaded the app. It’s fast to start. You get a free trial and you get feedback across the seven categories we mentioned earlier on. The thing I’m more conscious of as a result of using the app is how my energy is showing up into the conversation. And how concise am I? I’m also enjoying the Mood Metre. Thanks to Professor Mark Bracket from Episode 83, the Secret of Listening for Emotions in Workplaces. I’ve been using the mood metre not just with myself, with some clients, and in a context I really wasn’t considering.

Oscar Trimboli 

When people are booking me for my speaking engagements, at the moment, which are 50% face to face… Yippy… and 50% virtual, one of the things I always ask in the briefing questions is, “What do you want the audience to experience before, during and after the event?” And then I ask them to think about them through three distinct levels. How do you want people to think? What do you want them to feel? And what do you want them to do differently as a result of this event?

Oscar Trimboli 

And a lot of them struggle with the language around emotion. How do you want them to feel? And it’s been great fun using Professor Bracket’s, Mood Metre app and Mood Metre is spelled M-E-T-E-R. If you’d like to check it out, please go and do so. We have so much fun with the people we’re briefing now because we go, “Do we want them low energy, high energy?” And the app steps you through really well. I think I’ve converted a couple of people in my speaking engagements to start using Professor Bracket’s Mood Metre in their workplaces as well.

Oscar Trimboli

Another thing I love is listening to you. I love receiving your emails. I love your audio messages. Thank you for keeping on sending them. If you’re wondering how to send them just visit oscartrimboli.com/contact. There, you can choose to leave an audio message or an email message. We’ll be listening to examples of both of those.

Oscar Trimboli 

Thanks to Cassandra from Connecticut in the northeast of the United States where she sent me an email discussing the 90 Day Challenge which is available again via our website. Cassandra sent me a message with the subject of The life of a shrewd and lost listener. She’s obviously taken the quiz. Cassandra goes to say “I realised I had a problem with listening when no matter how much I tried to explain myself, those around me seemed to purposely listen only to half of what I said. After a while, I think I programme myself to fix other’s issues their way because even though they asked for advice, they weren’t or they couldn’t listen to my advice. They wanted a yes man.

Oscar Trimboli 

So I figured out a way to show people I’m listening. Yet not enough for them to go past the sugar coating of what they really wanted. Now I’m opened. My mind is opened up to a lighter and higher vibrations.” What an interesting choice of phrase, Cassandra, lighter and higher vibrations. “That causes me to drop so many difficult friendships and conversations in the year of COVID. I really want to learn how to do that. I think in the next 90 days, instead of thinking I’m being helpful by giving everybody options like option A, option B, and option C, I’ll wait for them. I’ll wait until they ask me for all the possible alternatives.”

Oscar Trimboli 

Wow, Cassandra, thanks so much for sending me that email and really practical, insightful outcomes. I’m curious about this phrase that you used. “I think I programme myself to fix other’s issues.” If ever there was a precise description of the shrewd listener, the shrewd listening villain, that is a great example of that. Be kind to yourself, Cassandra, and we’re all trying to get a little bit better each day. How many of you struggle without giving advice option A, B, C, and D? I’ll be curious to know. Send me a message. Oscartrimboli.com/contact.

Speaker 4

Hi, Oscar. This is Gert from Belgium. I would like to share my recent review of your Deep Listening Podcast. A man on a mission that actually walks the talk. This podcast already helped me tremendously in my journey to become a better leader. I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough as well as the other resources offered. Our team meetings have improved beyond words. They went from monologues to interactive meetings with valuable feedback from the team. If it’s not clear yet, I’m a big fan of your podcast, and it’s absolutely among the best in my library.

Speaker 4 

This is a question I have for you about listening at work. In a virtual Zoom meeting, where do you suggest I would look? If I look at the camera I will be facing the other person I’m talking to, but I have less feedback since I can’t really have a good look on his facial expressions. On the other hand, if I look at his video, I won’t be looking at him or her in the eyes, so this is a sort of a dilemma for me. What would you recommend doing?

Oscar Trimboli 

Gert, thanks for your question and if you visit oscartrimboli.com/videoconference, you can access more detailed tips and tricks about listening on a video conference. Gert, specifically for this question and the question you’ve asked, yes, your eyes should always be looking towards the webcam. Staring into the webcam endlessly can get quite tiring, so be careful. I also sense though whether it’s Zoom or other software, you’re probably in Gallery View or Team View or Participant View, rather than only having the Speaker View or the active speaker in view. Now I know with Zoom, because I use that probably a third of my day, you can change your view to the Active Speaker View. That’s in the top right of your screen. And make sure that you just turn on the active speaker. Now once you’ve done this, move the window that’s got the active speaker as close as possible to the webcam.

Oscar Trimboli 

So a lot of people talk about tip one. Make sure you look into the webcam so there’s connections with the eye. Great, that’s 50% of the effort, but only 20% of the impact. Tip number three, you want to move the image of the active speaker as close as possible to your webcam, and that will create the effect that you are looking into their eyes while you can see their eyes and their face. By the way, don’t get too close to your monitors. Don’t get too much into staring. We have great peripheral vision as humans, Gert, and sometimes we just need to notice movement rather than every single eyelash within somebody’s eyes.

Oscar Trimboli 

Now, if you’re looking for a fourth tip for bonus points, if you are in a video conference that’s in broadcast mode and you’re not interacting with the person speaking, did you know you could only listen continuously for 12 seconds? When you get a bit distracted, just practise. Have a look at what colour the speakers eyes are. Have a look at the colour of the speaker’s eyes and that would be a great way for you to reset your attention so that you move from paying attention to giving attention. Great question, Gert. thank you.

Oscar Trimboli 

Here’s an email from Matt from Reading in England. I love all these locations because I then have to go into Google Maps and look them up. Matt says… “Hi Oscar, I hope you are well. I’ve recently finished reading the Table Listening Book and wanted to drop you a short note. I found the book insightful. And it has me asking questions about my own listening. I hope I’m able to develop my listening skills to improve the way I listen as a leader. And I’ve been using some of the techniques that you’ve got in the book. So I appreciate you sharing the two small habits which I hope to concentrate on for the next 90 days.” Sounds like you’re in the 90 Day Challenge, Matt, fantastic.

Oscar Trimboli 

“The first tip, number one, first take 15 seconds before the meeting or before the call to clear my mind.”

Oscar Trimboli 

Fantastic, don’t forget those three deep breaths too.

Oscar Trimboli 

Tip number two, you said, “Insure the person talking has had enough time to explore their own thoughts.” Matt says, “I will start counting one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, before talking and that will help me to improve.” All the best, Matt, thank you Matt, great email. Stay strong in the 90 Day Challenge. And for everybody who enrols and completes the 90 Day Challenge you get to book a 30 minute call with me and we deconstruct either what worked well and what didn’t. Or what you’re working on for the next 90 days.

Oscar Trimboli 

Now here’s a message from Greg who was travelling in Washington State on the West Coast of the United States.

Greg Oness 

My name is Greg Oness. I live in Washington State from the U.S. I’m driving down I5 on the West Coast, listening to your podcasts one after another and I’m greatly enjoying them. I am a person that swims in the deep end naturally and while I’m allergic to shallow conversations, they’re so common. It seems like some people, that’s about all they can do. I get sucked into it, naturally so. And so my first question is how to move those conversations farther into deeper conversations.

Greg Oness 

Then my second question related to that is developing the questions to do that. I seem to have a part of me that’s not working in that respect. And that shallow conversation works about who did what, who moved where, who did something that was unwise, car repairs and sports. I get caught up in that too. I’m pleading with myself to make this conversation go deeper. But for myself, I can only respond with shallow questions. Like begets like. And so how to start formulating those questions? I hope that makes you think of that this has been addressed in previous podcasts you’ve done, and you can direct me to them. Or maybe you can incorporate this into a future one. Thank you for all your great work. G’day.”

Oscar Trimboli 

I’m listening to Greg’s message and I thought I would ask you. What advice would you give Greg, his two questions about when listening deeply and listening shallow? So I wonder what advice you would give him. Please, let’s give Greg some advice because I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I know in the Deep Listening community we all do together. So visit oscartrimboli.com/contact and leave your advice for Greg and we’ll publish it on future episodes as well.

Oscar Trimboli 

I wonder if you’re like Greg? Do you prefer to go deep rather than shallow? What would it be like speaking to Greg? Would you like to be speaking when Greg’s around listening? Please let us know. Visit oscartrimboli.com/contact and record your response and we’ll put it together for Greg in the future episodes.

Oscar Trimboli 

Greg, here are my immediate brief reflections. And Greg, you’re going to have the whole community providing answers for you as well. So my first reflection is ask the speaker. How would they like you to listen to them? Not enough of us ask those questions early on in the conversation. Then ask yourself these questions, Greg. What’s productive about a shallow conversation and what’s unproductive about a deep conversation and deep questions?

Oscar Trimboli 

I think sometimes deep questions continuously asked during a conversation without skill and nuance, they feel draining and intimidating for the speaker. How do I know that? I’ve been given that feedback. Be careful, Be gentle with yourself, Greg, and be gentle with them. Asking the right kinds of questions, this is a question I’m exploring in the next book due to come out in May 2022. Inside… I’ve been writing only a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the Deep Listening ambassadors have been cheering me on with the Question Compass. The concept of a Question Compass, which is about questions to the North, the South, the East and West, how those questions align up differently. The Ambassador community is doing a great job of helping me to explore and discover how productive the Question Compass is.

Oscar Trimboli 

One of the things the ambassadors have is early access to developments, writing manuscript story, structures, concepts in the book due out in May 2022. If you’d like to learn more visit oscartrimboli.com/ambassador and you might choose to become part of the Deep Listening Ambassador community.

Oscar Trimboli

And finally, here’s a message from Judy in Queensland, in Australia. She says, “Hi, Oscar. I’ve been following your podcast for over 18 months. I first became aware of your work via Matt Bodnar.” That’s where I appeared on The Science of Success podcast. “Recently, I asked a group of 40 women to take your online quiz as well as a group of my business leaders. It’s had the required impact on both groups and has started us all delving a little bit deeper into simply listening with great intent. My business partner is currently part of the 90 Day Challenge and they’re thoroughly enjoying it. The purpose of this email is just to send you a thank you for your insights. Thank you for the interesting stories which are really relatable. I often quote them in my leadership meetings and I’m so grateful for the resources you provide. Have a great week. Kind regards, Judy.”

Oscar Trimboli 

If you’d like to make a comment, ask a question, explore a concept, visit oscartrimboli.com/contact. There you can send me a message or you can record an audio message so we can include it. So we can all help you move from a distracted listener to a deep and impactful listener. I’m Oscar Trimboli and I’m on a quest to create 100,000,000 deep listeners in the world and you’ve given me the greatest gift of all. You’ve listened to me. Thanks for listening.

 

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