Reframing Thoughts


Who is Listening?
By Trudy Menke 8/26/20

You’re familiar with the signals of effective listening, right? Have you ever heard someone say, " I don't think he heard a word I said"?

People give signals that let us know when we are connecting with them, and we tend to use these very same signals when we’re listening intently to someone else. Primary signals of good connection include eye contact, leaning in, and reflective listening (when we repeat portions of what was said to confirm what we understand). So many everyday behaviors, however, get in the way of these 3 relatively simple things.
Eye contact is broken when we look at our screens – a phone, computer or TV. We get distracted by other people or activities going on nearby and eye contact is lost. Physically turning away not only breaks eye contact, but it’s also in conflict with leaning in. Sitting back or reclining might mean you are relaxed, but it can also imply that you aren’t putting energy into the conversation. Lastly, people who don’t acknowledge what you've said or who jump from what you said to something else entirely unrelated can quickly convey they weren’t really listening.
Listening says "I value you, and what you think and feel is important." It can be your greatest tool when you are trying to build a high level of trust. Not listening isn’t always wrong – it’s just better to be honest about whether you have the willingness to listen than to risk not doing it well, because it’s more critical than we realize to building strong relationships in both our personal and business lives.

Quit failing at listening. Just let people know up front if you can’t listen. Stop kidding yourself. They can tell when you don’t listen well. It’s completely legitimate that someone may want to talk to you when you aren’t really available. So just tell them. If you can't be "present", your time is no gift.

Have you accepted the profound importance of listening? 
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”
― M. Scott Peck
"I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Businesspeople need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions."
— Lee Iacocca
"To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It's a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued."
— Deborah Tannen
"Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable—and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That's how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities."
— Peter Nulty, National Business Hall of Fame Fortune Magazine
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
— Winston Churchill
"Man's inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively."
— Carl Rogers
"Who speaks, sows; Who listens, reaps."
— Argentine Proverb

Long ago William Barclay outlined 6 kinds of listening. It’s humbling to see how often we fall into each of the first five categories, when the real opportunity is in the 6th type of listening.

1. We engage with the listening of criticism.
Meaning “I don’t value your knowledge or opinion.”

2. We participate with the listening of resentment.
Meaning “I don’t value how you got here, what you’ve achieved or where you’re going.”

3. We take part in the listening of superiority.
Meaning “I don’t value you as an equal.”

4. We allow for the listening of indifference.
Meaning “I don’t care about what you think or say.”

5. We wait with the listening of frustration that it’s not our turn to speak.
Meaning “I can’t believe I have to listen to this.”

6. We focus with the listening of hearing to learn.
Meaning “I value your experience, environment, knowledge, opinion, goals, etc. I bet I can learn something from you.”

Next time you need or want to listen to someone, check your focus, check your motives, and remember it's almost impossible to learn while we're talking.

Want a team that listens better, trusts more, and communicates more effectively? Contact me, and we'll build it together!



It's been 5 years since I've hosted Live2Lead in our area. I'm thrilled to bring it back this fall as a virtual event sponsored by the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership. You and your team can access these speakers who are training on how to "invest in what gives you the greatest return" while learning from the comfort and safety of your home or office in a way that works best for you, but also in a way that fits your schedule, regardless of where you live and work!

1. We'll have a live community chat on the platform - networking with like-minded leaders (and it's just us through this link).

2. Any ticket holder will have 3 days to view the event, although the live showing is on Friday morning, October 9th! You don't all have to step away from the office at the same time to all step into the content!

3. You can take and retain your notes inside the platform.

4. Guides for the event and additional resources will be provided (including prior year speakers' video content – available right now).

5. It's on sale - save $20 - pay only $79 per ticket! One person can even purchase multiple tickets and assign them out to a team via email across various departments or physical locations.



Live2Lead Information, Ticketing & Registration

Sponored by:   Hosted by:  

     Trudy Menke                       219-716-2108     

Copyright © 2020 Trudy Menke-Reframing Leadership, All rights reserved.

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