Host Kevin Monroe welcomes back his guest from episode 57, author Oscar Trimboli, to continue their conversation about deep listening. They talk about the cost of not listening, listening villains and how to overcome distraction.
This is the Century of Listening
Kevin recalls a statement that Oscar made in episode 57: “The biggest productivity gains for leaders and systems is by listening more, not learning to speak more effectively. We spent the last century learning how to speak. We’ll spend the 21st century learning how to listen.” Oscar says that we are going back to our storytelling traditions, and there will also be a correspondent focus on improving our listening skills. Stories are a great way to teach children to listen.
The Cost of Not Listening
Kevin estimates that the cost of not listening is about $73 billion per year. In some notable crises in recent history, it took people outside of the system who were listening, to point out the impending disaster. Sadly, they were ridiculed at the time. Oscar points out that we find it difficult to pay attention to people who are different because we’re listening to prove them wrong. When you find yourself violently disagreeing with someone, he says, ask yourself which of your assumptions could be false, and what could you learn from that person. That is listening on a deeper level.
The Math of Listening
Eric explains the 125/400 and the 125/900 rules and how they keep us from listening well. He describes a good listener as one who helps the speaker to discover their own meaning.
Most people think they are better listeners than they are. Oscar helps people in the workplace discover which of the 4 listening villains they actually are:
- The shrewd listener, who pretends they’re listening but actually thinks they’re smarter than the speaker;
- The interrupting listener, who just wants the speaker to get to the point;
- The lost listener, who is stuck in his own head; or
- The dramatic listener, who always has a bigger, better story.
Kevin shares a simple practice from Oscar’s book that helps him overcome distraction to listen better. That practice is simply to pause for a moment and breathe. Oscar says that putting your phone into flight mode and drinking a glass of water are other simple steps you can take. He finds that these simple practices have a big impact on business: meetings start earlier and end sooner, projects come in under budget, customers are happier, and employees stay with the company longer.
Join the Listening Challenge
Kevin and Oscar invite you to join them in the Listening Challenge. It’s an opportunity for you to discover your listening villain, remove distractions and become comfortable with silence. You can enroll at ListeningChallenge.com.
Oscar’s book: Deep Listening – Impact Beyond Words
Join the Listening Challenge