fbpx
Art of Active Listening
Show Notes

Art of Active Listening (p245)

The BOLD Business Podcast is Listener Supported.

The value you receive from our podcast is how we fund the necessary work and continue this work.

Find out about benefits for our supporting listener community.

Starting the conversation:

When only 2% of people have formal listening training, it’s no wonder we face miscommunications. Do you really know the cost of NOT listening?

Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Marilyn Shannon, Oscar Trimboli, Rodolfo Ramirez

What You Will Hear:

Be in the conversation.

Structure workflow to support communication.

Use the experience of the past to build on the future.

Elements of Dimensional Leadership.

Not just about us.

Know the objectives when creating goals.

Is your communication orientation focused inward (I/me) or outward (we/us)?

Use the information you are collecting to find patterns.

Be on the lookout for ways to flip thinking when it will expand conversation.

Recognize how our brains are wired to listen.

Have a listening practice.

Notice who is with the conversation and who is being left behind. Circle back and collect with them.

Where do informative conversations exist and how can they be replicated into a process?

The way you show up to a conversation to listen.

It is BOLD to recognize there is a cost to not listening.

Notable and Quotable:

Marilyn Shannon - p245 - listening
Oscar Trimboli - p245 - listening
Rodolfo Ramirez - p245 - listening
Jess Dewell - p245 - listening

Transcript

Oscar Trimboli
Most of us don’t take the time to say what else tell me more, or use silence, because all we want to do is tell the person we’re speaking to how fabulous we are with more words.

Rodolfo Ramirez
A lot of people want to try to solve the whole thing at once. You have to break things down into smaller chunks.

Marilyn Shannon
Listening is trust. It’s the magic carpet ride. It’s gonna carry you somewhere safe and sound."

ANNOUNCER
Welcome. This is the BOLD Business Podcast. We want to thank our listener supporters who keep this podcast ad-free. Find out more at Red Direction dot com forward slash listener supported. Your business has many directions you can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. This idea is for you to apply to the opportunities and challenges you face. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. This podcast will provoke ideas and will give you insights to be inspired.

Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence with strategy and operations overlap. Your path comes from consistently working from the special place, your unique true north. Now, here’s Jess."

Jess Dewell
Everybody’s talking about communication. One part of communications that is necessary and required that most of us forget when we’re preparing, planning, sculpting, and giving whatever message we have is the fact that listening also plays a part. It’s interesting because whether all of that planning and preparation to give a message verbally, through text, from a stage, this way, auditory really doesn’t matter. What matters is what listening has gone into it. And when we don’t listen, what is the cost of that? To explore the cost of not listening with me, I had interviews with Rodolfo Ramirez, Maryland Shannon, and Oscar Trimboli. We had conversations about what it means, what do we do, how do we develop it, and its importance in the role of communication overall. You’re going to hear about listening practices. You are going to hear about how to start to uncover pain points. And you’re going to hear the role of silence that goes with listening. So jumping in, in this conversation about listening, we know it’s an art. We know we need to serve a moment. And we know that when we are in a moment and somebody is speaking to us, if we think we know the answer, that is the first good clue we must listen differently. We’re going to start with something that Marilyn Shannon shared. She is an experienced facilitator, author, mediator, coach. She is also the host of the international TV and radio program, “The Breaking Free Show."

Marilyn Shannon
You spend so much time trying to put yourself in an outline, that you’re not part of the conversation when we not if, but as we understand the essence of listening and what listening is about, it’s much simpler than we give it credit for.

Jess Dewell
Not only is it much simpler, it’s much more powerful than we give a credit for. So I wanted to start with that because when you take responsibility to listen, your questions get better, your observation improves, and more importantly, understanding the dynamics in the room adds depth to anything that somebody is saying. The entire conversation that is going down. And those types of observation can enhance, change or destroy a meeting, a conversation. And I know when we intentionally communicate, destroying it is the last thing that we want. But it’s easy to do. It’s easy to do, because we’re so busy. It’s easy to do, because we have so many priorities and we don’t know what to focus on. And somebody might be focusing on a priority that we have, and we might be focusing on a different priority. And us not recognizing that difference might accidentally hurt the conversation or stop it in its tracks. It’s even harder when we’re thinking about remote work, especially in this time that we’re in right now. There are many teams like Red Direction’s that are remote all of the time. And the way that we work together matters, the tools that we use, how we phrase things, even though we’ve worked together for a long time, many of u. we still have to put intention behind what we say, how we say it, and when we say it, so that not only the message that we’re sharing is there, but so that the person on the other side can listen. And I know me personally, I will speak for myself as the leader of this team, I’m also listening to how and what is being said so I can understand the headspace, the heart space, the gut space of each person on the Red Direction team so that we can maximize, focus and continue to do the work that we’re doing. So more now than ever, when things are crazy, when things are fast, we don’t necessarily know what’s gonna happen in the next four hours, let alone the next day. It is up to us to be the person people can count on, the person that people can tell things to, the person who can know that we will hear without judgment and we will hear from a perspective of intentional listening, that will move a conversation forward. So as a remote team, either practiced or brand new to this world, I asked startup founder and CEO, Rodolfo Ramirez: from swivel to share that with me. No swivel is a human in the loop AI platform. And their company empowers businesses to learn from and scale their customer experience and success efforts. So not only are they a remote team, they also serve their customers to understand how to listen to data, but it has to start with how we work with each other.

Rodolfo Ramirez
It really comes down to being transparent, and really, really focusing on communication. Those are really the two main factors on making remote work, work. We use a couple tools to augment our workflows, right? Slack is huge for us, we’re always in it. And that’s how we communicate. Trying to get out of inbox hell, and we use that for video. It’s when people that are remote also get work alone and so it’s also important for us to keep pushing each other and really short face because that sense of community and families. And so even when whenever we have question or problem or need to walk through something, usually just, “Hey, are you available?" And we set a time or if they’re available right there, we pop on slack and do a video call and just kind of walk through it real quick., That’s also a lot more efficient than just try and go back and forth in an email inbox.

Jess Dewell
Workflows are made up of structures. Personally, our workflows are going to be the personality in the way we do our work. And then within a larger context of a team, it’s how the team is going to do their work together and interact. And that’s what Rodolfo was sharing about. Even in person. with the amount of interruptions there are, even remotely, there are the same amount of interruptions in a day. So it’s how we handle that. It’s how we communicate. It’s how we know we’re taking the time before we just reach out and say, “Hey, knock, knock, can I run something by you?" we’ve actually thought what we want to run by that person. What that does in a practice is, every single time we are intentional about having thought about what we want to say, it also means we can add one more step. Once we ask it, whatever we’re going to ask to run by another person, we have that peace of pausing and receiving. And when we can receive, and really hear what they have to say, not only do they feel good, because we’ve actually heard their response, the interaction itself carries more meaning and develops a relationship. And so when to ask, what to ask, how to ask, all of those things just come by doing it. Going back to that workflow of structure, you could put a small structure around every single time you want to have an impromptu interaction. Now, how funny is that. You’re planning impromptu, or you’re planning spontaneity. Realistically, a tiny bit of structure will go a long way here. Because in the beginning, that’s exactly what you’re doing, adding structure, thinking about it. So is it really spontaneous? Maybe, maybe not. It is if the other person, we can go with this it is if the other person isn’t expecting you to stop by because you don’t have time on their calendar. More importantly though, it’ll become second nature. And so when you’re actively thinking about what do I want to say and what am I hoping to hear back, what is my intention for this interaction? And then actually hearing, listening to what is being said, is what is necessary. Because if all you’re looking for is affirmation, talk to yourself in the mirror. Oh, that was kind of harsh. I did not mean it to sound so harsh. That said though, sometimes we struggle and we pulled tight so much that we have a lot of baggage to go forward, which means no matter how intentional we are about listening, we can’t do it because we have too much other stuff that’s noisy hanging out around us. Oscar Trimboli: is a speaker, author and mentor. Not only has he been a coach supervisor, he is now a speaker, and he is the author of “Deep Listening: Impact Beyond Words." He is also the author of “The 125 over 400 Rule: The Art and Science of Listening and Breakthroughs. How to Confront Your Assumptions." He works with board chairs, directors and executive teams, both locally, regionally, and also globally. He has experienced firsthand and the transformational impact that leaders and organizations can have when they listen beyond words.

Oscar Trimboli
This is the struggle with losing your past to serve your future, and it is about bringing what is your useful from your past, and leaving behind what isn’t. What is unproductive. So most of us don’t understand the ritual of the funeral well enough. So with a lot of first-time leaders I work with, a lot of systems that are doing annual planning sessions, the very first exercise we do is the funeral exercise. What are we going to burn and leave behind that won’t service going forward and still acknowledge that it is useful in bringing us to where we are? And then what joyfully do we need to bring forward that we know needs to come with us? But to bring things forward that are more productive, we have to leave things behind. We have to make our backpack a little lighter, because we have to unlearn some things. And we need to make room in our backpack as we climb this mountain to learn new things in our leadership capability. And typically, that’s the shift in orientation for me, and the results are about me looking good to we.

Jess Dewell
That is the first shift toward Dimensional Leadership. What Oscar just shared is incredibly important. Now I’d like to highlight that the exercise, “Evaluating What are We Doing Today," and is it really serving us today? Or is it that baggage that I mentioned a little earlier, and letting go, and maybe grieving a little but in general, being joyful about letting go as much as being joyful about choosing what to bring forward. One thing that I appreciated about the conversation that I had with Oscar was his intention in the words that he used to describe. And communication can be joyful. And when it’s not, it’s something that we can look at. And if we don’t want to figure out how we’re communicating differently right now, most often the unjoyful comes from being misunderstood, or never having enough time, or feeling rushed, or being distracted. And I know people say, “Well, let’s just figure out how to communicate better to change that." And like to flip that on its head and say," Just stop and listen." What is it like to be in your body while you are really hearing and attempting to understand what somebody has to say. And then being able to reflect back what they said, not only to value their desire to tell you something, but also to value yourself and ensuring that you understand so that that communication process actually has a closed-loop. If you think about that old adage, stop dropping roll. Yeah, we’re stopping looking and listening. And it impacts our results. This concept of really choosing a place like this, to come from a place of listening will determine, do we have the right metrics? Do we have the right milestones? And most importantly, do we have something that actually empowers our team? Oscar also shared this with us.

Oscar Trimboli
It’s about us, getting the results that are going to sustain themselves, not just the real results because you’re the heroic leader in the moment, but the results because you’re the absent leader. And the team is capable of doing that. Many leaders struggle when they go on vacation because they act like managers. When they come back, they get frustrated because the team hasn’t done what they thought that would do. That’s because you’re turning up as a manager and not a leader in the way you lead these people, because your orientation is all about you and how the results and glory will reflect on you, rather than helping that team to sustain themselves beyond your presence.

Jess Dewell
It’s interesting how dimensional leadership showed up in each of the conversations that I had with this month’s guests. The other thing that I took away that really wasn’t said, this feeling that came up, this knowing was that each of the people I spoke to, myself, my team, you, your team, have a skill. There is a skill that you have that brings the need to lead with the management piece, to the accountability, to the budget, to the bottom line. And bringing that closer to the leadership piece. How do we show up? What do we want? What is the way we work together? Once you find that skill, and you can bring leading and leadership closer together, that’s when you are ready to start this Dimensional Leadership path. And you may already be on it and you don’t even know it. Because which skill is it that you have? That would be a reflection from me to you, as you continue to listen to the rest of this podcast. In the end, what we’re listening for matters. Regardless of the skill that we bring, maybe it’s listening, but maybe it’s how we listen or another skill that improves our listening. Starting to think about we is important. Also around that is knowing what is being looked for. And now we’re going to come at this what are we looking for in our listening. In this next segment, Rodolfo was telling me about, how do you start listening to the data that’s being collected? Well, it has to start with an objective. Now here’s what he says.

Rodolfo Ramirez
Having a solid understanding of what is the objective. And typically, if you have a good amount of data, it could be emails, it could be tickets. If you have a base and understand what that is, and you have a goal of what you want to understand., that’s a solid starting point. That could be your first step into this whole black box of what people think AI is. Because typically actually we make it super easy for businesses that want to start. Once you have that, you come to us and during a kickoff and onboarding, we like to have access to that data so we can actually ingest it into your account. And then once it’s in your account, we start labeling and creating categories. That’s how the machine will understand that. Then that process typically takes depending on the volume, that could take a week to two weeks. Typically having that base allows you to get started. The other thing that we have going is that we have data sets already created like verticals like e-commerce, at being hospitality, real estate etc., that already give you base, because we have had customers that have big goals for the year had low volume, or really that type of data that. They just didn’t have, they weren’t keeping track of it. They had an Excel sheets are in their email inbox, that’s the only thing that they used.

Jess Dewell
Red Direction is guilty of that. I’ll be honest, we keep a lot of stuff in spreadsheets. Here’s the thing though, we have data. So even though you might have spreadsheets too, or even though you may have some way of collecting data, how you connect it together can create an opportunity for you to listen, to customers externally, to listen to something outside of what you and your core team is thinking. So that’s where listening is really coming in here. Adds dimensionality and most important, keeps us on track to find patterns. When we listen we can find patterns.

Oscar Trimboli
When you’re in dialogue, is your oriented from you, as in, it’s all about my perspective on the world? So is it me? Or is it we?

Jess Dewell
Yep, is it me? Or is it we? Oscar’s focus and differentiation on this throughout the conversation left me recognizing how deep and how vast and how expansive Dimensional Leadership really is. So use this as a starting point, the next time that you are in a situation where you’re trying to figure out what to do. And if you have to do it quickly, the quickest way to start is to use this message from Oscar.

Oscar Trimboli
Where is your orientation? Is that attention in? Or is it attention out. And although it may feel slow to have your attention out and being we orientated, the conversations tend to go a bit slower at the beginning, but they go faster in the middle, and the end. The impact is much more significant. And I think the question I would pose back to that example you mentioned earlier on is, Take me or leave me, this is who I am is a very attention in, a very me orientated view of the world. And don’t get me wrong, it has a place that probably not in any environment, in commerce, where you need to solve a problem with more than one person.

Jess Dewell
And the bigger the problem, the more people we must bring along. We must invite along, which means slower at the beginning, set the stage so that everybody is working in the same direction, listening in the same direction, and moving toward the same goal.

Oscar Trimboli
So if you’re trying to have a big impact, then have your attention out and be oriented around we. If you’re trying to be right, and you’re trying to be perfect, and you’re trying to prove everybody wrong, then keep your attention in and on you, and just you. And you’ll be successful in being perfectly right about everything you don’t achieve.

Jess Dewell
Did you hear that? Stay focused in just on you, and you’ll be successful in being perfectly right about everything you do not achieve. We’re talking about awareness. And in this awareness Am I focused on me? Am I focused on we? And being able to move between the two quickly and eventually automatically is a skill in and of itself. And listening is a doorway to that. It seems counterintuitive because of how quickly things change, not only now in technology, but also in the way that we may get to do work, and the people that we may choose to see, and how we take care of ourselves, our families, our companies, and our communities. There is a different level of awareness that goes into that. And Oscar shared this with me.

Oscar Trimboli
I know this is true for me that I’m moved to a state of consciousness that goes, “What does the room need me to be in that moment," and have the range and flexibility to go, “I am not this box or that box, I show up to serve," not to be a servant, but to serve the room, the group, the environment, the system, whatever. And I think that’s where sometimes the extrovert introvert or all these disc models and all of that people use these labels to define themselves. And that’s not who they are. We’re human. We have this huge range, both intellectual and emotional capability. And we want to bring that in the moment.

Jess Dewell
And all of us doesn’t always fit in every moment. I’ve been reflecting on that since my conversation with Oscar, and here’s what I took away. I took away that as long as I’m showing up, as long as I’m all present, only certain parts of me need to be forward. It’s almost like a presence that I have in the room, in the conversation like with you right here as you’re listening, I am thinking about what you’re listening to, and how you might be listening, and what would be useful to you. I am not bringing other things that are going on in my life right now. I am going to pause to make a point though, and say, In this quick pause, what is going on in my life, schools have been shut down. We’ve been asked to stay away from people that we would normally interact with. We’ve been asked to change our lifestyles so that we can step out of society for just a little while because we have this thing happening in our community with this virus that is very aggressive. And that we all have to take some part in making it change, or being able to work within a larger structure. And if I brought all of me to this podcast right now, you’d be hearing about all kinds of things. How I’m doing my shopping? What is the impact to my family, specifically for my work, my husband’s work, and my son now not being in school? And the list goes on. And I’m just thinking, maybe I just want to have a pizza, chocolate right now. What that does is it adds cloudiness. And so now I’ve got to take all that right now it’s filled with emotion. You heard it in there. And I’m going to say, let’s pack that up. And we’re going to set it back aside, and you’re seeing me in this moment switching to say, what is best for this moment is to be focused on the intentional topic. How do we listen? And Oscar’s approach and his example is perfect for every single one of us to know, because we do our best work when we have something to put our attention on. When we can remove those distractions. I’m not saying compartmentalization is the right thing to do all the time. I’m saying it’s the right thing to do in an intentional dialog. Showing up for somebody that needs you, that may have the exact same stuff going on and just wants to be heard. Somebody who, or a team that is really confused and doesn’t know how to move forward because there are so many choices, and all this extra stuff ends up being like white noise that precludes and prevents a clear path forward. And that’s where you through Dimensional Leadership and intentional leading, can get rid of that white noise, and demonstrate, “Okay, this is what we’re focused on right now." And address the elephant in the room. Hey, there’s a lot of emotion Hey, there’s a lot of this, hey, there’s a lot of that. Or recognize people not saying it, yet impacting how they’re communicating and what they’re bringing to the table. What are you not saying to me right now? Is there something else going on that would impact this that you haven’t shared yet? Because it takes the charge out of other things and puts it on what you want it to be in that conversation. And then of course, this is all very intentional communicating. The listening side is and then whatever comes out, being able to receive that without a label, without judgment, and really hear and seek to understand.

Marilyn Shannon
Leaders who are in a leadership role will allow themselves to release, connect. Listen, don’t listen. Just listen and take their leadership deeper and deeper. They will find that they will be extraordinary and things will change.

Jess Dewell
They will change. They will change because listening is so powerful. It is empowering to everybody around us. When people know that they say something and they are heard, and we seek to understand them, the way interactions occur will change. It’s adding fertilizer to the soil in such a way that people are like, hey, okay, we’ve got something different here. And we can work with this. Now, can you do it? And we’re going to switch quickly back to technology, because in this concept, can you do it is directly related to the amount of distractions that you have, and how quickly you shift from one thing to the next to the next?

Rodolfo Ramirez
On average, people are using at least eight to 10 different tools. It’s not only within a business that there’s so many silos, being sales, marketing, whatnot that need to be communicating to work effectively. But now you have that layer on top of so many tools that are not talking to each other.

Jess Dewell
Have you ever thought about that? We have tools to communicate, yet we also have tools that are collecting data that don’t really connect, which means looking outward, taking this outward approach even more than me or we is them, our customers. How we decide our company is doing based off of external things around our customers, are defined by the tools we use. And when they’re not connected, we are setting ourselves up to miss patterns.

Rodolfo Ramirez
You have this wealth of knowledge that’s coming in, a lot of people would typically focus on top-level metrics, like how many people we have coming in and KPIs and blah, blah. And then they try to correlate it to that hard results to prove ROI. But then they’re missing most in between what’s going on. There’s so much knowledge there that you can learn from theM. How to optimize that your customers experience, your internal communications and experience etc. I think all types, you have to take a step back and really start working on your processes. It’s like a sales funnel. Whenever we’re working on our sales process and sales funnel, you have this whole funnel and you have different stages. A lot of people want to try to solve the whole thing at once. That’s not the right way to do it. You have to break things down to smaller chunks.

Jess Dewell
Slowing down the process just a little bit to be able to have a goal with milestones that are clear, enables whatever happens next with data collection, the work that is being done, to be a litmus test not only for achievement, we got there. Yet, it’s also a double check are our milestones. The right milestones. Did we miss one in between? Are the chunks between part one and part two too big? And if we’re getting scattered and unfocused, maybe it’s another time to stop and pause.

Rodolfo Ramirez
Now that you have the ability to focus in on a particular sticking point, now you can focus on that. And then once you solve it, you start going after the next thing. A lot of people don’t think like that, like you were saying you have to you have to change your mindset a little bit and really nailed down the most important problem like start the beginning, or wherever it is, and then go from there.

Jess Dewell
This element of problem-solving is showing And really at the same time it’s decision making. So I’m going to stick with the problem-solving part, though, because that’s what it is. What are we trying to achieve? What do we want to hear? Where are we wanting to go? And then using that as something to unravel, to break apart, to dig into in a systematic way. And we all have metrics. And we think we have the right metrics. Do we really listen to what the metrics tell us?

Oscar Trimboli
The system may be stopped speaking internally, this is what our company wants to achieve. This is the metrics. This is the KPIs. This is the KPI’s we have to hit. As opposed to speaking, there’s what our customers, this is what our marketplace, this is what the ecosystem needs.

Jess Dewell
Ah, we must be able to look at the metrics that we’re using, in relationship to me, we in them.

Oscar Trimboli
There could be a conversation that’s very “I" orientated, where each person in the room is adopting an individual perspective. Or a collective perspective where we talk about we, and we talk about us. There is a trade off there, because sometimes in being overly we and overly us, we don’t take responsibility for the performance of the system.

Jess Dewell
I’m so glad that that came out when I was speaking with Oscar, because there is a responsibility to ensure that we own what needs to be owned, and everything is owned, because as soon as something is shifted aside, or it’s not our job, or it’s not our responsibility, that’s where energy leaks out. That’s where productivity stops. And that’s what’s going to trip up the team moving toward the end goal.

Oscar Trimboli
And we use these labels that, for example, we and I often say to people stop wee’ing over each other, I need to understand what your personal responsibility is in this conversation. So I guess just once you’ve kind of diagnosed where the system is at, so let’s assume the system’s anchored in the past and problems. My role in that moment is to be the counter-point on the compass, to be the magnetic north to their south.

Jess Dewell
Oscar is talking about being able to help companies, to be able to go in and understand where a company is at, and bringing in a different perspective.

Oscar Trimboli
To get them to flip their thinking, to get them out of the moment and get them into the future. Always anchor it externally. And I will say things like, follow if I was representing the investors of this organization, what is their expectation for us in two weeks, two months, two years? If I’m a customer, to your organization, what is my expectation in two weeks, two months, two years? Because as much as the past is informing us, there are things we need to leave behind. There are things we need to bring forward. But can we just spend the next 15 minutes understanding what those we serve, what those we pay, are going to bring to us.

Jess Dewell
How amazing is it to think about asking ourselves, “What do we want our stakeholders to bring to us? Usually, when I go into a company, it’s the exact opposite. Here’s what we need everybody to do internally. And here’s what we expect everything to happen outward, externally, with our board or our customers. Being able to look at things from more than one perspective, shift the way that work is done, and the way in is by asking the question and listening to what comes back.

Oscar Trimboli
Now in that moment, you will bring some of the group, not all of the group, along Jess. And the noticing you have to do as a leader is who’s left behind? And you need to circle back, and you need to notice so one of the things you need to do in the moment as the leader is not to notice where the conversation is going, but is noticing who is left behind, and how to bring them along in the conversation.

Jess Dewell
How amazing is it to think about asking ourselves, “What do we want our stakeholders to bring to us?" Usually, when I go into a company, it’s the exact opposite. Here’s what we need everybody to do internally. And here’s what we expect everything to happen outward externally with our board or our customers. Being able to look at things from more than one perspective shifts the way the work is done. And the way in is by asking the question and listening to what comes back.

Oscar Trimboli
And in that moment, when you ask the customer, what is it for them at the in the next 12 months, what I want to do is help everybody understand when it comes to listening, most of us are going to get better odds at Las Vegas on a roulette wheel when we ask that question, because what happens for the customer when you ask them that question, the neuroscience of thinking and listening is very simple. We can speak at about 125 to 150 words a minute, yet our minds can think on average, on average at 900 words a minute, and the range is 600 words to about 1500 words a minute thinking. But if on average, your customer can think at 900 words a minute, and you ask them the question, what are their goals for the year, you’re going to get a one in nine chance that what they say is what they mean. Now that’s 11%. So if you want to go through discussions in cooperation systems, public organizations, where you want to live with a chance that every conversation is as good as turning a deck of cards over or flipping a coin, you got a better odds of flipping a coin, then you have of having a conversation where you listen to the first thing they say.

Jess Dewell
Okay, so this is where it gets real for all of us. We must ask the question that we want ask, “What are your goals in the next 12 months? What are the biggest things that your company is working on and grappling with right now? And take it a step further.

Oscar Trimboli
So if there’s a one in nine chance that the first thing they say, tell me about your goals for the year, the next thing you need to ask them is very simply three things. What else? Tell me more. Or if you really want to be brave, let silence do the heavy lifting in that moment, and you will double your listening productivity.

Jess Dewell
Yep. What else? Tell me more. That silence was intentional. And here’s the thing. One of the insights that I took away, that was common across all three of these conversations, is how important letting people tell their story in their own way, give their response in their own way. Because the type of verbs they use, the inflections that they have, what really matters to them when they’re light when their face lights up, all become clear, and we can use those things. And we can direct conversation to go deep, quick. We also need a listening practice to be able to do that, something that we can do intentionally throughout each and every one of our days.

Oscar Trimboli
James is the most rigorous, humble person I’ve met when it comes to a body of work. When he talks about the process he went through to write the book, originally a year, and eventually three, because what he realized that at the end of year one, what he was writing was wrong. And went back to the publishers and said, I’ll have to write this book, not that book, because it realized that where people were out with habit formation was with one more basic problems I had to deal with, thus, the Atomic Habits. It’s the intellectual humility that I respected in the conversation, where I said, “Hey, we’re gonna talk about the habit of listening," and he goes, “Well, that’s not a habit I’ve ever thought about this. Gonna be fascinating," and that became an interesting ping pong match, beautiful dialogue about in his perspective, the joy of curiosity and what curiosity can bring to learners.

Jess Dewell
You know, curiosity is one of my personal values. And it is something that we advocate for, for all of our clients at Red Direction. The curiosity can be brought to, what we know, what we need to know, and most importantly, what can you find out? So to be able to listen to somebody, you have to know that they have something to tell you, which means you have their attention. Marilyn shared this.

Marilyn Shannon
One thing I know from having a listening practices you need somebody’s attention. Know when you have it and when you don’t when you’re face to face with somebody, what are they doing? Are you asking for the time? Are you making sure you have enough time with them? I mean, there are certain steps that eventually once you start that come natural, then you automatically don’t even have to think about it. That’s why when you said I can do these things in seconds, yeah. I know in seconds when something when something I can hear in seconds when something is off, not all the time. Because sometimes I meant to work a little harder, because it’s also part of my learning and my growing and my digging and for another Aha. But when I do have it in seconds, it’s because I’ve been practicing to get it two seconds.

Jess Dewell
That’s right. The more we practice, the quicker we become at something.

Marilyn Shannon
Focus on how you showing up. Let that be something you listen. So am I showing up in this moment? Listen for how you’re showing up. am I showing up with a fullness with an openness? am I showing up with an agenda? Am I rushing? How am I doing when I’m rushing? I have to be somewhere in my present. You’re right listen in analyzing in a sense.

Jess Dewell
Questions that Marilyn posed about how we show up to listen set the stage for what Oscar shared with me. Earlier, Oscar talked about the importance of knowing what’s not being said. The importance of what’s beyond and behind the words that we use. And now, what we do with what we observe is as important as the initial intention of listening, because it furthers our ability to listen, and to get the information that another person really wants to share with us, and maybe doesn’t know how, or just needs a few minutes to process. So when we’re noticing these things, here’s a tip from Oscar about what to do.

Oscar Trimboli
Sometimes it’s as simple as saying to them, “Hey, Mary, where are you at with this?" Or in the break saying to Mary, “Hey Mary, given with decided to explore the future, is there anything from the past that you really want to have a chat about?" And nine times out of 10, they’re going to say, listen for these phrases, they’re going to say words like, “um, well, actually," or “you know what matters to me that we haven’t discussed?" These simple code words need to be resolved. So it’s a skill in the leader to notice weather systems currently and getting where it needs to be. And then noticing who’s not coming along not because they’re not committed to the journey. They just haven’t processed what they need to. And when we talk about listening beyond the words, it’s noticing these types of things. And you need to circle back, and you need to notice so one of the things you need to do in the moment as the leader is not to notice where the conversation is going, but is noticing who is left behind, and how to bring them along in the conversation. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying to them, “Hey, Mary, where are you at with this?" Or in the break saying to Mary, “Hey Mary, given with decided to explore the future, is there anything from the past that you really want to have a chat about?" And nine times out of 10, they’re going to say, listen for these phrases, they’re going to say words like, “um, well, actually," or “you know what matters to me that we haven’t discussed?" These simple code words need to be resolved.

Jess Dewell
When they aren’t, what happens is, we’re building an opportunity for people who are feeling unsafe, unsure, or an or to become feeling undervalued, and that’s a thing that we can all work better at. And the way that we connect. The space between us is so important, and Oscar and Marilyn both have talked about that, about the way that we put ourselves into a space so that we can move forward. Now, Rodolfo has also talked about technology and intention. And with that, there’s an experience that we can create. And we can create that experience, across space, outside of being in a physical location with each other, like a store.

Rodolfo Ramirez
You walk in, you’re instantly greeted by someone an employee who asks you what can they help you with? Some people have a straight, straight up question. And they can immediately help them. And so they will do that or they will route you to it yet to talk to you support over there. Other people just want to browse. Understanding at least what you’re browsing for, the employee can direct you to that part of the store. So seamless experience, you get what you want. You have the opportunity to browse, do whatever you want, you have a question you can ask. But then at the end of the day, you’re ready to check out. So now you’re going to go get directed to the checkout, you still are greeted by happy employees, they ask you questions, get any feedback, and then you purchase. Think about that on your website,. You’re asking, “Hey, I’m looking for this type of product that can help me with x." You’re able to understand that and they haven’t given us their name. They haven’t given us their email. They’re here because they’re looking for this particular category of a product. We understand that, we can redirect them immediately to that product page. They’re browsing but they’re learning. In the back end, though, what’s happening is we have alerts and push notification system where we’re alerting the right team.

Jess Dewell
Which ensures we are using technology to connect customers to the people within our organizations that can help the. And something that Rodolfo mentioned was seamless. When we first start practicing listening, it won’t be seamless, whether we’re using it and implementing it through technology to create a better experience for our customers, or external stakeholders or whether we’re using it internally. And we’re actually in a physical space with another person or a group of people. It will feel clunky, only to us because we’re the ones that are actively practicing it. We’re the ones that are putting attention on this and seeing how do I show up? How are other people showing u? What’s needed here? Can I offer and provide more of what’s needed here? And if I can’t, can somebody else in the room? And how do I fuel the listening so the right information gets across? Deep connections get made and more opportunity becomes uncovered and can be evaluated clearly and quickly.

ANNOUNCER
It’s time to take another brief break from our program. Earlier, Jess shared about what goes into each podcast, and why it is so important to be ad free, and listener supported. But why, why should you consider becoming a supporting listener? Jess has that answer.

Jess Dewell
As a supporter, you receive full access to expanded show notes including formatted transcripts, links to all the resources, full uncut interviews with each guests, by the way, which also have their own transcripts, and email notifications of new resources as they become available to you as a supporter. Supporters also receive exclusive access to a platform where you can ask your specific business questions to me. And you will receive a link to the bold business supporter podcast, which does not have a support a call out. Any other content that we decided to publish in that channel, as a value add, as well as access to carefully cultivated playlists that focus on key business and leadership topics. The Bold Business Podcast is a resource that helps you, and will remain free to you and to all. I do hope you find enough value in the podcast itself, and the additional exclusive benefits are worth it to become a supporter at a level that reflects its worth to you as an investment to your personal and your professional growth. The value you receive from our podcast is how we fund the necessary work and continue this work.

ANNOUNCER
And now, let’s return to the BOLD Business Podcast for the rest of the show.

Jess Dewell
It’s amazing how quickly, our brain works, and the things that it does in an effort to help us out. Listen to what Marilyn says about this.

Marilyn Shannon
I can make up a lot of stuff based on what I think I hear. And a lot of times I’m smack on, but there’s are some times where I’m not because of somebody’s history of somebody’s fear, I can hear even somebody let’s say somebody’s ego Well, that’s all based on somebody’s fear, but who am I to judge that? I’m not here to judge them, but I can pop to notice. Yeah, exactly. So, noticing listening to know that that is coming up somebody sphere so what do I do about it? So how do I come from a non judgmental place right in helping somebody open up with so why do you feel that way? Or you know, that makes me feel uncomfortable? Why do you feel that way? They want to say, just do it in a lead away as you possibly can.

Jess Dewell
Here’s the thing we have to watch out for though. Labels. We all place labels on people. Oh, that person talks too much. Oh, that person says a lot but never really says anything. Oh, that person’s an introvert. Don’t expect them to participate at all. Oh, this person is super analytical and is going to have these types of questions. Oh, this person’s an extrovert. The thing is, labels allow us to shortcut. They’re things our brain has allowed us to do. They are things that we do to become, and I’m using air quotes here, efficient and maximize our time. And yeah, that’s true. The thing is, when we start shortcutting the wrong things and we are quote unquote efficient around the wrong areas, we’re missing an opportunity for full connection, and we are not listening anymore. Our assumptions show up, and our ability to connect here and process and get the right information out of an interaction, becomes dulled. So here’s something that Oscar shared a story of his about labels.

Oscar Trimboli
I think probably for the first two decades of my career, I was comforted by a label, I’m an introvert. I could hide around that. It was only when I moved into more significant roles of leadership where I’m leading organizations and systems like the Microsoft ecosystem I was responsible for, it’s like 14,000 partners, a lot of livelihoods of probably about million people employed in that ecosystem alone. It was moments where I just went, that labels not useful for this conversation, and getting stuck where that label wasn’t helping to progress things that I had to make a choice in that moment. And am I that label or am I being the kind of leader that is needed in this moment.

Jess Dewell
What a powerful question for each and every one of us. Am I a label? Or am I being the kind of leader that is needed in this moment?

Oscar Trimboli
So, when I’m dealing with a lot of engineering people as an example, the last thing I should be a sequential, logical linear for them. I need to be different. And the opposite is true. I coach a lot of creative directors and I advertising agencies. And the last thing they need me to be is creative, future orientated frameworks models, a big picture. They need a different orientation there. So typically, the persona I always adopt is this, what does the customer need from this conversation? And if they think they’re crystal clear on that, what problem is our customer solving for their customers that this solve, and that one really draws the system out much faster, because too many people when they’re problem solving, think they’re solving problems for their customers. But if they solve problems for their customer’s customers, that are really systemic change.

Jess Dewell
For us to even understand what problems our customers are facing, we must ask. Early in the program, we talked about that. We referenced things around that. And to be a true partner, not just a solution provider, a true partner, knowing how we make our clients businesses better, or the customers that we serve experience better, is what creates longevity. That requires some anticipation. That requires planning ahead. That requires understanding that a vision for a company must be so big that there has to be a year plan, a five year plan and a 10 year plan, because it’s in that moment that we must have these long term plans, that we ensure we’re listening,. That we ensure we’re looking forward.

Oscar Trimboli
So it’s a skill in the leader to notice weather systems currently anchored and getting where it needs to be. And then noticing who’s not coming along not because they’re not committed to the journey. They just haven’t processed what they need to. And when we talk about listening beyond the words, it’s noticing these types of things.

Jess Dewell
There’s a lot to look at here, this concept of multi dimensional leadership is fully at play. Just when we’re talking about the skill of listening, think back to what we were talking about in a previous program about leadership is ongoing work, it’s all about awareness. Yes, to be able to listen, we must be aware. To be able to anticipate, we must be able to listen and be aware. All of these skills work together. So whether we’re focused on one or many (by the way, I recommend just one at a time) bringing them back into the forefront and focusing on them and developing that skill actively, knowing that the rest exist ,and that where you’re at with each of these other skills that helped create multi dimensional leadership support where you’re at. And guess what, that’s what I can help you do. So, provided this is interesting to you, you’re finding it useful, and you want to take the work further just reach out. Let’s talk. Going back to the data side of things, going back to the customer side of things, this concept of one to many, how do I listen to many people, and find the patterns that are useful to my business to our business for what we’re doing right now, and how we deliver on our mission, and fulfill our vision in five and 10 years from now? Rodolfo is talking about that from the AI technology side.

Rodolfo Ramirez
By being able to actively listen to a prospect or a customer, you get to uncover a lot of different pains and problems that they might not be surfacing as they talk.

Jess Dewell
Sometimes, because they’re not ready to tell us, and other times because they don’t even know what their real pain is.

Rodolfo Ramirez
Being conscious, and in present about doing that is very important in business phone, and especially just in our line of work. There is definitely a section of customer education that comes into play whenever we are selling our solution and what we can do for you. By having an understanding that before you walk into a meeting and whatnot, you’re already conditioned that to start listening outside of what somebody just you know, spilling out about, you know, this is this is my what I think my problem is. Why not? Because in many ways, many times there they are right but then you have to it’s like an onion and yet to start peeling a little bit, really uncover what’s going on.

Jess Dewell
Patience is another skill that is coming up for me that ties into anticipation, listening, problem solving all these elements of Dimensional Leadership. It takes time to be intentional. It takes time to intentionally listen, to find the right questions. And when you’re willing to do that, you really can uncover what’s going on.

Rodolfo Ramirez
That’s huge. And that could play for customers and sales or even just other sections of life like relationships or even dealing with employees, you really have to keep that in mind.

Marilyn Shannon
Listening is bold, because you trust Hmm, that’s it. Listening is trust. It’s the magic carpet ride. It’s trust. It’s going to carry you somewhere, but it’s going to carry you somewhere safe and sound.

Jess Dewell
So it’s not trust from other people. It’s not your trust in other people. It’s trust in yourself. There’s another element that can build our confidence and our willingness to use listening. And this is the concept of silence.

Oscar Trimboli
In the West, we have an interesting turn of phrase when it comes to silence. We talk about the pregnant pause, we talk about the awkward silence, we talk about the deafening silence. Yet in the East and in ancient cultures, silence is a sign of respect. It’s a sign of authority. It’s a sign of wisdom, and it’s a sign of connection. It’s a way to connect the consciousness of the group together. Now many people think of that as a lot of whoo hoo, yet the most commented thing in 2014 in the Google employment survey was the fact that if you had a meeting of six or more people for that year, they were encouraged to do a three minute meditation or pause before a meeting commenced. And it wasn’t about compensation, wasn’t about stock options in the employee engagement survey, for the subsequent year was the impact that that silence created for the group’s consciousness to come to that moment, and be present to be focused on the challenge of the meeting, the problem, the thing that they were trying to solve.

Jess Dewell
What’s coming up for me here is the fact that there’s this element of being in this space with each other, each one of us has an energy signature. Each one of us has an intention we’re bringing to the meeting. And in a space where we are all together, letting our energies be, gives us all a sense of what’s in the room with us so that when we turn up our listening, we’ve had a period of time to just be with each other in a space.

Oscar Trimboli
So the boldest thing most leaders can do, most owners can do, most employees can do, most spouses can do, most parents can do, most siblings can do is just become comfortable and let silence do the heavy lifting. Because if you’re in good relationship with someone, silences, okay,. And trust your intuition to know when to use silence. But too few of us are comfortable with silence. We just want to fill in the gap. Silence can do a lot more than what we think And honestly, Jess, I think it’s the boldest thing we can do when it comes to listening.

Jess Dewell
So much has come out of this program. The interviews that I had with Marilyn, with Rodolfo, and Oscar brought up these themes that these independent conversations have some commonalities between them. And the way that we go about listening, the way that we use information collected when we listen, and what we can do with listening to improve our Dimensional Leadership, is going to impact the type of leader that we are, the amount that we can achieve. As you wrap up with me here in this podcast and move on to the next one, or to the next part of your day, take this with you, taking time to listen increases your capacity to notice, to increase your overall awareness. And you can know by listening, what will serve this moment. What really needs to be said here, if anything at all. Maybe silences and the answer also. And who isn’t fully engaged in the conversation, and recognizing to follow up with them later. Thank you for joining us today for this podcast. I look forward to sharing time with you in the next one.

ANNOUNCER
The BOLD Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Direction. Jess Dewell dug into one idea in this program. Her goal is to ignite your creativity and spark different thinking with the presented material. How you apply this to your current priorities is up to you. We want to know what actions you take. Use hashtag #boldbusinesspodcast and add your voice to this important conversation. Jess Dewell can bring the missing voice back into your company. With you, Jess will solidify your company’s true north, your unique Red Direction. Provided you are ready to work with Jess, email her at Radio at Red Direction dot com. Special thanks to the SCOTT Treatment for technical production.

Visit reddirection.com. Remember, preparedness and the right perspective.

For more UNCHARTED, and Bold Business Podcast episodes check out and subscribe on Apple podcast

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name

E-Mail

Website

Comment

Pin It on Pinterest