Hello listeners and listening catalyzers.
This is Raquel Ark, and welcome to Listen IN. Listening can be a superpower in surprising ways. Join me, and be inspired by listening researchers and professionals putting listening into practice beyond what we typically think. We share experiences, ideas, and resources that can help you be more effective at work and at home. Enjoy listening in!
Empowering Voices for Social Impact and Connecting Communities with Ramona Houston
Everyone has the capacity to make a difference on the social challenges that face us every day. Helping financially is one way, yet there are so many other ways we can have social impact. Building relationships in our communities where all voices are heard and considered in a foundation building block to create a collective effort which can bring forth massive change.
And sometimes, as leaders, we try out “great” solutions to people's problems, yet are surprised they don't work. Maybe this is because we fail to listen first to the very people who are impacted and who may already have the answers to the issues at hand.
In this episode, you will find out more about how giving people voice empowers significant transformational change in our communities, as a force for good.
Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP, has a multifaceted career as a scholar, educator, and community engagement strategist. Sought for her expertise, Ramona is widely recognized as a thought leader in African American/Latino relations. An American historian and emerging public intellectual, Ramona specializes in 20th-century American history, civil rights, and race relations, specifically its African American and Mexican American dimensions. Through her blog, Ramona explores and critically analyzes current affairs from a historical and bicultural perspective, informing readers how contemporary issues and events relate to and or affect the African American and Latino American communities. She also devotes much of her blog to highlighting, celebrating, and promoting these two communities' history, people, culture, organizations, and events. Ramona shares her knowledge in all types of settings. She presents lectures and workshops for institutions and organizations, appears as an expert panelist and guest analyst for various programs and media outlets, and contributes print and online media columns. Through her publications and presentations, Ramona seeks to promote the importance of diverse groups working together in order to increase their capacity and effectiveness in producing positive social change. In this episode, Ramona shares how the only way to bring about a significant social impact is to listen. As she said, if we want an enormous societal impact, we need not only bring solutions we perceive to be effective, but rather talk and listen to the very people directly affected who already know best the answer to their problems. Besides, financial reward is not the only means to consider resources; creating relationships and influence can also make all the difference.
"Everybody can contribute and do good. No matter who you are, where you live, or area of expertise. All of us have the capacity, and I would also argue the responsibility to make an impact." - Ramona Houston
Listen IN Notes:
01:11 - Ramona on realizing the power of listening: It started when he was dating her now husband, how he taught her the power of resolving conflicts and not letting them fester.
06:47 - Pause and respond: "Everybody has their timing in communication, and part of listening is being able to pause."
09:15 - What it means to have a social impact: Having social responsibility while making money.
11:47 - Showcasing social impact: "One way to express this is by instituting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility strategies in your business."
15:19 - How to understand the needs of people: "You understand the needs by listening to people who have the solutions."
18:53 - Breaking down and building up systemic structures: Who is often called in to do the “job” and who needs to step in to make real change.
21:29 - Voice and Empowerment: "There are many ways to look at resources. If you learn to recognize and value the various ways that people can impact your effort, you will be able to engage so many more resources and make such a greater impact."
26:07 - Looking beyond money: How some people have something else to contribute beyond just fin
Be a Superstar Communicator: How to Speak to be Noticed, Respected, and Heard with Susan Heaton-Wright
How can we speak in a way that will drive people to easily listen and understand our message? Learn the art of communication with us today, so you can be noticed, respected, and heard as you speak!
Susan Heaton-Wright is the founder of SuperStar Communicator, where she helps empower individuals and teams to be impactful, and communicate with confidence, clarity, credibility, and influence in all business conversations. She created the SuperStar Communicator™ methodology and has supported clients globally to be better-spoken communicators.
Susan is a multi-award-winning business owner. She is the CEO of award-winning Viva Live Music, and is a former prize winning international opera singer. She has a podcast called SuperStar Communicator, and volunteers for Love without Borders, supporting refugees in Athens.
In this episode, Susan shares the 5 areas one should consider in being an effective communicator. She explains how to be concise and make information easily digestible in conversations, even for time-pressured executive leaders so that you can get your message across with impact. We also dive into unconscious bias and the importance of being aware of how this impacts our listening. This episode if full of practical tips and ideas to help you on your professional journey
“Speak, so it’s as easy as possible for other people to listen and understand you.”
– Susan Heaton-Wright
Listen IN Notes:
00:11 – From music to business conversations: Susan has always been aware of listening, with the awareness starting from her background as a musician
01:30 – Project to be noticed: Susan shares the story behind her dream to go to university
04:50 – A message to her 17-year-old self: “Own my success, and make sure that other people know about it.”
06:17 – I Am Remarkable: How do you own your success, let people know, and inspire them through it?
10:54 – It is doable, therefore, possible: Self promotion as a fuel you can maximize to be known
12:27 – Five key areas to become a superstar communicator: Audience, content, preparation, performance, and voice
16:20 – On speaking to be heard: Keeping things concise and clear, and having a call to action
19:46 – Hard work makes people switch off: How to use your voice in a way that will make people listen to you
22:45 – A recording could help: Susan’s thoughts on translating the key areas into written communication
27:12 – Clear the blocker: “We don’t hear the same voice that everybody else does, because we are hearing our voice internally.”
28:32 – How to communicate with busy people: Be brief and interesting
32:05 – A friend or a foe: Breaking the bias on selective listening by looking for common denominators
40:36 – A helpful tool: “Be present. Be in the moment.”
41:45 – Today’s takeaway: “Speak, so it’s as easy as possible for other people to listen and understand you.”
42:21 – Check out Susan’s 10 top tips to being a SuperStar Communicator. Go to www.superstarcommunicator.com/ten-top-tips
“There always has to be an audience in these business conversations. Otherwise, it’s a fest of people talking over each other.” – Susan Heaton-Wright
“One of the things about self promotion; a lot of people feel very icky about that, but then, look around the successful people – some of whom are really brilliant, and some of whom you might think, How did they get there?. It has been through self promotion. They know how to play the system. They know that it is worth their while making sure that they speak up, that they respond to what other people are saying, that they are doing extra things alongside their job. So then, other people within the organization begin to get to know them.” – Susan Heaton-Wright
“We should speak so it is as easy as possible for other people to listen and un
Managing Remote Teams: How to Achieve Together When Everyone is Working from Home with Luke Szyrmer
When working with a team, how do you effectively help each other while knowing that emotions are and will always be part of communicating?
Lots of things are being done in a company with all the skills of different employees. By combining the I’s to form the we, we allow everyone to show up in the best way that makes them productive.
However, there are times when a project feels so heavy because those who are involved weren’t able to communicate properly.
Remember that communication is also a form of listening.
Join us in this episode as we learn how we can work in a remote team while making sure that everyone hears and understands what each person is sharing.
Podcaster on Managing Remote Teams, Luke Szyrmer has managed or participated in remote-only teams for almost a decade and has led teams building software, running marketing, and sales. Most recently, he led a program of approximately 30 distributed across 13 time zones and 8 different locations. Luke is the author of the #1 bestseller Launch Tomorrow and Managing Remote Teams: How to achieve together when everyone is working from how.
In this episode, Luke shares what he does to help remote teams achieve success and why facilitating is as important as listening when working with teams across time zones. He gives tips on how to engage introverts who work in the second language so that the value they bring is not lost on the team.
“If you do a lot of hierarchy, then just be aware that it can filter out important voices or data points.”
– Luke Szyrmer
Listen IN Notes:
00:20 – Short Backgrounder: How playing his guitar as he grew up led Luke to notice the power of listening
04:15 – Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Luke shares the spark that inspired him to write a book and start a podcast about managing remote teams
09:16 – Lesson Learned: Luke’s piece of advice for his younger self in relation to one’s tone as we write and/or speak
14:04 – Choose Wisely: How to work with a team, knowing that emotions will always be a part of the process
19:19 – Facilitator > Manager: Getting people to show up in the best possible way, with as much of themselves as they can in work
24:41 – Show Us How It’s Done: Luke shares how he structures a workshop-type of meeting when working with teams
30:59 – Bye ‘I’, Hello ‘We’: Focusing more on working together as you deal with the fear of not being understood
32:44 – Finished or Not: Why it is important that team members have a common definition of the word ‘done’ as they hold themselves accountable to that
37:00 – Responding to executive demands: “It then becomes a question about resourcing and not about whether or not the team is underperforming”
40:24 – How Luke listens to the energy in his team: “You ask them. Make it okay to talk about that.”
46:32 – Learn from Luke: One important thing leaders should know when it comes to remote work
54:48 – This Distorts Listening: The hierarchy within a company as something that’s meant to be a filtering mechanism
59:34 – Luke talks about his book, as well as his podcast, Managing Remote Teams
“Music is a window into an emotional state over time.” – Luke Szyrmer
“It feels great to be listened to, definitely. It is a way of communicating respect for what someone's saying in addition to making them just feel good about it.” – Luke Szyrmer
“When you are communicating purely textually, there still is tone on what you write, but it is very context-dependent. The same words can mean very different things, depending on exactly everything else that’s said around them.” – Luke Szyrmer
“They [meetings] should be fun. If they’re not fun, then probably, you don’t need a meeting.” – Luke Szyrmer
“It doesn’t really matter so much what that definition [of ‘done’] is,
The #Listening #Coach unlocking #potential towards growth and fulfillment by Jane Adshead Grant
As we live in a world where there are lots of distractions, be that from modern technology or from people constantly telling us what to do, we often forget that as humans, we yearn to be noticed and heard too. Just as how important it is for us to listen to others, we also shouldn’t forget the value of listening to ourselves first.
Without fully understanding who we are and what we’d want to become, how can we even help others to feel like they’re safe and heard? Without listening to what our inner self has to say first, how can we even expect ourselves to hear voices of this world?
Lending your ears, your heart, and your soul as you listen to people will impact that person’s life forever. Nevertheless, remember that you also have a soul that’s asking to be cared for.
Author and speaker Jane Adshead Grant has more than 30 years’ experience as an HR practitioner and a professionally trained and accredited executive coach and facilitator within Professional and Financial Services. Jane works with senior executives to create greater self-awareness, lead more effectively, enhance communication and influencing skills and create a culture where stakeholder value is created for everyone.
Jane recently published the book the Listening Coach, a practical pocket guide to help you coach yourself through the elements of listening that are critical in life, in business and in your community. She aims to inspire people to think for oneself in order to unlock one’s potential from within. Jane provides generative attention and listening which then results in clients achieving clarity, confidence, and new ways of moving forward towards an environment of growth and fulfillment.
In this episode, Jane talks about the levels of listening as she discusses why self listening is a must before actually being able to listen to others well. Jane also reminds people how important mindset is as we go on with our listening journey.
"In order for us to listen well to another, we need to listen first to ourselves, because when we listen to ourselves and connect with who we are, we begin to develop a sense of stability, and it’s in that stability that others can seek refuge in us.” – Jane Adshead Grant
Listen IN Notes:
01:47 – On starting to notice the power of listening: Growing in an environment where listening was absent influenced her work in listening.
06:50 – Raquel shares a similar experience. Jane notes the value of looking for the good in others and acknowledging them as a human being.
09:47 – Where listening begins: Self listening involves being present with oneself and understanding more about who we are as a human being
12:58 – Connecting with people through regular listening sessions allows Jane to create a safe environment where people are heard and nurtured, which benefits both Jane and the others.
16:03 – Jane’s practice of taking the time and space to connect deeply with oneself, and why it is an act that could be difficult for some
20:37 – The five levels of listening: listening to self, pretend listening, factual listening, empathetic listening, generative listening
26:14 – Teaching how to listen in order to avoid pretend listening: Listening is an active skill. It requires giving attention, not simply paying attention.
29:50 – Play rather than Obey: Making assumptions in difficult times, especially when there’s the feeling of being stuck.
39:41 – Incisive questions are questions that ignite the mind to play.
44:28 – Mindset of Listening: Applying the growth mindset in listening. Asking, “What is the mindset in which I’m about to listen?”
48:33 – Including the fun in listening: Story of a family who had a lot of fun with the help of Jane’s The Listening Deck
51:57 – The Listening Coach: Jane shares more about her book The Listening Coach, a practical pocket guide. It will h
Aligning #Communication and Building a Strong #Listening #Culture Through Listening Training with Laura Janusik
How do we develop a listening culture that helps us listen more effectively to create better relationships in our personal lives and at work? One way is through listening training using meta-cognitive strategies. Learning how to listen to our listening behaviors WHILE we are listening, so that we can grow and adjust for more impact.
Laura Janusik helps individuals and teams better align their communication through the Power of Listening. She is considered a worldwide expert in teaching and training listening based on her 20+ years of being a scholar, researcher, teacher, and trainer. She is currently helping leaders in the private industry as well as ICF certified coaches.
In this episode, Laura shares fascinating multicultural listening behaviors across the world and how this helps us lay the foundation to find common ground to understand each other, allowing for better communication. She also highlights that for change to happen and for diversity, equality, and inclusion to be truly felt, listening should be tied down to the organization's bottom line because that's when better results happen. She shares stories, research and strategies for leaders to develop a listening culture.
"The better relationships we have with people are developed through better listening." - Laura Janusik
Listen IN Notes:
07:11 - Laura's listening program: I've got 12 different chapters. And each chapter is based on research, and it targets a different area.
09:39 - Fascinating perceptions on turn-taking and silence in other cultures
12:40 - The confusion that comes with intercultural communication behaviors
15:24 - Creating communication patterns that help us understand multicultural listening behaviors
17:32 - Important elements of listening: First, that listening is a habit. Second, a study found four dominant listening habits.
19:13 - Explaining the four dominant listening habits: Connective, Reflective, Analytical, Conceptual
22:33 - The blindspot that opened up for Laura with her analytical listening habit
23:29 - Laura's experience of the power of listening that had a huge impact on her
29:48 - Practicing listening in her work: working in leadership development with both individuals and leaders, or with leadership teams to develop listening cultures.
32:01 - Mindblowing listening experience: to see that other people could see different things and feel different things and understand different things while we were all looking in and experiencing something together.
34:45 - Laura shows interest in doing research on the metacognitive listening strategies
39:49 - Leaders need to understand listening: One of the most important things to recognize is that perception is reality.
41:31 - How leaders can support a listening environment: It really needs to come from the top down. Once we are better able to tie listening to the bottom line through the research, I think that we'll see a lot more organizations wanting to become listening-centric or listening-focused.
43:39 - The challenges facing the diversity, equality and inclusivity (DEI) movement
46:18 - Goal of communication versus the goal of listening
48:56 - Message of inspiration from Laura: It's never too late to become a better listener.
"That's what gets really confusing with intercultural communication because we use our own norms to judge whether the other person. And we then make so many incorrect assumptions of what's going on." - Laura Janusik
"When you see how you're listening, you recognize what your blind spots are, what you haven't been listening for, and what you've been allowing to just strain through your strainer. And you begin to understand why other people on your team have very different interpretations than you do. Because they prefer a different listening habit." - Laura Janusik
"The quality of listening determines the quality of relationships." - Laura Janusik
"Whenever you're going to change a culture of listening, yo
'Listening 2by2: A Paradigm Shift for Leaders'
Leadership can get lonely. And when under pressure, it's often hard to be vulnerable in front of your team members. It can feel like the weight of decision-making and responsibility falls all on you. What if there were another way. One that could create a transformative culture where everyone is heard and valued, giving rise to enthusiasm and engagement, growing a better and stronger organization.
Authors Michael Gingerich and Tom Kaden co-lead the organization Someone To Tell It To, whose mission is to cultivate meaningful relationships through compassionate listening and training others to do the same. They have recently launched their new book, Listening 2by2: A Paradigm Shift for Leaders', showing how listening to stories is a powerful tool In this episode, Tom and Michael share how they strive every day, either at home or in the workplace, to listen with intention. They also talk about their book and the story of a CEO’s leadership journey, where they paint a culture of listening as a paradigm shift that can create unexpected magic for an organization. It creates an atmosphere where people feel safe to express themselves and their vulnerabilities, they are heard and known better, relationships are deepened, and people are more valued. And this leads to success in an organization.
"In order to listen well, you have to believe that the person is worthy of being heard. That's what we believe is at the top." - Tom Kaden
Listen In Notes:
01:06 - Experiencing a powerful impact of listening two-by-two: Having two team members listen to them as leaders about some of the burdens carry as the CEOs that not everyone else knows about. It's just so healing for us. And, we found just a lot of comfort and safety. But it's just nice for us to be the ones being heard.
07:28 - Describing the new paradigm shift of listening 2by2: If we are not listening, we are not hearing what others need. We're not hearing their ideas, we're not understanding their feelings, we're not really paying attention to them, really not valuing them, really not enabling them to be the best people they can be. That's a picture we want to paint that we want to show people that listening needs to be at the very top of everything we do.
14:02 - How does listening 2by2 create that sense of safety: It helps to give more courage to whatever needs to be said, whatever needs to be shared
17:28 - How they vet the listening pairs in their organization so that they get along well and see things in common and divergent ways.
19:47 - How having different perspectives complement more and become very helpful
22:21 - Listening with intention can change culture: If you ask those you lead how they'd like to be treated, and then intentionally listen to their answers, and respectfully consider them, you will have the beginning of a transformed culture that helps people be excited and enthusiastic about their work.
25:33 - They describe the acronym LISTEN from the book: the value that we've assigned to the last letter N is Notice. The CEO in the book, began to notice his employees. And that made a huge difference. Then that also translated to home, where he noticed things about his children, about his wife. And their relationships improved. And he was happier.
27:44 - Noticing others creates an opportunity to notice oneself and the different layers to oneself that needs work
28:31 - Listening as a facilitator of change: It's exciting to see team members who are excited about what they do, who constantly strive to do better, who constantly want to be their best, and have new and creative ideas all the time because it's safe.
30:15 - The paradigm shift that happens when you become the story seeker in listening
33:31 - The huge impact leaders bring when they know how to care: To know that others know who we are makes a huge difference.
34:36 - Simplifying self-care for leaders: At the end of the day
I am one of the guests on the podcast. Really appreciated the loving attention Raquel gave as she listened. The energy being present generates in listening and speaking is absolutely amazing. You will feel the energy as you listen!
Listen to Listen IN
I highly recommend this podcast about the important topic of listening. Raquel Ark is a skillful interviewer and brings out fascinating information from her guests.