056: Become a Better Listener: The Framework You Need to Bring Value to Others



Leadership skills can only take you so far if you’re not a good listener. A few years ago, Shane began working with a Listening Coach. Through working on his listening skills, he learned that being a good listener is a lot more than just sitting quietly while another person talks. True listening is about helping people self-discover their own solutions.

Welcome to Episode 56 of the Executive Minds Podcast.


Can You Hear Me Now? by Dr. Dallas Demmitt

Why I Stopped Solving Problems for My Team

Listening to Customer Feedback in the Validate Stage


Shane’s Listening Coach, Dr. Dallas Demmitt, created a simple but effective framework to become a better listener and thinking partner. Here are three ways you can become a better listener today:

1. Ask: How can I bring value to the person I’m listening to?

In order to truly be a good listener, you need to understand the person across the table. This is called anchoring the conversation. It’s putting yourself in a position to truly value the person you are listening to. Ask yourself: “How do I make ___ feel valued and appreciated?” Remember, the goal of listening isn’t to solve problems… it’s to help others self-discover their own solutions.

Read Shane’s blog post: Why I Stopped Solving Problems for My Team

2. Eliminate outside distractions.

One of the hardest parts of being a good listener is focus. Even if you’re listening, a quick glance at your watch or checking your phone can be perceived as you checking-out. Ask yourself: What’s most important here: The solution and your time? Or your ability to help the person? If it’s the ability to help the person, then put away your phone.

3. Summarize their thoughts back to them.

Allow someone to hear their own thoughts. Recap what they said to you and repeat it back to them. This moves you from solving their problems for them to taking them down the path to self-discovery.