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Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Great Listeners Actually Do

This infographic is inspired by research presented in this article from Harvard Business Review: What Great Listeners Actually Do by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman.

Here are the four main conclusions emphasized in the article:

  • Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks.
  • Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem.
  • Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation.
  • Good listeners tended to make suggestions.
Be sure to read the article for many more valuable observations!


The sketchnote is by Tanmay Vora: Leadership and The Art of Effective Listening.



What Great Listeners Actually Do
Jack Zenger, Joseph Folkman
1. Ask questions that promote discovery and insight. Two-way dialog. Constructive.
2. Interactions that build self-esteem. Create a safe environment.
3. A Cooperative Conversation. Feedback flows in both directions. Challenge/disagree without making other person defensive.
4. Make suggestions skillfully. That open up alternative paths.
Good listener is not a sponge that absorbs, but a trampoline to bounce ideas off.
Levels of Listening:
1. Create a safe environment to discuss.
2. Clear away distractions and make eye contact.
3. Understand the substance. Ask questions. Confirm.
4. Observe non-verbal clues. 80% of communication.
5. Understand emotions and feelings about topic. Empathize.
6. Help other person to see issue in different light.

* One disclaimer: I am not a fan of these faux statistics like "80% of communication is non-verbal." All components of communication are important, and any mindfulness you can bring to bear in communication is valuable, no need for faux percentages.

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