3 Listening Skills Exercises For Leaders - Meeting Leadership Podcast Episode Image

MLP 014: 3 Listening Skills Exercises For Leaders

If you want people to follow you then you have to know how to listen deeply and authentically.

In MLP #014 you’ll grow your leadership skills by learning these three techniques:

  • You’ll find out how to be the most interested person in the room
  • You’ll get a quick tip about why repeating what you’ve just heard is so important
  • You’ll also discover why talking less will help you inspire your team

And remember…

‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:27 – Start Here – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard Speaking

Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard and I’m so grateful that you’ve taken time out of your busy day to join me here. And on today’s show we’re going to go back to leadership basics, because today we’re going to cover three listening skills exercises for leaders. And let me give you a quick overview of what we’re going to cover. The first exercise is the idea of getting interested. The second is to repeat what you’ve heard. And the third, and maybe we can all do this one, is talk less. 

01:01 – The Meeting Leadership Solution Book Link – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/book

And just before we get going, I want to make you aware of a resource that will help you go even deeper on these ideas. And that’s my book called the Meeting Leadership Solution and you can get that by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/book, that’s meetingleadershipinc.com/book.

01:19 – Exercise 1 – Get Interested

Okay, so let’s say you’re sitting in a meeting and you’re having a tough time really staying tuned in, right? The first listening skills exercise is to get interested, and I’ll give you a bit of background on this idea for me. Now, one of the biggest lessons that I learned at the Neighborhood Playhouse acting school in New York where I studied for a year, is that the most interesting people are those who are the most interested. So how can you be the most interested person during your next team meeting, regardless of what people are talking about? Here’s a few suggestions. If you are bored by what someone is saying then sharpen your focus by remembering the key things that you actually appreciate about them as an individual. You could also take notes during the meeting and then afterwards you can connect with individuals and ask them to clarify what they were saying. And finally you may want to work with your meeting leader, the facilitator, to make sure that they’re not bringing too much boring content or allowing too much boring talk to happen during the meeting.

02:20 – Exercise 2 – Repeat What You’ve Heard

 And here’s the second exercise. Repeat what you’ve heard. You know, one of those other techniques that I picked up at acting school was the art of repetition. For example, if someone says something during a meeting, one of the best ways to demonstrate that you heard that person is to repeat back what he or she said. And if you really want to deepen the connection then say that person’s name when you repeat back what you’ve heard. Because hearing somebody else enthusiastically say your name, well, that can be the sweetest sound in the world.

And let me give you an example where you’re the facilitator and you’ve got a colleague named Susan and you’ve got to wrap things up at the end of the meeting. You might say to Susan, “Given what we’ve talked about here today in the meeting, what are you going to do when you leave the room?” And then Susan will give her answer. Now if you listen carefully to that answer, you’re going to hear some keywords and key points. Then what you can do after she’s done talking, is you can summarize them and at the end of what she said, you would say her name. So you would say, “From what I’m hearing you say, you’re going to go and get the budget’s done by the end of the week and then report back to the team. Is that correct, Susan?” And that is how you repeat what you’ve heard.

03:32 – Exercise 3 – Talk Less

 And now we come to the third and final exercise for this episode and that is to talk less. Now we all know that another way to become a great listener is to know when to shut up. You know, it’s like the Greek philosopher, Epictetus said, we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Now that is a great listening to speaking ratio to keep in mind for your next meeting. And if you think about it, you’re already doing this with your best customers. So why not treat your meeting teammates with the same level of respect by listening more and talking less.

04:09 – Recap Of 3 Exercises

And let me take a moment to recap the three listening skills exercises for leaders. One, get interested. Two, repeat what you’ve heard. Three, talk less. And I think that we all know that if you and your team employ these simple listening techniques, your meeting productivity will shoot through the roof. And I am always so grateful for the feedback that I get about my work, whether it’s here on the podcast, presenting, putting things out on the blog, this kind of thing.

04:38 – Shout Out! – Project Management Institute – Northern Alberta Chapter Conference

And recently I was a professional speaker at the Project Management Institute, Northern Alberta Chapter Conference in 2019, and one of the great things they’ve done is gather feedback about the presenters. Here’s what people were saying about me. “Standout session, very useful, practical and will have immediate impact on my work meetings.” “Very captivating, excellent speaker, gave practical and insightful tips.” Getting that feedback, especially around the word practical, especially around the word impact, that’s exactly why I do what I do.

 And the other part of this great feedback that I got from the Project Management Institute, well, they actually rate speakers out of five. Now the average rating for this conference was 4.08, my rating, and I’m proud to say, was 4.72. Thanks to them, I’ll apply again and hope to be back helping their people to learn more about how to become outstanding leaders and run highly productive meetings as well.

05:35 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

And if you’d like to learn more about how I can help you make your event a success, visit meetingleadershipinc.com/academy and there you’ll find all the details. And as always, thanks again for joining me, and we’ll see you tomorrow in the Meeting Leadership podcast.

05:50 – Podcast Outro

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

• LinkedIn – http://linkedin.com/in/gordonsheppard

• Twitter – @gordonsheppard1

Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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