Becoming an active listener not only means you’ll retain more information, it’s also a good way to build trust and confidence.

The Repetition Technique is a tried-and-true method among facilitators from every industry for active listening.  It is an effective way to clarify the subject being discussed and make sure everyone is on the same page.

In episode #088 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, we welcome back professional actress Tracy Carroll to help us explain active listening using the Repetition Technique.  We show you the wrong way and the right way to make the speaker feel like their statements matter.

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00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a morning 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 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard:    Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. It is really great to have you here, and no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re maybe on the treadmill, maybe you’re out walking the dog. Wherever you are now listen to this podcast, thanks for being here and being the type of professional who wants to spend the time to pick up one more sort of effective strategy to go in and have outstanding meetings. It’s really, really good to have you here. 

00:51 – For leaders who appreciate the value of active listening

And if you are a leader who really appreciates the value of active listening, then you’re going to get a lot out of today’s show. Because today, you’re going to be getting another installment in our meeting leadership exercises.

01:10 – Welcome back, Tracy Caroll – MLP 081

Gordon Sheppard: And the example that we’re tackling today, is the repetition technique for active listening. And thankfully today, we’re lucky enough to have Tracy Carroll back on the show, and many of you will remember Tracy back from episode 81, which was another installment of meeting leadership exercises and it was called the pros and cons technique for managing disagreements. Tracy, welcome to the show.

Tracy Carroll: Thanks Gordon. Nice to be back.

01:50 – The Repetition Technique

Gordon Sheppard: Again, big disclosure, big parenthesis. Tracy and I are married, so that’s one aspect of it, but the nice thing about having Tracy on is that she’s actually a theater professional with many, many years of experience and insights into sort of human condition. And so when we do these little improvisations here on the show for you to learn from, Tracy comes at it from a very, very authentic place. And Tracy, let me take a moment to set the stage for what we’re about to tackle here and give an example for people to learn from. It’s called the repetition technique.

Gordon Sheppard: Now, you know well that I came across this back in acting school a long, long time ago and-

Tracy Carroll: Long time ago.

Gordon Sheppard: It was a long time ago. And I learned in sort of a… It was a big part of the Meisner technique training. But again, in learning facilitation aspects since then, it actually is well used by all kinds of leaders in all kinds of meeting situations. So when you think about the repetition technique, what do you think about.

02:20 – Repetition clarifies statements and makes sure everyone is on the same page

Tracy Carroll: Well, I’ve done a lot of talkbacks after plays, and when somebody asks a question from the audience, I always repeat that question because you want to make sure that the audience can hear what’s been said. They’re facing the stage, they’re not facing the audience. And it also just clarifies for me as the facilitator, what that question was all about and how we can answer that question when it’s asked. So it’s really valuable to repeat just to make sure everybody’s on the same page.

02:46 – An example of the Repetition Technique

Gordon Sheppard: Super. I couldn’t have said it better myself. And with that in mind, let’s jump right into our example. You’re going to be the person that’s sort of… We’re in a meeting scenario. The setting in this case would be roughly eight to 10 people in a meeting setting. You’ll be one of the participants, and I’m going to try and demonstrate as the facilitator the repetition technique. So let’s just jump right into it. Go ahead.

03:06 – Dialogue starts here – The wrong way to listen

Tracy Carroll: All right, so everyone, we need to talk about the event that’s coming up with the city. We are promoting our organization with them and we’re really kind of falling short here. I need everyone’s support. We got to be on board. This is really good for us.

Gordon Sheppard: Okay, let’s move on to the next part of our agenda and-

Tracy Carroll: Can we talk about the event that’s coming up?

Gordon Sheppard: Tracy, can you see as a facilitator how I just blew it there?

Tracy Carroll: You really kind of blew me off there, dude.

03:52 – 2nd Dialogue – Listening with the Repetition Technique

Gordon Sheppard: It’s because I wasn’t taking that moment to actively listen, take you in, repeat back what I had just heard to you, so that you could then feel acknowledged and that kind of thing. So why don’t we just kick off our example again and instead of doing it in the wrong way, let’s do it the right way this time. Certainly from a facilitator point of view. Go ahead.

Tracy Carroll: All right, everyone. I really, really want your support. I really need your support in this event that’s coming up with the city, we’ve all heard about it, and we’re falling short. It’s coming up really quick and this is really good for our organization.

Gordon Sheppard: Tracy, I think I heard you just say that you’re really excited about this event for the city, but we’re falling a bit short, and we really need to get into it. Is that a fair summary?

Tracy Carroll: Absolutely. I need everyone’s help.

Gordon Sheppard: And we can see right away that instead of blowing Tracy off in this example and moving on as the facilitator, it gets her really engaged in what we’re talking about. I think, Tracy, hearing from your experience in that big auditorium setting, or in this case we’re talking about a meeting setting, say with eight or 10 people and you’re one of the participants. One of the offshoots from this is that the people around you, that are observing this happen, they get to build a deeper level of trust in the situation. The facilitator can really use this as a technique.

Gordon Sheppard: The other piece I’ll add in there that’s really valuable to do as well, is use the person’s name at the end of the repetition, because people just love to hear their name anytime.

Tracy Carroll: It’s an acknowledgement, isn’t it? A confirmation that you’re being heard.

Gordon Sheppard: And when you can do that confirmation, then you’ve got a good chance to strengthen your meeting and you’re going to get more done.

Tracy Carroll: Yes.

Gordon Sheppard: Tracy, thank you so much for being on the show again.

Tracy Carroll: You bet, anytime.

05:07 – More with Tracy Carroll  – MLP 081

Gordon Sheppard:    And as I mentioned before, you can listen to Tracy again in another meeting leadership exercise example that you can learn from, that was on episode 81 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s called, meeting leadership exercises, the pros and cons technique for managing disagreements. You can get that episode by going to And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy.

05:27 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

Gordon Sheppard:    If you are looking for active listening techniques, facilitation techniques, how to improve your agendas, how you and your teams can connect every meeting that you’re in directly to your organization strategy and a whole lot more. You want great live training, great online training, then visit And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

05:59 – Podcast Outro

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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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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