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listening

In my last post, I shared some insights into how to have hard conversations. I heard from my client whose difficult conversation became an incredibly productive and constructive conversation rather than a conflict, which reminded me of an important component of why.

All the strategies to have hard conversations tackle the talking part.

What about listening?

True listening demonstrates respect, builds trust, fosters empathy, and leads to deeper mutual understanding.

When we listen closely without interrupting or preparing our response, we show the other person that we value what they have to say. This validation helps create psychological safety for vulnerable sharing.

Active listening also conveys care and concern, enabling us to better understand the other’s perspective and emotions.

This builds connection and makes it more likely that the other person will listen openly to us in return.

I challenge all of us, including myself, to remember that legendary communicators become great not by perfecting what they say, but by striving to understand. As Stephen Covey wrote, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

And that brings me to a favorite book I read in 2023.

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin is a must-read on all things creation. Creation of art, music, and a story through communication.

I’ve already read it once and started it again to soak in his poetic style of writing. I’ve treasured the many beautiful lessons Rubin gifts to his readers and have gifted his book to clients for the holiday.

I’ll leave you with one of those lessons.

“Talent is the ability to let ideas manifest themselves through you.” -Rick Rubin.


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