Nova Franklin I’m currently a Principal at Meld Studios. We help some of Australia’s biggest companies to engage their customers and their staff. This often entails imagining new futures for themselves. Psychologist Worked in complex organisations doing Organisation Design, HR, Change Management changing behaviour since 1994. Finding and keeping the good people Working to help senior leaders engage their people Helping people work stay focused at work. Last year I designed a program called “Mastering Engaging Conversations” to help people navigate the relationships with those around them. At it’s heart the program is all about developing trusting relationships. Listening is a foundational part of this. The concept we are going to talk about today is part of that course.
We are all in some way mothers, lovers, brothers as well as designers. We don’t live in a vacuum. Most of us interact with other humans every day. People can tell when you are not listening. It makes them feel uncomfortable, sometimes they get cross and they shut down the conversation. Our ability to connect is then diminished. As a designer (as well as a regular human) this can have diabolical consequences. BUT - Magic happens when you really start to listen to others.
I want you to reflect for a moment on a conversation you’ve had where the other person really really listened to you. What did they do?
Most people can tell you what good listeners do. This includes Eye contact Smiling Nodding Open body language Using words that show they are listening - e.g. hmm, tell me more, what I just heard you say is…
Now think about a conversation you’ve had where the other person didn’t really listen to you. What did they do?
OK so what do poor listeners do…They: don’t make eye contact look at their screens have closed body language appear to not hear what you say interrupt They don’t really engage in a conversation because they are too distracted
Think versus say… This is about faking it till you make it. When you say to yourself “this person has something really important to say” the amazing thing is that you start to believe it. You actually lean in. You ARE interested. Instead of being bored, or short of time, of of thinking about how much you dislike this person, you actually start to display all of the traits people study to become good listeners - eye contact, open body language, asking the right questions.
While this is deceptively simple the important thing to remember is that for it to work you need to make it a habit so that you can remember to use the trick when you realise that you are leaning away from someone. Practice makes perfect. Try every day for 30 days… Consider trying on your parents, children, colleagues, customers. Write a note somewhere to remind yourself Remember not to be too creep (it happens sometimes when people first try this out)
Becoming a great listener
with one simple trick
I’m really into
What they think.
What they do.
1.Why it’s important to be a great listener
2.What great listeners do
3.What poor listeners do
4.What gets in the way
5.How to be a great listener
6.Practice makes perfect
Why it’s important to be a
• We don’t live in a vacuum. Most of us interact with other humans
every day. We are mothers, lovers, brothers, children, friends
and peers (as well as designers).
• People can tell when you are not listening.It makes them feel
uncomfortable. Sometimes they get cross and they shut down
the conversation. Our ability to understand and connect with
them is then diminished.
• As a designer (as well as a regular human) this can have
• BUT - Magic happens when you really start to listen to others.
What great listeners do.
• Eye contact
• Open body language
• Using words that show they are listening
- e.g. hmm, tell me more, what I just heard you say is…
What poor listeners do.
• Don’t make eye contact
• Look at their screens
• Have closed body language (e.g., arms or legs crossed)
• Appear to not hear what you say
• Are too distracted to engage in the conversation
What gets in the way?
• I’m too busy
• You are stupid
• I don’t like you
• I don’t care about what you are saying
• I’d rather think my own thoughts
• What I have to say is much more important
• I can’t wait to tell you what’s on MY mind
Think (but don’t say)…
“This person has something
really important to say”
Practice so you are
able to create a habit
that allows you to use
this mind hack when
you feel like you are
leaning away during a
Tweet to let me now
P.S. Try not to be