The Power of Deep Listening

Listening Skills Online Course

By Roger K. Allen, Ph.D.

By enrolling in this course, you’ll learn the art and power of deep listening. As you listen deeply, you create a climate of respect based on non-judgment and receptivity that allows others to express themselves fully. You make it safe for them to express not only surface opinions but also their deeper feelings and needs as well as find their inner experience and wisdom.

The Importance of Deep Listening

I define listening as suspending judgment and being fully present with another person to understand his or her experience or point of view. Deep listening involves hearing more than the words of the speaker but taps into the deeper meaning, unspoken needs, and feelings conveyed. It is something that is done with your heart as well as your mind.

Have you ever spoken to someone who was fully engaged and interested? Who made you feel you were the only person in the world at that moment? That is the power of deep listening. It begins with recognizing that everyone with whom you interact wants to heard and understood. It is your willingness to offer them this gift.

The ability to listen deeply is the heart and essence of every healthy relationship. The best and most trusted leaders, bosses, co-workers, spouses/partners, parents, helping professionals, friends, customer service reps, grocery clerks, etc. know how to listen.  There are few more valuable gifts you can give the people in your life than that of a willingness and ability to listen deeply.

Most of us are not good listeners

Unfortunately, most of us are not good listeners. We tend to:

  • Get distracted by random thoughts or what’s going on around us
  • Interpret what others say through our own filters (biases, feelings, motives, experiences)
  • Tune out because we think we already know what someone is going to say
  • Think that what others have to say isn’t important
  • Focus on formulating our response rather than hearing them out
  • Quickly judge (agree or disagree) rather than opening ourselves to another’s point of view
  • Wait impatiently for someone to finish so we can talk
  • Shut down messages we don’t want to hear
  • Hear the words only and not the deeper needs or meaning conveyed
  • Take over the conversation by our comments and questions
  • Offer solutions and “quick fixes” rather than guiding others to their own wisdom and experience
  • Try to make others feel better rather than letting them own and work through their experience

What you will get out of the course

By going through this course, you’ll come away understanding the value and power of listening. More importantly, you’ll come away knowing how to listen and, thereby, become better at influencing others and building powerful relationships. Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Establish deeper connections with people
  • Build trust, rapport, and goodwill
  • Bridge understanding and foster unity of vision and purpose
  • Acquire vital information that makes you better at decision-making and problem-solving
  • Overcome friction and conflict
  • Promote learning, growth, and even healing
  • Unleash motivation
  • Empower others to take responsibility so they can do or be their best

Course Format

Section One: An overview of listening; tips to get the most out of the course; a survey to assess your listening skills and, thereby measure your progress.

Section two:  The case for good listening in all areas of your life; stories and case studies to demonstrate the power of good listening.

Section three: Our natural, yet harmful habits when listening; observation of a live group; case study of poor listening responses; replacing negative patterns with healthier responses.

Section four: Case studies and examples of good vs. poor listening; how to get to “bedrock” or solid ground during listening; opening communication so you can go deeper to deal with real issues.

Section five: How to listen; the impact of assumptions; the goals of listening; the steps of good listening; exercises, application, and practice.

Section six: Moving from listening to problem-solving; listening in context of other skills; learning how to ask questions which invite others solve their own problems without taking over for them.

Section seven: Conclusion and summary; final thoughts; bonus lecture; post-course listening survey to see how far you’ve come.

I’m confident you will improve and, as you do so, people will notice and appreciate the way in which you can be there for them and support them in solving their problems and also achieving their visions, what they’re most excited about in life.