Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of March 4, 2009
Listen and Learn
Fact: Everyone wants to be 'heard.'
Fact: Most leaders claim to be excellent 'listeners.' 
Fact: It's a rarity that a highly accomplished client comes to me enthusiastically stating that he or she is 'heard and completely understood' by their ________ (fill in the blank--board, CEO, boss, team, spouse, partner, kids.)
Our unwillingness or inability to listen damages relationships, gives others an unpleasant view of us and it robs us of valuable (often insightful) information.
What do we gain by listening to what another person is sharing-verbally, emotionally and physically?
  • Peace of Mind:  Positive feelings and actions are the result of effective communication which begins and ends with mutually respectful listening.
  • Squelch Ego: You may think you have the best solution; however, someone on your team may just have a more creative, viable option. Listening to them opens the door for others to contribute as well and creates a more collaborative and productive atmosphere.
  • Eradicate Assumptions: You may not give a board member credit for their input yet this time they are right on target. Active listening with an open mind livens up the entire meeting.
  • Strengthens Focus:  If your intention is to listen to another then your overall focus increases.  It's like building a new muscle that gets stronger and stronger.
Here are some techniques to experiment with this week to enhance your listening prowess: 
  • Paraphrase and use your own words to show you understand the message.  (Parroting back the words verbatim is annoying.)
  • Look for what the person really wants to communicate.  What does he or she want for or from you?
  • Pause and be patient. Wait for a cue that the other person has completed his message before jumping in with a question or conclusion.
  • Use eye contact and body language to communicate that you are listening-lean forward toward the person speaking; look directly at them; nod; avoid glancing at your watch or others in the room for their reaction.
  • Don't judge.  People know when they are being judged and know that you are no longer listening.  You don't have to agree with a person to listen to them.
  • Ask questions rather than assuming that you know what they are saying.  (Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows how often we are incorrect in assuming what our partner is communicating to us.)
What will open up to you this week will if you simply take time to honor and listen to those most important to you.  Take the motto 'listen and learn' everywhere you go and see what surprises come to you.
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week.
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Ann, thanks so much for all of your inspiration and leadership throughout the year.  You are one special lady.  All the best to you and yours in 2009!
                                                           ~ Jim Lee, Executive Director, Coril, Bend, OR

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P. S. We'd love to hear how you used our 'Success Thought of The Week' in your business or personal dealings.Please email your story to
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Copyright & Permission Copyright © 1998-2008 All rights reserved

Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for March 4, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.