The 3 R’s of Intentional Listening

Think of all the communications courses you’ve taken, seminars you’ve attended, and articles you’ve seen in which they tell you how to speak, how to present, or how to create a PowerPoint slide. Compare that to how much less often a course is offered on how to listen. Listening (good, active and intentional listening) is a key, an absolute MUST, for good communication. And it’s something we focus on frequently in our workshops at The Latimer Group. We break it down to 3 simple R’s to help you be a better listener:

  1. Respect — Intentional listening starts with the most common of courtesies. Engage with the person you’re communicating with. Turn off your phone. Don’t multitask. Focus your attention, because it will help you, and them…
  2. Remember — Before things go in one ear and out the other, take a moment to jot notes during your conversation. Repeat key phrases back. Engage in a dialogue to help you retain that key information. Ask questions for clarity. And then, once you’ve got it…
  3. Review — Wrap up your conversation or presentation with a summary, an action plan, next steps, etc. Go over what you covered, and what was decided as a result.

Use these 3 R’s liberally, and good listenership and respect will soon become traits you’re known for. Not a bad reputation to carry with you through your career.

Most of us don’t typically point towards listening skills when we describe great communicators, or great leaders. Most of the time, we talk about outbound communication skills — decisiveness, strong speaking skills, the ability to make articulate points — when we describe people’s strong communication. But in our collective experience at The Latimer Group, it is the listening skills that are at the foundation of all great outbound communication, and at the foundation of being a great leader, teammate, friend, spouse, parent… great listening is at the heart of all great relationships.

Good luck.

We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.