Do This One Thing to Become a Better Listener

Are you getting the most from your conversations?


Discover the invaluable secret to improving your listening from executive consultant and Speakeasy Inc. instructor Collin Siedor. Through his leadership experience and interactive workshops on communication skills, Collin provides steps we can take to change the trajectory of our conversations to achieve better understanding and build stronger relationships.

In this video, Collin illustrates a behavior many of us do all the time without even considering the negative impact it may have on our communication. He also discusses the importance of being fully present and engaged during conversations, and demonstrates how this leadership principle can reduce distractions and encourage honest feedback from employees.

I work at a company as an instructor, called Speakeasy. We help people become better communicators. And one of the things that I occasionally teach is a little lesson about listening. And one of the things that dawns on people, the ideas that comes to them, the insight that they experience at the end of this little exercise, is that we don't listen very well. And one of the reasons we don't is because we interrupt. And we interrupt oftentimes with questions.

So this person comes into my office and they're there for a reason. There's something that he or she wants to say. And they say this, and then they say this, and oh. Then I interrupt. And instead of that conversation going where it was going to go or where that person wanted it to go, where that person probably needed it to go, it now goes over here because I interrupted. Because I didn't listen, because I didn't put aside the things that I'm worried about and the distractions that I have, and said I'm going to be fully present and fully open and listen. And that's no small task.

The chances of leaders at a high up inner organization getting the truth is nearly zero. Their chances of knowing what the facts on the ground are is nearly zero. Nobody's going to talk to them because of the weight and rank and fear and all the other things that stop us from speaking truth to power. So that ability to listen and send the message to your people that you're willing to listen, that you're a good listener, that you're open, don't much care how radical, how creative, how outside the box the words are. I'm going to still listen. What a great idea for a leader.

Collin Siedor

Collin Siedor is on the faculty of Speakeasy, Inc., whose mission is to help business executives, professionals and organizational leaders become more powerful and effective communicators. Speakeasy has offices in Atlanta, New York, San ...

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