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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Can you hear me now? 360 Listening

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


August 15, 2016

The past two weeks we’ve studied three levels of listening and discovered that 360 listening is where the magic happens. People feel heard and valued because you have listened fully, being present mind, body, and soul with the intent to understand.

So just how do you do 360 listening? Daimler (2016) offers three suggestions:

1. Look people in the eye. To listen is to concentrate with a disciplined focus. We empathize. We live in the other person’s skin for a bit. We remove barriers between ourselves and the other person. We put down the phone and close the computer. We claim the space that exists between us.

2. Create space in your day. Schedule space for others and hold space for yourself. People recognize when you don’t have time for them. Frequently, participants in Cognitive CoachingSM training will state, “During that conversation model, it seemed that time just slowed down and that coachee was the most important person in the world in that moment.” This type of listening demonstrates how much value you hold for that other person.

3. Ask more questions. Many times when we listen, we are listening to gather details because we believe that if we have all the details then we can intelligently solve the other person’s problem. We follow the listening with questions that will help us know how to solve their problem. When we listen with the intent to understand, we are listening to support the other person as they discover their own resolution and then we ask questions that stimulate the thinking of the receiver of the question.

This week how might you commit to living the HOW of 360 listening?

Daimler, M. (June, 2016). Listening is an overlooked leadership tool. Harvard Business Review, May 2016. Retrieved from

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