Active Listening Masterclass | Everett Bowes | Skillshare

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Active Listening Masterclass

teacher avatar Everett Bowes, Founder, 22 To Guru

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction To The Power of Active Listening


    • 2.

      A Foundation For Active Listening


    • 3.

      Listen With Your Ears


    • 4.

      Ears: Tips & Advice


    • 5.

      Listen With Your Eyes


    • 6.

      Eyes: Tips & Advice


    • 7.

      Listen With Your Heart


    • 8.

      Heart- Tips & Advice


    • 9.

      Listen With Focus


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Additional Notes About "Ting"


    • 12.



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About This Class

Everyone hears, but few listen.

Active listening is the key to increasing leadership equity, unlocking employee retention, increasing workplace efficiency, and so much more!

What was once considered an innate ability (a trait everyone was born with) has now become a specialized skill; something that takes effort, practice, and intentionality.

Did you know there are four components to active listening? Furthermore, did you know that missing one of the four components means you’re not listening?

“Have you ever noticed how the most intriguing individual in the room seems content to listen sooner than speak?”  ~ Richelle E. Goodrich


Active listening is a skill that has become a competitive advantage!

In today’s fast-paced, always-on world we have become a generation of distracted people. On top of that, we multitask while multitasking. 

This course shows you the 4 Elements to Active Listening using a clever memory device that will help you keep this skill at the top of your mind.

In addition I offer you practical steps and tips to help you change the way people perceive your listening skills.

This fun, fast-moving, information-packed course will move the needle in your business (and personal) relationships!

Don’t be left behind. Stop hearing. Start listening.  I’ll see you in class!


Founder, 22 To Guru

Meet Your Teacher

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Everett Bowes

Founder, 22 To Guru


PROFESSIONAL:  Hi! I’m Everett Bowes, Founder of 22 To Guru. I’m proud to be a Top Instructor on a number of mainstream teaching platforms, with over 85,000 students worldwide, and over 24,000 reviews (and counting)!

I have more than 25 years of experience as a leader in the fields of Brand Strategy, Creative Direction, Marketing, Social Media, Business, Leadership, Communications, and more. This unique combination of professional experience helps me produce impactful, efficient learning modules and resources on a number of different topics.

TEACHING:  My teaching style is very conversational and approachable. I avoid using technical-jargon and buzzwords that make other teachers feel self-important while running the risk of co... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction To The Power of Active Listening: We've all been there. You're super busy at home or at work and you're trying to get way too many things done with not enough time. And then someone walks in and starts talking, you're doing the best you can to get everything done, to listen, to reply, and it just get through your day. But the problem is, what message are you sending to the person who showed up to talk, whether it's a family member or a friend co-worker, there's an accumulation of these experiences with you and they have a greater impact than you'd think. We all want to say that we're good listeners. Some of us would even say that we're great listeners. But do you know the four components required of true active listening? Do you know that missing just one of the four components means you're not listening at all. Even if you can repeat the last sentence someone said to you, there's a stark difference between hearing and listening. And there's way more to a conversation than just waiting for your turn to talk. This course breaks down the skill of active listening into four easy to understand components. I'll show you how each component is required of active listening. How to safeguard against stubborn obstacles that hinder your success in the impact of active listening on your business and relationships. There's a saying, liters our listeners. So are you ready to transform your leadership, your diet, team dynamics, your workplace efficiency, your employee retention, your own promotional advancement opportunity, and so much more than you're ready to stop hearing and start listening. Let's go. I'll see you in class. 2. A Foundation For Active Listening: In English, like some other languages, we write our words phonetically. That means to spell words. We placed letters beside each other, each having their own sound. For instance, the letter H sounds like the letter a sounds like add the letter T cells like to. And putting these together, we get the word hat. In a phonetically spelled language, the combination of sounds is how we form words. However, the Chinese writing system is different. Instead of constructing words combining sound, they build words by combining symbols or characters. Each character represents an entire word. There's an amazing business lesson to be learned by breaking down the Chinese word for listening. It's for individual symbols. In this course, we will investigate each of the four components of the Chinese word Ting and get an incredible picture of a truly valuable skill called active listening. Listening. It sounds so simple, but in reality, listening is really hard. Finding someone who really listens is rarer. Did you know active listening has the power to transform your leadership, your team dynamics, your workplace efficiency, employee retention, your own promotional advancement, and so much more. In each lesson, I'll unpack one of the four necessary components to listening and give you practical challenges to test your active listening skills. Everybody wants to believe they are a good listener. But as you take this course, I challenge you to be incredibly self-aware and to evaluate how well you really do it, each of these components. And as you'll see during the course of this teaching, if you come up short, just one of the four. You aren't listening. If you're feeling incredibly brave, there's even a downloadable form you can use with your coworkers, allowing them to rate you anonymously on each of the four principals. Check out the bonus video for more details on that. Calvin Coolidge said, it takes a great man to be a good listener. So ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to rise to greatness? Are you willing to look at one of the most basic relational skills and see how you're really doing if you're ready to transform your workplace relationships. Let's dive into the first lesson. 3. Listen With Your Ears: The first component of listening is ears. Now, this is the most obvious aspect of hearing, but it's the least important part of active listening. Many years ago, I learned an amazing lesson about active listening at the time I was in a month long training program. Each day was full of lectures and classes and lessons, and one day of lecture is shared with us that researchers measured heart rate, perspiration, respiration, and other biometrics of people digging a ditch. They also measured the same biometrics that people engaged in active listening. Now this was astonishing. They found active listening has a similar effect on our bodies as digging a ditch. When we are actively listening, our heart rate, respiration, perspiration, all that it increases. That's what we feel wiped out after a day of meetings or a data conference. A day of active listening feels like we've been digging a ditch for 8 h. When you listen with your ears, that active listening. Active listening is hard and it takes effort. The Chinese symbol for listening, ting reminds us that there's more to active listening than simply lending an ear. Listening with your ears is the most basic aspect of listening. I would say that this is the most common form of listening, especially in America. But I want to challenge you. Stop hearing and start listening. When you listen with your ears, you're only hearing. Rochelle E. Goodrich said, have you ever noticed how the most intriguing individual in the room, it seems content to listen sooner than speak. In the next video, let's look at some of the ways you can improve your active listening skills at work. And in the lessons that follow, we'll look at the other three components of active listening, as well as the incredible transformational impact active listening can have in your workplace. Oh, one more thing. As you continue through the course, please consider leaving a review. It's only going to take you a few seconds of your time, but those few seconds can make an incredible positive impact on the success and the reach of this course. So thank you for your consideration. 4. Ears: Tips & Advice: Remember, 80% of our communication is non-verbal. If you're only listening with your ears, you risk misinterpreting 80 per cent of what someone's trying to say. So here's some ideas to help you combat the most common listening mistakes. First, if you're going to attend a long meeting or conference or a workshop, look at the agenda and look for where the breaks are located. Since active listening takes a physical toll on us, it's okay to need a break in order to be at your best listening performance. If you don't see any prescheduled breaks as the leader ahead of time. If you do that tactfully, the meeting facilitator is actually going to appreciate your willingness to ensure the best listening experience for the entire group. Something else to consider, look for the pitfalls and usual suspects that often cause you to listen with your ears. Maybe not getting enough sleep makes it hard for you to stay fully engaged. Or maybe you recognize that every afternoon tiredness and fatigue sets in and makes it harder for you to tune into the people that are talking to you. Eliminate the distractions that pull your attention away. Instead of listening, whatever they may be, identify the culprit and make an active that indemnify the culprits that make it active listening harder for you. Lastly, consider this, which really helped transform my relational equity in the workplace. When someone has done talking, ask them if you can summarize in your own words what they just said, it, it's really easy to hear what they say, but miss what they meant. Summarizing it back to that person shows that you listened and more importantly that you've even cared to get it right. Now, what experience do you have with listening with your ears? Are you guilty of doing it? How do you feel when someone you're talking to is only ear listening to you? Do you have any tips that you can share on how to avoid making this costly mistake. Take a moment and read a comment here, or in the Facebook group, we all learn from each other. So don't forget to share your thoughts and remember, you can always reach out to me directly. I enjoy hearing from my students in my courses. Okay. See you in the next lesson. 5. Listen With Your Eyes: Most of us can recall moments in our lives when our parents said, Look at me when I'm talking to you as an adolescent, you probably the finally responded. I'm listening. But now that we're parents, we understand this better when the kids aren't looking, they aren't listening. Well, this same principle applies to everyone, not just kids. Though it's common to think that we can listen, that we listen with our ears. Eye contact is the key indicator people look for when determining if someone is listening. It. Think about how many meetings we participated in, either one-on-one or in groups where eye contact is not established. Often eyes are glued to computer screens, tablets, smartphones, handouts or whatever. Or maybe instead of being glued to devices were wandering the room or looking out the windows or the hallway, watching every person that walks by. Did you know, almost everybody gauges how well people are listening, but how much their audiences visually engaged with them. Eye contact is the number one way people feel that they are being heard. In business, the concept of being a great listener is vital for so many reasons. One of which is that your ability to listen is an indicator of your ability to lead. Years ago, I saw a pattern and all the best leaders I know I realized liters, our listeners. I love this quote. If you are a good leader, you are a good listener. Another great quote, as we look ahead into the future leaders will be those who serve others actively listen and daily empower. So if you want to increase your perception as a leader, practice great listening. One of the strongest ways to do so is to let your eyes serve as a reflection of your interests and your focus. Remember, reach out to me anytime directly if you want to talk more about this lesson or anything else in this course. And as you continue through the course, please consider leaving a review. It takes a few seconds of your time, but has a tremendous impact on the, impact on the success of the course. Thanks again for considering it. 6. Eyes: Tips & Advice: Since our eyes indicate where our thoughts, our eye contact with the person speaking is one of the easiest ways that we can pay respect to the person talking. And it's one of the fastest ways this bigger gains confidence that connections are being made. Here are some ideas of what you can do to practice this discipline. If you want to give confidence to someone, look at them when they're talking to you. When someone walks into your office, deliberately put your devices down or turn away from your computer. In fact, I often turn my phone or tablet upside down so even the notifications don't continue to pull my eyes to the device. When in meetings, don't even take your phone. I got to the point where all I could take was a meeting was like a paper tablet and a pen. And if you're a doodler like me, understand that when you're doodling, you're likely not sending the signals you want to send. That one's hard for me. When someone is speaking. If you have to have a device open TO that person, why it's out and what you're looking for. They're going to respect your forthrightness. Or when you must turn your eyes to something else like a phone or a computer, ask the speaker to hold on a minute, tell them you have to briefly look at something and you don't want to miss a thing. Know your pitfalls. My pitfall is any flat-screen TV. It doesn't matter what's playing. If the TV's on, my eyes are going to be pulled to it. So I have to intentionally sit with my back to the TV so I'm not distracted. Active hallways, windows. Again, I have to sit with my back to them because otherwise my eyes are just going to get pulled from the speaker. And lastly, we already talked about how vital listening is to leadership. Show your leaders to the respect they deserve and build your own leadership equity, but making sure your eyes are in contact with the person talking. Now, what experience do you have with people listening with their eyes? What safeguards do you put in place to ensure you knock this out of the park? Have you ever seen your work relationships change as you've made a concerted effort to improve in this area. Do you have any tips that you can share about this lesson? We're better together. So write a comment, share a thought. And I'm looking forward to seeing what you had to say. 7. Listen With Your Heart: You've seen this before. In fact, most of us have even done this. Someone's talking. And then they say, You're not listening to me. You quickly shoot back the last census they just said how you showed that, right? No. You showed them. You heard them with your ears but not with your heart. The ability to regurgitate the last sentence is not listening. The Chinese were to listen challenges us to look at the four necessary components of active listening. The next component in Tang, the Chinese were to listen is the symbol for heart. When we listen with our heart, our faces and body react differently to what we hear. Now, I mentioned earlier how researchers say 80% of our communication is non-verbal. So when someone is talking and we're listening with our heart, is reflected in our face and other forms of body language, in the form of nearly imperceptible expressions. Small changes in the eyes, lips, eyebrow, shoulders and others. These micro reactions are the result of truly listening with our heart. Now, I know most business conversations tend to be more information-based than emotionally impacting. But when we listen with our heart, our body language resonates with the speaker. So as if to say, I agree, or the client said what? When we don't listen with our heart, these micro reactions are missing and the person talking can easily feel like they are talking to a wall. And just like the other components to listening that we already discussed yet, can't fake your way through this one. In fact, Raquel Welch said, you can't fake listening. It shows to truly listen with your heart, you often need to tap into a sense of interest. Now, generally speaking, you need to be interested in what your coworkers saying. Instead, most people don't listen with a sense of interests in hearing. They listened with an interest in talking. Ralph Waldo Emerson said there's a difference between truly listening and waiting for your turn to talk. Active listening with your heart or genuine interests is vital in the business world. It can unlock a whole new level of employee retention and output efficiency. See what I mean in the next lesson. Now remember, reach out to me directly if you want to talk more about this lesson or anything else in the course. And thank you in advance if you took a few seconds to leave a review on the course, those reviews go a long way in shaping the success of the course. 8. Heart- Tips & Advice: In the business world, listening with your heart can be the key to unlocking employee retention. More than anything, your employees want you to listen to them. In Captain de Michael Abrams shops business book, it's your ship. There's a chapter entitled listen aggressively. I love that. In the book, he talks about reading exit interviews to find out why people are leaving the military. He assumed that low pay would be the first reason, but in fact it was the fifth. Instead, at the top of the list for people leaving the military is the same as the top of the list of people leaving any job is because they do not feel that they're being listened to. Studies found employees will endure difficult corporate struggles if they simply feel that what they have to say as being heard, employees don't need all of their ideas adopted. They simply want a voice at the table. The desire to be heard. One's deepen all of us. John, yoga. Yoga said, I can't afford to say yes to all my staff's desires. But one thing is certain I can afford the outrageous cost of not listening to their requests. So here's some suggestions for how to practice the principle of listening with your heart. First, don't stop asking questions. This tip works magically in so many different scenarios like job interviews, sales, performance reviews, and so many more, asking questions and then listening to the replies unlocks something powerful and the person talking. Another idea, after listening to someone tell them how you think that makes them feel. This can be as simple as saying like, wow, that's frustrating or I hate it when that happens or a bit you're super excited or even like that's why I never leave anything in the company refrigerator replying with an emotionless the speaker know that you didn't just hear, you listen with your heart. Something else you can do to show that you're listening with your heart is tell them what you're going to do because of what they said. Maybe you can tell them. I'll tell management about this or I'll follow up with them later today or I'll send an e-mail or I'll get that done as soon as possible. Showing an action that you're going to take is a powerful way to show someone that you're truly listening. Lastly, go into a conversation reminding yourself two ears and one mouth. Don't listen only with the intent to reply to side at a time that you want to listen more than you talk. Do you know what it's like to talk to someone that you feel just waiting for their turn to talk. What are ways that you can tell when someone is listening with their ears, looking at what you with their eyes, but doesn't really care about what you're saying. What insight can you share about this lesson? I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say. So take a moment and write a comment. And if you're enjoying the course, consider taking a few seconds to leave a review, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Listen With Focus: With today's fast-paced digital lifestyle, we often pride ourselves and our ability to multitask. In fact, it's one of the top bullet points on most resumes today. But here's the sad reality. One study show people are not as productive while multitasking is they often think. And two, when it comes to feeling heard, no one likes to talk to a multitasker. M. Scott Peck said, you cannot truly listen to someone and do anything else. At the same time. That truth is captured in the final symbol and the word Ting, the Chinese word for listening. The last component of active listening is focus or undivided attention. Today, there's a skill that's getting more importance than multitasking, and that skill is focus. We all have demands swarming our lives screaming for our attention. While they all need to be addressed, pressing pause on some of them so we can focus intensely on one of them at a time, is the key to doing amazing work. This quote, The key to good listening isn't technique is desire until we truly want to understand the other person. We'll never listened well. Active listening takes commitment and desire to be attentive. No one accidentally becomes a great listener, but the rewards for giving your focus to others is incredible. Active listening is one of the most effective ways to make others feel important. I love this. The most basic of all human needs is the need to be, to, need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. If you want to transform your business relationships, harness the power of undivided attention when listening, this principle applies to people in every office environment, in every market sector. Joyce Brothers said listening, not imitation, maybe the sincerest form of flattery. If you work in an environment where creating healthy business relationships as a competitive advantage, then commit to mastering the skill of active listening. So when someone's talking to you, stop writing emails, sending texts, surfing the web, give them your full attention and watch. But the power of active listening can do for you. So how do you feel when talking to someone who's multitasking? Do you feel respected? Do you feel like what you're saying is gonna be remembered? What are some success stories that you have regarding, regarding your experience with this principle? Do you have any tips that you want to share about the lesson? Like I said before, we're all better together. So take a moment, write a comment or ask a question. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to share. 10. 10 CONCLUSION: In math, when we add numbers together, we get a sum. So the sum or the result of two plus two is four. In Chinese, the word to listen is the sum of eyes, ears, heart, undivided attention, anything less would not be listening. In this course, we learned some of the following points. True active listeners are rare. Active listening impacts us physically and exhausts us. Our normal inclination is to want to talk more than listening. Active listening is a sign of leadership. Reviewing the four components, we start with ears, It's the most basic of the components and the most obvious requirement, but not enough on its own. Eyes are a vital part of listening because most people feel, if you aren't looking, you weren't listening. Heart is a sense of having an interest in what people are talking about. Like all the other components, interest can't be faked because our level of interest is revealed in our micro reactions. Also heartless thing is a basic elemental need for everyone and focus. Active listening requires a desire to be attentive and invested in order to fully listen. Some highlights we're putting these principles and practice at your work include eliminating devices, eliminating distractions. The looking for your usual suspects, ask the speaker to hold on a moment if you actually have to turn your attention elsewhere, know your pitfalls that caused you to here, instead of actively listen, ask questions to show that you're invested in, interested in that you care and that you're actively listening. And lastly, consider telling the speaker what actions you're going to take in response to what they said. One final point before we end while committing to active listening can have a truly transformational effect on your business. I want to add that it can be an even bigger impact on our families and our friends. Best wishes to you in this endeavor. Stay tuned for more classes on business branding and leadership. And don't forget to connect on Facebook or in a Facebook group. And thanks to everyone who left a review for this course, I really appreciate it. Be sure to connect and send an email if you wish, if you want to discuss this or anything else further, thanks again for taking the class. 11. Additional Notes About "Ting": Obviously, I am no expert on Mandarin Chinese, so there's many different words to express the word to hear or to listen. And there's different ways to interpret each of the different symbols in this word, to listen in the word Ting. The goal of this course is to use the symbol as a parallel storytelling object is, is obviously not a lesson on Mandarin Chinese or anything. So depending on how you read or interpret ting, there's possibly even two or more elements that I intentionally left out of the main teaching curriculum. One of the elements in the lower-left corner can be interpreted as the symbol for King or God or Heaven. In fact, there's some really cool spiritual connections that one can make if you continue to develop that concept. The symbol and the upper right corner can be interpreted a number of ways, maybe as the number ten or even you. So you should obviously know by now that I am happy to engage with my students. Let's talk about how hard some of these principles are to put it in practice. Or how great we thought we were at active listening until we took a better look at ourselves. Or let's talk about new successes with listening. But let's not get into arguments about accuracy of the interpretation of the symbols or anything. The takeaway from this course is the spirit of the principles, not the accuracy of my Mandarin Chinese. Now, again, like always, if you have any questions, message me directly. Thanks again for taking the course.