February 4


Listen up! Are you hearing the whole message?

Listen up! Are you hearing what is and isn’t being spoken?

Two elderly men in suits. One whispering to another who is listening and smiling.
Listen Up! Even when it’s hard to hear

“Listen”… we command children to do this throughout any given day. Yet, more adults need to be told this, repeatedly! Why do we expect our children to listen better than our colleagues, workplace teams, and customers?

Listen up! Discover the unspoken conversation

When we speak of listening more effectively, we must first realize there are layers of conversations occurring simultaneously. I’m not going to pretend I hold the inequivocal list of the layers of textured conversation. Yet, this past week I was at the Wisconsin Business Owners Meetup and one of the presenters Claudia Howard, the founder of The Career Role Model Program, spoke to us about body language. As we learned, some of the things we were taught about body language are not as black and white as we were taught 20 years ago. This field is redefining itself and is worth us spending some time re-familiarizing ourselves with it.

Another layer of conversation to listen for is the verbally unspoken message. What am I talking about? This is when people are saying one thing and it is up to you, the listener, to understand all the related points which aren’t being discussed. A great example of this is our modern day 30 minute television comedy program. Due to the time constraints, the viewers are expected to connect the dots between what characters are doing and saying and then link this from one scene to another to get the complete story of an episode. The writers are expecting viewers to listen to unspoken messages. Have you seen an episode where you wish you had a decoder ring to decipher it?

Listen up! to what is actually being stated

How often do you hear someone speak and you aren’t listening? You hear them, but are not actively listening or an engaged listener? If you are like most, far too often! I’ve noticed that people are still trying to multi-task. This not only impedes effective listening, it negatively impacts productivity levels as well.

In the modern age of social media, we are instructed to engage with followers. I’d like to add, as professionals we should become engaged listeners. Engaged listeners effectively serve both internal and external customers. Engaged listeners are following trends and are making bold moves. They hear all the layers of conversation.

When was the last time you gave 100% to listening while in a conversation? 

If it was recently, this is good! Not common, but good. The extra-ordinary sales professionals are masters at this. They are communications experts. They are actively listening to everything you are saying and aren’t saying. The aren’t saying area was one of my specialties as an executive recruiter. Good sales people are paid to effectively super sleuth through a conversation. 

This week, be aware if you are active listening  or not. Then make changes to improve this. 

If you spend more time noticing when you not are actively listening, you will improve your listening skills and performance. We always can tell when others aren’t fully listening-don’t let that person be you!

Two former posts to help you improve your listening capability:
Listening Improves Performance (posted Aug. 2013)
#1 Skill of Success (posted May 2012)

 Please feel free to comment what you notice when people aren’t listening.


If you want to discuss this strategy or something you need assistance with,
please call Maggie (262) 716.7750 for YOUR No-cost Consultation.

Blessings of Success to YOU ~
Maggie Mongan, Brilliant CEO & Founder
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc.

Direct Dial: 262-716-7750
LinkedIn: Maggie Mongan

p.s.: When you listen, you show you care. Remember: communication is a two-way street!


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  1. So many want to be heard, that they clamor to get a word in edgewise. They are trying to remember what they want to say when listening–that they don’t listen. Someone once asked me how to make friends–I knew why she didn’t have any. All she did was talk!

    The quickest way to make anyone listen to you is let them talk first. Just be quiet and listen. Eventually they’ll settle down and let you talk for a minute. If not, you don’t want them in your life.

    Want to make friends? Just listen. Don’t talk. Become a listener instead.

    Conversation is meant to be a two way street; too often it’s one way. Thanks for the reminder about conversation and body language.

  2. Body language is definitely evolving with more written on it all the time. See for yourself; take one piece of body language like feet, lips or hands and you’ll be amazed with all the information you can find. Learning how you can apply it to the messages you send to others and those you receive will bring greater meaning to conversations and a better understanding of people.

    Great points on engaged listeners. Imagine a really difficult time in your life and what it meant to have someone ask, “do you want to talk about it?” or” how do you feel about the changes at work?”
    No matter whether you wanted to talk or not, didn’t it feel great just to know they cared. Listening says “I care and you’re important to me” Knowing you have listeners to turn to is a blessing and is developed by showing you care and are there for others.
    Hear the authentic conversation by understanding body language and listening with a caring ear.

    People want and often need just a listening ear……

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