Tag: Active listening

A Complete Listener

In this video, Eunice and Jennie explain what it means to be “a complete listener”.  They explain how listening to understand and being mindful of differences and similarities not only makes conversations more meaningful, but also makes us better people.

Thanks Eunice and Jennie!


This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

I just lead a workshop about inter-group dialogue, and Eunice here said that it really helps in conversations when someone is a complete listener.

I love that phrase and so I’m going to ask her and also Jennie to talk a little more about it. Let’s see what they have to say.

Okay, so Eunice, Jennie tell me what does it mean in your mind to be a complete listener?

“I think a tendency of people is to listen with the intent of responding as opposed to listening with the intent of understanding the perspective first, and then formulating some sort of response that will deepen the understanding, and then facilitate a conversation with their differences or similarities.” – Eunice

“I also think it’s about thinking about what assumptions you have going into the conversation. How your experiences have informed your own perception and then using that to think about how others also have their own experiences that are different from yours, and using that as a way to really authentically listen to what they have to say knowing that you have differences and similarities.” – Jennie

“And one more thing. Everybody has their own experiences through the lens catered to their experiences that they have, by listening you can see how somebody else sees it from a different level, from a different view and I think it’s important not only for the person in the conversation but also as a self-bettering assessment of being a person.” – Eunice

Awesome. Thanks Jennie. Thanks Eunice.

I hope this helps you, listeners, be a complete listener.

Thanks a lot everybody.

Are you listening? Four levels of proof

In this spontaneous video Craig outlines four ways to prove that you are listening, or not. And he puts them in order of effectiveness: Level 1 to level 4.

Here’s a Good Group Tip that Craig wrote on this same topic: Demonstrate Listening.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here. Are you listening? Here’s four ways to prove it.

Actually before I tell you the four ways to prove that you’re listening, I want to say a little bit about why listening is just so important.

First of all if I let you talk first while I listen, I have a much better chance of saying something that is going to be meaningful. I have a much better chance of doing things that are likely to be successful because they are based on more information. Listening rather than talking is generally much more valuable to me.

Second, if I am really listening to you I am building credibility. I am showing you that I care about what you say. I am demonstrating respect. I am building rapport with you.

When I’m listening I have four choices about how to react.

Number one: not demonstrate at all that I heard what you said. You could say something and I could immediately say something back that apparently ignores what you said, or I could move on to another person or another topic that apparently ignores what you said. If I do that to somebody else, they’re going to feel disrespected they’re not going to want to engage with me in the future and I will have lost my credibility with them. That is one choice that I have.

A second choice that I have is to say something back like, “Oh yeah, I understand,” and then move on or “I get what you’re saying,” and move on. I’ll come back to that in a minute.

Third choice I can repeat back to them a little bit of what they said. For example, “Oh yeah, I hear what you mean I didn’t really like that lunch appetizer either. It was way too spicy and it wasn’t warm enough.” I have demonstrated that I really heard what they said because I repeated back to them the things that they told me. Maybe I used my own words, maybe I used their words, but I demonstrated that I was listening.

See that’s different from Level 2 where I just might say something back like, “Oh yeah, I understand or I get it, I get what you’re saying.” We tend to do that Level 2 listening quite a lot but we could be making it up. There is no actual evidence that I did understand what the person was saying unless I repeat it back.

Level 1: ignore completely. Level 2: make a vague statement like “I understand.” Level 3: repeat back some of what they said.

Level 4: act on what you heard somebody say. Actually change your behavior and let them see that you are changing your behavior based on what they said.

Those are four different ways to react to somebody saying or telling me something. They have increasing levels of effectiveness for building rapport, showing respect, and actually having an impact on how I behave better in the world because I listened.

Thanks for listening everybody! I hope this helps your group actually make good decisions.


To resonate means more than to listen. It means to make better, in harmony.
In this little video Craig encourages you to do more than just listen to someone’s words, resonate with their ideas!


Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

I was in a workshop the other day and the trainer asked us to pair up and discuss something. She gave us a specific topic to talk about but before we started she said, “Now look, when you do this I want you to really resonate with each other. Who knows what resonate means?” she asked the group. People threw out some definitions and we talked about it a little bit but that got me curious about that word resonate and I went and looked it up.

Here are some definitions that I found online. It’s a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude. It’s the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration. It means to relate harmoniously, to strike a chord.

Well I like the word resonate! And I think it has a lot of applications for interpersonal communications and group decision making.

You say your words and then I say something back that makes your words bigger and more meaningful. And then you say something back to me that makes my words bigger and more meaningful. And we amplify each others thoughts and create something bigger and better than either one of us could have created on our own!

The next time you’re in a conversation with somebody or you’re in a situation where you’re making a group decision, I’m encouraging you to resonate.

Don’t just listen. Don’t just talk back and try to persuade the other person of what you think, but resonate. Make their words bigger and better and make something together more fantastic than any one of you could on your own.

Here’s hoping you’re doing good out there. Thanks for listening everybody.