EPISODE 318: Shelley Row Gives Sales Professionals Three Ways to Be Better Listeners to Help Exceed Quota in 2021

Subscribe to the Podcast now on Apple Podcasts!

Become a member of the elite Institute for Excellence in Sales and watch hundreds of replays!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Optimal Sales Mindset Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales and hosted by Fred Diamond on December 10, 2020. It featured leadership coach and author Shelley Row, the author of the best-selling Think Less, Live More.]

Register for the Women in Sales Leadership Forum here.

Find Shelley on LinkedIn here.

EPISODE 318: Shelley Row Gives Sales Professionals Three Ways to Be Better Listeners to Help Exceed Quota in 2021

SHELLEY’S TIP TO EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Good active listening skills is highly energetic work. It takes a lot of energy on your part to really listen and be able to reflect emotion and context and content when interacting with your customers. When practicing validation, pay attention to when you’re sensing that context, that emotional piece in your communication and try validating that emotion that you observe by speaking it out loud and checking to see if you understood that emotional context. See if it then lowers the brain activation so you can have a more constructive conversation.”

Fred Diamond: One of the topics that comes up all the time on our daily webinars is the concept of listening and how to become a more effective listener, so we went to one of our favorite speakers, Shelley Row. Shelley had graced the stage of the Institute for Excellence in Sales, I guess it’s been about two years now, Shelley. We said, “Shelley, we need to have a real in-depth session on listening.” Not something top level, “You need to listen better” but let’s get deep into context, content, things related to it. Shelley, you’re down in Annapolis, I’m up here in Northern Virginia, you look great, I want to thank you again for being on today’s show. It’s going to be a nice interactive session, listening between the lines, let’s get into it. Listening is such a skill that sales professionals and leaders really need to develop and it comes up almost every single day on our webinars and podcasts.

Shelley Row: Thank you, Fred, so much for allowing me to be here with you all again today. It’s an absolute pleasure and I couldn’t agree more with the importance of listening and that’s what we’re going to talk about today, listening between the lines. Whether you are making a sale in person or you’re doing it virtually, it hinges on creating connection with that person and creating connection hinges on communication skills. Listening is a key part of communication skills and you would think that it’s pretty straightforward. Someone sends you a piece of content, you hear it, you respond with another piece of content, it couldn’t be easier, but not so much.

Let me tell you a story from quite a number of years ago. I grew up in Texas originally and spent a lot of my career there. Early in my career I was running a highway safety program for the state of Texas and we’d revamped that program, we were pretty proud of it and a gentleman from New York City wanted to come down and learn about our program. He came down, he got in the van with us, we drove out and we looked at all of our safety projects and in the course of the day he would ask me some information, a piece of content to which I would say something like this, “Yes, sir, this is how we do it here and we’ve changed our program to do it this way.” He would look at me a little strange and then we would carry on the conversation. A little later, he would ask me something else and I would say, “Well, no, sir. It’s not really like that here and this is how we’re doing it.”

Over the course of the day I could see him becoming more and more agitated until finally at some point he turned to one of my colleagues and he said, “What’s up with this yes or no sir thing? Is she patronizing me?” I was astonished. Anyone else from Texas would have expected me to say yes sir and no sir but his filters were different than mine and in any communication, I’m hearing through my filters and the other person is hearing through theirs. It’s because of those filters that we’re sharing not only content but also context and that’s what we’re going to talk about because you have to hear both of them to listen between the lines.

Normally when I talk about high-functioning listening skills it’s a 5-step process, we start by thinking about who is the other person, what are their filters, what do we know about them? We learn the skill of separating any communication into content and context and we approach it from a place of curiosity. I’m not going to say any more about that because we want to go straight into learning the skill of verifying content and validating context. I’m going to start with content, let’s just talk a little bit about the concept of content. In this situation, content is the factual information, the subject that’s being exchanged. In the work that I do, it might be someone asking me what is a program that I offer, what are the prices for my programming, the program, the prices are examples of a piece of content that would be communicated. I’m just curious, in your question area, what are some of the content topics that you might be asked about in your world? Fred, I’m going to ask you if you could just share with me some of the things that you’re seeing come up there.

Fred Diamond: Some of the answers are coming in here. Jerry says, “I get right to pricing.” Bill says, “Technical specs and features.” We’re familiar with that. Josie said, “Stories.” That’s something that comes up a lot of times as well, telling stories about how people are using your solutions. Rachel says stories, Bill says deadlines. That’s interesting, in the sales process you’re moving through. We have Gerald and Gerald says, “I also do a lot of pricing, delivery and examples.”

Shelley Row: Fred, those are great examples of the content part of a communication. A lot of those, pricing, deadline, those are fairly crisp and clear, other areas are not necessarily quite so crisp and clear so that’s where we want to learn and make sure we’re employing level 1 listening skills. With this type of listening you are very simply verifying the content that there is communication effectively around the content. Because of those filters, it’s very easy to miscommunicate. The technique here is reflective listening, you take in that piece of content, you reflect it back in your own words and then check for understanding. It might sound something like this, and I just created a little example.

Perhaps you have a new client or prospective client that you’re trying to create a connection with and learn something about their world and their pain points and perhaps they say to you, “I’ve been trying to hire some new entry level people but everyone I interview, they just don’t get it.” Typically we go, “I know, they don’t get it” but my brain’s version of ‘don’t get it’ is not at all going to be their brain’s version of ‘don’t get it’ because of our filters. That’s where reflective listening comes in, you might say something like, “You’re interviewing for entry level positions, say more about what you mean by they don’t get it, do they not know the technology? Do they not have the skills around the industry? What do you mean by don’t get it?” There we’re asking for actually more content. Perhaps they say, “No, they know the technology and I can teach them the industry, they don’t understand how to communicate. They can’t have a conversation with a prospective customer.” “What I hear you saying is that they’re lacking in some of the confidence and the skills around the interpersonal communication.”

All I did was just reflect back what I heard paraphrased in my own language and then I’m going to say, “Did I get that right?” Now we’re verifying the content and it’s really important to have some of these phrases at hand. Perhaps that person says, “That’s right, they would rather text, they won’t even look me in the eye when I’m communicating.” Now I can say, “Let me repeat that back. What I hear you saying is that you’re interviewing for entry level positions but the people don’t have some of the really fundamental interpersonal communication skills and it sounds like that’s going to be harder to teach, is that right?” Now that person says, “Yeah, that’s right, you really do get it.” That’s actually the response I get quite a lot using this technique. It’s super simple and yet it’s very powerful and it takes practice. When I was learning this, I would list some of these key phrases. “What I hear you saying is…”, “Let me repeat that back to you”, “Do I understand that correctly?” And have them always in front of me at that time in my Day-Timer – do you remember a Day-Timer? But it was always there so I was constantly practicing. That’s a level 1 listening skill.

Let me pause there, Fred, and I’m curious if the audience has had experience with this technique. If so, how did it go for you?

Fred Diamond: One of the other powerful things about that technique is let’s say you got it wrong. We’re always so afraid when we’re interfacing with customers and when you use some of the reflective listening skills you just talked about, if you got it wrong it’s great for them to correct you, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Shelley Row: That’s the power of it, Fred, because if you did get it wrong and you’d made an assumption about it and acted on the assumption, then you might not have met their needs. You could very easily lose the sale because you didn’t understand clearly so it’s very powerful to really make sure we’re making those connections.

Fred Diamond: We’re getting a comment here from Josie again, Josie participates on every webcast we do. She says, “I also use this internally.” We’re talking today about how to be a more effective sales professional when you’re interfacing with prospects and your customers but even sometimes when you’re talking to your manager or you’re talking to your team. I’ll give you an example, we had an event recently where we wanted to do a live presentation. We said, “We’re going to go ahead doing this as a live presentation.” The house that did the hosting of our webinar interpreted that a different way so when we actually did the show it was wrong, it wasn’t what we expected even though we were in agreement that, “Absolutely, it will go live” and they presented it a different way. We have a comment here from Kim, “Asking these clarifying questions is so important and it invites people to tell you more of the details than you’re actually asking for, it’s a great way to get them to tell you more.” One thing we talk about is on a sales call, it’s so much better if the customer does 95% of the talking. If you find yourself doing 5% or more of the talking, you’re probably turning your customer off at some level.

Shelley Row: Kim, I want to just double down on that. Two of my favorite phrases are, “Say more about that” or, “Tell me more.” Then it does draw in more of that conversation and then you can do that reflective listening to verify that the content being exchanged is correct. I also want to go back to Josie, I also wanted to reflect on that too. One of the most powerful ways that I used reflective listening is when I was coaching a staff member or perhaps we were having a performance problem, we would have a conversation about performance or an assignment perhaps or of my expectations and I would say to the staff person, “Now you say back to me what you believe we just agreed to do.” It’s in a very valuable way and in fact, I’m not sure I ever did that and I didn’t go, “No, that’s not what we intended” so it gives you the opportunity to clarify.

Fred Diamond: Kim also says, “I always ask, ‘Can you tell me more about that?'” I want to ask a very simple question before we move on because this is critical. Listening is great, we’re getting deeper into this but you’ve got to take notes. A lot of the great sales professionals that I talk to, whenever I go back to some of the great ones that we’ve had the privilege of working at the Institute for Excellence in Sales, they all say that they take notes and they can reflect back to their notes when they follow up. Listening is great, asking skills are great but if you don’t document it the right way… What’s some of your advice before we move on, on physically writing down, taking notes into your computer? Now with all the Zoom we can record, we transcribe although transcription is about 50% there. What are your thoughts before we move on?

Shelley Row: I like to take notes by hand and here’s why. First of all, I grew up doing that so that was my go-to for a long time so it’s a bit habitual. However, and we’re going to go into neuroscience a little bit later, everything I do is great based in neuroscience, the neuroscience would tell us that you are more likely to remember when you handwrite. It actually activates more of the neurons and the brain so you’re more likely to remember. That does not substitute for taking the notes and I have my notes from our conversation with Fred the other day right here and I can always refer back to them. I will go back after a conversation, highlight some of the key things, I will make some additional notes of ideas that were sparked and I will handwrite them on my original notes. Depending on what I’m doing and the length of the conversation, I will go into my CRM system and then take some of the more key items that I want to remember and put them in my CRM.

Fred Diamond: When we do things like, “Tell me more” and, “Could you elaborate on that?” Those types of reflective listening, it gives the customer more time to say more and as they say more, you could be creative. Shelley, our webinar every Friday is called the Creativity in Sales webinar and it’s not about drama, it’s about being creative and finding solutions for your customer and then communicating them. One of the reasons why we’re doing this program with you today is the customers don’t really need to talk to you because they’re going through their challenges, getting past COVID, getting past the economic challenges related to COVID. They’re only going to talk to you if you’re really bringing value that’s going to help them get past this stage in the world and the only way you’re going to be able to provide that is by being able to be creative, listen, come to them with more valuable ideas on how they can move forward.

Shelley Row: Creating that connection, people will talk to someone that they feel they have a connection with. Before we do move on to level 2 listening skills, when you say to the client, “Tell me more” or, “Say more about that” it allows them to think it through. Quite often, at least I find with my clients in those kinds of conversations, they might not even have thought about it. When I’m prompting for more conversation, they’re able to dig a little bit deeper, to examine why they’re interested, what their problem really is and sometimes they don’t even know until you start prompting some of that more conversation.

Fred Diamond: We’ve learned this so many times and I actually have a comment here from Chris, “Customers appreciate more what they say versus what they are told.” You working on these skills giving them the ability to give them time to process and discuss and think, you’re giving them the opportunity to provide more ideas to help them solve their solutions.

Shelley Row: I do want to offer one word of caution. Quite often we say something like this, “I got it.” You don’t got it, because of those filters you can’t assume that you’ve “got it” or that I understand and you can feel the difference if someone is saying to you, “Let me repeat that back to make sure I really understand” versus, “Yeah, I got it.” It’s just not nearly as satisfying emotionally so don’t make the mistake in thinking that these kinds of little quick phrases are reflective listening, they’re not. That’s going to lead us directly into the other part because while we would love for our communication to be pretty straightforward like this, sometimes it feels a little more like that and it can have the contextual piece around it. Context in this situation is the emotional wrapper around the piece of content, it might come across through tone, through body language, it can come across through their words but it is the emotional wrapper that goes along with every piece of content. In order to listen between the lines, you need the skill to address content and validate context and those are very intentionally different words.

I mentioned that I work in neuroscience so let me just do a very high-level view of what’s going on in the brain of that customer around context. If you can imagine a three part brain model, I’m actually going to replicate it out of my hand. The green part of the image is like the palm of your hand, if I fold my thumb over, that’s the orange part, I fold these fingers down and that’s the blue part and that’s very much actually like our brains. What I’m going to do is to pretend to take a section, lift the top off, look down on it in plan view, simplify it and now it looks like that. It’s the same three parts, I just happen to be looking on them down from the top. Here’s why this is important to you, the three parts of the brain, the green part is all about habit behavior. Your expectations, your filters are in here, your values, this is the way you want your world to be. This part is the emotional center so this is where the amygdala lives and this is what we’re going to be working with today. This part of the brain is where logic is, this is where you want your audience, your potential client to be when you’re talking to them about those technical specs, about the pricing, about delivery times, about all of those kinds of detailed things, they’re using this part of the brain, that’s where you want them to be.

However, let me go back to my little story I told you. Here’s what the brain is doing all the time, in my example, that gentleman’s brain was picking up all the conversation we were having about those safety projects. He was scanning with this part comparing it to what he expected. In his world in New York City, he had never heard anybody say yes sir and no sir so it didn’t agree with his expectations, it was incongruent. When the brain experiences an incongruence, it sets off a threat response. If you have a client or a potential customer from whom you sense that emotional context, this is what’s happening in their brain. That threat response has gone off, it can be just a little bit of a curiosity or it can be a full blown reaction or anything in between but when this goes off, you will notice the part of the brain that just got little. It takes over the energy in the thinking brain, you need them to think but if the emotional reaction has gone off, thinking, logic is not available to them. So when you sense that contextual piece happening, your first job is to get their brain to settle down.

Let’s talk about the science behind how the brain settles down, hang here with me as I just talk you through this. What you see on the screen is a diagram of a brain, it’s taken from the back here and what you see here on the screen, this is the amygdala, it’s got the little yellow circle around it. They’re measuring the activation of the amygdala, the more activated the amygdala, the higher the threat response, we don’t want that. Here’s what the study was, they brought in three groups of people, they did the same thing with all three groups, they showed them photographs that were very upsetting, they were pictures of people in some way looking like they were being hurt – they weren’t really, but it looked that way, designed to be upsetting.

The control group was given no information, the thinking group was told to suppress those feelings. I don’t even know these people, this is a test, I shouldn’t feel this way, I have no reason to be upset because this is just a test, it’s not real, I shouldn’t feel this way. The orange group was given the opposite instructions, they were told to feel it completely, “These pictures are so upsetting. I know I don’t know these people and I know this isn’t real but this really bothers me” and they were told to completely immerse themselves in that feeling. They measured the brain activation in all three groups and the higher is worse, here are the results. You’re looking in between these vertical lines, this is the point of the test. Type into the question area which group had the biggest amygdala activation. We’re looking for the line in between the two verticals.

Fred Diamond: People are saying green.

Shelley Row: Right, and then which one had the lowest activation?

Fred Diamond: Orange.

Shelley Row: Let’s look at that. Those people who were trying to talk themselves out of feeling are the green ones and it actually made it worse, the ones who validated the feeling actually calmed the brain down. Here’s what that means to you: suppression phrases are like throwing fuel on the fire and we do it all the time with good intentions, but instead it is validation of the context that’s going to calm the brain down. Here’s an example of what we do that’s bad, suppression phrases. “You shouldn’t feel that way”, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine”, “There’s no need to be frustrated”, “You’re getting upset over nothing”, “You’re just overreacting” and maybe you can feel yourself get a little tense when you hear those phrases. We mean well but when you use a phrase like this, it’s actually making it worse for that client or that person in your office.

That leads us to level 2 listening skills, your job is to validate that contextual feeling, it is reflecting but this time you’re reflecting emotion. Let’s pretend that little example I gave before, the person now says to me, “You wouldn’t believe it, I’m trying to hire some entry level people and every one I interview, they just don’t get it.” Now you have content that we did before and context and you can sense the frustration, you have to validate the emotional piece first to calm the brain down. “This sounds really frustrating for you. Tell me more about what you mean by ‘they don’t get it’.” By validating the emotional context first, you begin to let their brain settle down. Here are some examples, “You sound concerned about the impact of this disruption on your IT system”, “I can tell this delay is really upsetting for you”, “You seem frustrated by this meeting” or, “I can tell you’re really happy about this.” In any case, you’re first validating the emotional context that you feel before you go into verifying the content.

Let me pause there and I’m curious, Fred, from your audience, how does this land? Have you all tried some of this? Does it resonate for you about the need to first address and settle the emotional context before you can ever get to the actual factual information?

Fred Diamond: We just got a master’s level course in neuroscience in about 5 minutes there and how it relates to these questions. A lot of people right now are going through depressing times because of COVID and everything related to it and the whole notion that you can’t tell a depressed person, “Get over it, stop being depressed.” Jenny says, “It works like a charm for me when I mirror emotions.” Is mirroring the right word for this as well, is this another way to talk about validation?

Shelley Row: I want to say, “Say more about that.” What do you mean about mirroring? Here’s what I think I’m hearing and I’m going to just zip to that because it’s a little harder to have that conversation. What I think I’m hearing is that mirroring the emotion physically or with your expression or with your emotional body language, for example. Let me go back to Jenny, let me validate then if that’s what you’re talking about or if you can say more about it.

Fred Diamond: She goes, “Validating with words what I think they are feeling.”

Shelley Row: That’s exactly what we’re talking about here, Jenny, is to be able to say, “I can sense your frustration” or you can actually do it as a question. “It sounds like you’re really frustrated by this situation, am I picking that up correctly?” If you think that you’re sensing something and you’re not really sure, then you can actually ask.

Fred Diamond: Jenny says, “Yes, exactly, that’s what I mean.” Thank you, Jenny, good seeing you. One of the aspects of sales that we don’t really talk a lot about anymore is relationship building and one thing that we’re doing here by showing this type of listening is that we’re on the same table with them, we feel what they’re going through, we understand what they’re going through and we’re helping to build that relationship. Here’s another phrase that we use all the time, trusted partner, we’re always trying to continue to get to that level.

Shelley Row: The place where we create connection is in this green part of the brain so when you are seeking to find a connection with that client, potential client or someone in your office or your boss, you’re looking for things that you have in common here, things that you care about similarly, things in your life history, alignment with goals, alignment of values, those sorts of things. This is where we create a connection, it is an emotional thing, it is very rarely a logical thing. This is the highest energy part of the brain, the logic part but this is one of the fastest parts of the brain so people can feel a connection happening pretty quickly, so when you’re being introduced to a new client you’re asking questions to learn more about their filters, about their background, the things that they care about. That’s why the, “Tell me more”, “Tell me more about your problems in this area”, “Say more about what would help you to sleep better at night.”

Fred Diamond: We have a question here from Ali, “What if I disagree?” As far as validation and this concept, what if we disagree with something that they say? Again, we’re touching very simply on this although you’re going very deep into it. Give us some ideas, if we disagree, how can we mix that into this type of listening as well?

Shelley Row: That’s a very good question so thank you for bringing that up. Validation is not agreement, you a very simply validating what you observe if you’re observing an emotional context or you’re verifying what you hear in terms of content, that is not agreement. You can say that out loud if you want, “I’m just seeking to understand here, do I understand correctly that? I might not necessarily agree but I want to make sure that I understand your point of view.” It’s when you get to a place of understanding and both parties are able to say, “That’s what I meant”, now you’re able to say – with much more confidence, by the way – “Okay, I understand your point of view better. Here’s my point of view and how it may differ from yours.” Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” That has been super powerful so if you go into it really working to be clear about understanding, then they’re much more likely to listen to your side as well. Validation is not agreement, it is just seeking to understand.

Fred Diamond: Ali says, “Thank you so much for the clarification.” We have another question here from Josie again, “Should I in the first call always be agreeable?” That’s interesting based on what we just talked about. A lot of times on the first call we want to get to the next call and we talk many times about nurturing in the sales process and those types of things but back to the concept of agreement. In order to get a lot of the stuff out on the table in the beginning so you get all this information, should you acquiesce so that you can make them feel good and be prepared for the next call?

Shelley Row: I don’t personally think about my sales calls as agreement, I really approach them with curiosity and seeking to understand. I would even say to them, “What I would really like to do today is to truly understand where you’re coming from, truly understand your needs and if I can do that, then we can jointly see what is the next best step for both of us.” That’s in my context so I’m not going to disagree with them but I’m all about really, sincerely trying to understand them. What I can do sometimes depending on the situation is to say to them, “Here’s what I believe I hear you saying” and, “Did I understand that correctly? Let me offer perhaps a different way to think about this and then we can perhaps talk about it in our next call.”

I just wanted to mention a little bit about the work that I do, you’ve gotten a little bit of a flavor of it today. I’m an engineer by training and I do all of my work around neuroscience and leadership development particularly for technically oriented people. That might be finance people, lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers, those of us who grew up with a logical mindset. When we move into management, it’s a whole new ball game, completely different and the neuroscience has been really helpful. That’s a lot of the work that I do, I’ve just launched my new website, bluefjordleaders.com and I have a new free offering if you are interested and if this resonates for you. I just wrote the handbook for technical leaders, it’s about a 35-40 page PDF download, it’s completely free. If you would like to get that, just email me shelly@bluefjordleaders.com, happy to send that to you and I invite you to take a glance at the new website that we’re just launching in a week or two. That’s available if that’s of interest to you and I would love to talk to you if that sounds like something that some of the people you work with would be of value.

Fred Diamond: Shelley, that’s great, congratulations. We actually do have one more question that’s coming in here, “Can Shelley recommend any physical things that we should do to listen better?” This question is from Susie, it’s more along the lines of looking into the dot. We talk a lot, because of the new Zoom world, that we need to be a certain way when we do a certain type of presenting and listening and looking. Do you have any physical type recommendations on certain things? If you have two screens there’s always the drive to look at the other screen, is there any physical things, maybe holding your hands behind your back or anything that we could physically control the ability to want to start talking when in fact we should be asking the validating questions?

Shelley Row: There’s two things that I like to do, one of them is physical, the other one isn’t. One is priming, it’s a brain process where before I get on a call I get myself into that mindset, I talk to myself about the fact that I know how to listen, I know how to understand, I have the skills to be able to have this conversation and it puts myself in that mindset before I ever get on the call. In terms of the environment and the physical area, I try to be set up where I’ve got the notes I’ve taken, any research that I’ve done, my notepad where I can write things down and then the most important thing is to manage the distractions. It’s this part of the brain, again, that will notice every pop-up, everything that bounces, beeps, buzzes in the back of your house or whatever and I try to minimize distraction. The thing about good listening skills, it is highly energetic work. It takes a lot of energy on your part to really listen and be able to reflect emotion and context and content.

And I didn’t talk about it today, but while they might be having an emotional reaction to something, you can’t. You have to self-manage to keep your emotional part of your brain in check because you always need to have that logical processing available to you and that too takes energy. Self-control is in this part of the brain so if you get activated and the threat response goes off, you don’t have access either. Anything you can self-manage in your world to keep distractions down and anything that might be upsetting for you, tamp that down and then have everything else ready so that you can spend your energy focused on that person.

Fred Diamond: I want to thank Shelley Row for the great insights today. Listening comes up on almost every Sales Game Changers webinar and podcast that we do. Shelley, before I ask you for your final action step, everybody who attends our webinars or listen to the podcast in the future, they like to have an action step they can do today. Before I ask you for that, I just want to let you know that you may not realize all the value that you’ve provided not just to sales leaders but to business leaders in all the years that you’ve been such a world-class speaker. Of course, you’re not flying around the world right now like you typically do but you brought so much value. We met you originally through our good friend Arnold Sanow through the National Speakers Association and we’re getting so many plaudits coming in here. Kim is saying, “Outstanding presentation, Shelley.” Martin just said, “This is great.” Josie, you answered a couple of her questions, said, “Thank you so much.” I just want to acknowledge you for all the great work you’ve done for sales and business leaders around the world in the years that you’ve been such a world-class and top flight speaker.

You’ve given us so many ideas but give us one action step to leave us with that our viewers and listeners should do today – it’s December 10th, happy Hanukkah to everybody, by the way – give us an action step they should do right now.

Shelley Row: Let me ask you quickly, Fred, do I have time to ask them for one more thing?

Fred Diamond: Sure.

Shelley Row: One thing that I really like to do, and this is also a brain technique, is to ask you to tell me what’s one takeaway that you have from today and then I’ll tell you what I hope that it is.

Fred Diamond: Active listening, we have one right here that says, “I want to research more on neuroscience”, one says, “Understanding how the brain works” so that’s something they’re going to do more. “Connection takes place in the reptilian part of the brain.” “Suppression is bad, validation is good.” People are paying attention, thank you all so much for paying attention.

Shelley Row: That was wonderful. For those who are interested in neuroscience, look at Dr. David Rock, that’s where I’ve studied and he has several good books, they’re very accessible so try that as a place to start. The thing that I would wish for you to try is to try the validation, pay attention to when you’re sensing that context, that emotional piece in your communication and try validating that emotion that you observe by speaking it out loud and checking to see if you understood that emotional context, see if it then lowers the brain activation so you can have a more constructive conversation.

Fred Diamond: Shelley Row, thank you so much.

Shelley Row: Thanks, Fred.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *