Evidence on Listening Training and Workplace Performance with Guy Itzchakov

Listening training can improve workplace performance, creating an environment where employees feel empowered and collaboration is fostered. Dr. Guy Itzchakov is an Assistant Professor at the University of Haifa, Department of Human Services. He earned his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2017. He did research that draws on Carl Rogers’s theory focusing on how attentive and non-judgmental listening impacts speakers’ emotions and cognitions. His research has been published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

In this episode, Guy shares current longitudinal research on listening training in organizations and its impact over time. He shares his insights on how listening helps teams connect, creating a bond while supporting their performance as employees, even in difficult conversations.

Guy is looking for more organizations that would like to take part in his research on listening training and would love to hear from you.

Enjoy listening in. 

“You will not become a better listener just by reading or talking. It takes practice.” 

– Guy Itzchakov


01:03 – From an interdisciplinary background to organizational behavior. How he started researching ‘Listening’

03:00 – His proudest moment about the research he did. How embarrassment turned to pride in the work that he does.

04:54 – Sharing his experience volunteering by facilitating listening circles in Israel which promotes a connection between people in the Israeli society. Guy talks about an article published “Can Holding a Stick Improve Listening in the Workplace?” which was published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 

09:17 – How did the ‘listening circle’ he initiated transform participants?

14:19 – Perspective taking and Competence. Taking a deeper understanding about handling a difficult conversation with customers and how listening empowers employees in the workplace

22:04 – Improving employees’ sense of relatedness to the team and the impact the ‘listening circle’ has on employees when it comes to performing well at work

24:36 – “You will not become a better listener just by reading” Guy shares helpful thoughts on how to become an effective listener

Key Takeaways:

“Participants in the ‘listening circle’ experience a greater reduction in their social anxiety, they were more relaxed, they became more self-aware of their inner thoughts.” – Guy Itzchakov

“What the listening circle does is first and foremost create a psychologically safe environment. When they experience this safety and intimacy, suddenly they want to share and they become aware of thoughts and perspectives which they were not aware of before.” – Guy Itzchakov

“When you listen well, your own wellbeing will improve through being less anxious and you will feel that you are better at what you do.” – Guy Itzchakov

“Training employees in listening empowers them.” – Guy Itzchakov

“Listening circles in my view, allow people to take off some of the defensiveness and the shields that we have in our daily lives and creates a bond between people.” – Guy Itzchakov

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