Keys to Listening in the High-Stake Tech World for Effective Collaboration with Kathrin O’Sullivan

Kathrin O’Sullivan is an experienced organization development consultant, facilitator, executive coach and speaker with twenty years of experience in the tech industry.  She is based in Silicon Valley and works internationally. 

Kathrin believes that in service of creating a world where everyone can thrive, we need smart leaders who are curious, grounded, open, and passionate about what they do. In times where command and control approaches do more harm than good, effective leadership requires presence, deep listening, truth-telling, and compassionate, wise action. Despite the “always on” pressure of their daily reality, the most powerful and effective leaders cultivate time for silence and introspection in order to sharpen their intellect and access their intuition. This allows authentic and effective leadership which inspires everyone to give their best, even in times of uncertainty and constant change. 

In this episode, Kathrin provides lots of insightful information on listening.  As she uncovers the different levels and ways of listening, she will also reveal the power of listening with value and understanding the emotions that go with it.  Furthermore, Kathrin will give us different perspectives on how listening impacts critical discussions and yields optimal results in the solution process, people engagement and key relationship building. 

“We can choose to listen in different ways. When we choose consciously how we want to do that, then, we’re already present.”

   - Kathrin O’Sullivan


02:04 – Kathrin details how working in sales made her realize the importance of listening 

03:34 – Different levels of listening that the training she attended focused on 

05:05 – How listening intently with another person will lead to a meaningful discussion results to a practical solution thinking 

07:00 – Defining who are you as a listener that may prevent from listening well and keeping an open mind 

08:12 – Other ways of listening and how these impacts the engagement to other people 

16:32 – The benefits of doing the five-minute guided breathing exercise in listening 

18:12 – The critical attention a problem needs if it keeps resurfacing 

20:02 – Talking about assumptions and how to take these into a different perspective 

24:38 – The power of listening to the value and emotions 

29:51 – Building a relationship when people feel heard and valued 

31:15 – Getting to the conflict stage when not listening 

32:23 – The vulnerability that requires to listen 

40:19 – Using internal tools in human technology 

45:58 – Kathrin’s plans in the future 

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