The Power of Deep Listening with Executives with Rebecca Johns

Listening is one skill that is hard to practice. It goes beyond hearing the person. Truly keeping quiet, having introspection within while connecting with the other person, nurturing that curiosity to wonder, and pondering the impact you make on another are key components.

Rebecca Johns is a Personal and Professional Development Coach and Trainer. Her background includes 35 years of teaching in higher education, public education, consulting, facilitation, and coaching. She brings many gold nuggets full of wisdom and practicality that she has learned from her work with children and later in her profession with executives.

In this episode, Rebecca shares stories about her experience helping leaders “go beyond the edge”. She uses their strengths to explore the greater potential of what’s possible as a leader. She touches on the importance of listening, being present, receptive, and responsive as an intuitive leader to effectively make choices from a place of deeper inner knowing that can make a big difference in other people’s lives.

Enjoy listening in. 

“Listening is a skill and it takes a lot of practice. It begins with listening to ourselves.” 

– Rebecca Johns


00:14 – Rebecca’s career background and the different sectors she has been serving in her capacity as a certified professional coach and when she first became aware of listening and its impact.

04:42 – Rebecca gives an example of what it really means to intentionally learn how to listen and the impact on others around you. 

07:39 – Training and coaching are two different things according to Rebecca. She shares the reasons people come to her for help yet how it boils down to listening. She describes one exercise that will help you intentionally listen and be aware of the moment.

15:33 – Getting into the action. Rebecca takes Raquel through a breathing exercise that helps a healthy adult brain to take in information and process it so as to formulate a meaningful response. 

20:28 – Breaking the barriers of imposter syndrome and learning about intuition as a leadership skill to effectively make choices from a place of deeper inner knowing.

26:54 – It is in listening that we ask good questions that are life-changing and Rebecca explains where she believes good questions come from.

29:31 – Why do people not ask questions? What is holding us back from asking questions when it’s the right thing to do?

32:17 – How structure in an organization can build trust for everyone to ask questions and share thoughts making meetings more meaningful and productive. And how the core values of family, community, relationships, and flexibility resonate into the whole idea of work-life balance.

39:47 – We are a species craving for connection – how do we truly connect with deeper meaning? 

47:54 – Rebecca’s suggestion: Slow down, don’t be in a hurry to cover all the lessons at the expense of people not understanding them. Her 3 R’s of teaching are uncovered here.

50:44 – A useful and meaningful tool you can use that can make a big difference in other people’s lives.

Key Takeaways:

“I worked all the way up through high school and I would ask kids, ‘If I could tell adults anything, what would you like them to know?’ And almost without exception, these kids go,’ Adults need to learn how to listen. They tell us to listen all the time, but they’ve never taught us how and they don’t listen.’” – Rebecca Johns   

“I do less training and much more coaching because I want to stay and see the change happen. That’s my commitment.”- Rebecca Johns   

“I think if there is a cultural norm, at least here in the US, it is that we’re busy, and we’re all stressed out. So there’s a lack of fulfillment, a lack of a sense of purpose. Which means that it’s a culture of disconnection. We have cultures where people really aren’t that connected to each other.” – Rebecca Johns   

“Listening is the skill that makes the biggest difference in an environment. But most of the environments that we work in, and for some of us that we even live in, don’t support deep listening. And it takes a lot of self-awareness and a lot of willingness to try something different and to do things differently.” – Rebecca Johns   

“There’s no professional development without personal development. You can’t grow as a professional without growing as a person and you can’t grow as a person without having that impact in your professional life.”- Rebecca Johns   

Connect with Rebecca Johns

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