The #TransformativePower of #GenerativeListening with Jane Adshead-Grant

How do we open up ourselves to possibilities, new ideas, and solutions?


In this episode, Jane shares the impact of generative listening. She speaks about how her life and relationships have deepened and have become more meaningful as she has learned and practiced this type of listening. She shares stories about how listening helps others to think for themselves independently, with courage, imagination, and grace. And how this has business impact. She highlights that when we listen in a generative way, we give people the opportunity to become better speakers, better thinkers, and better presenters; we articulate our message well because we know we aren’t judged and interrupted. She describes how organizations can integrate listening to create an environment of inclusion.


Jane Adshead-Grant has a purpose, which is listening. Listening to ignite the best thinking, ideas and solutions in others. In her executive coach and facilitator roles she supports individuals and teams develop person-centric leadership and cultures where everybody matters generating people and business growth in harmony. She is a master credited coach and mentor coach with the ICF and emerging faculty member with Time to Think. Jane has over 30 years’ experience within people focused roles in professional and financial services. 

“We make a choice to listen. And when we make a choice to listen, when we employ discipline to listen at this level, lives change, lives change because this listening creates

in another personal transformation.” – Jane Adshead-Grant

Listen IN Notes:


00:43 – Jane describes her shift in thinking about different kinds of listening when she discovered Nancy Kline’s work on the Thinking Environment. How it changed her life as a coach, her relationships with her husband, her children, her friends. She learned how to listen at a deeper level, to generate the very best in others.


02:24 – What is generative listening?  How it can be a transformational experience


03:31 – Jane’s understanding of generative listening: what we are doing is we are a generative force through listening


08:10 – How we build the muscle of generative listening in an organization:  it requires practice, and it requires discipline.


11:49 – How to work with leaders who might be afraid of generative listening. Mindset first: freeing your mind as a leader, that you have to solve the challenge or the development need for that individual.


14:39 – Stories of surprising outcomes in working with leaders in organizations. One story describes a lead counsel observing and modeling after Nancy and taking it to his team members and meetings.


17:24 – The value of ‘role modeling’ and showing appreciation


18:49 – Jane sharing stories of leaders’ transformational experiences in adapting generative listening in how they communicate with their clients


22:27 – Listening to helps people connect with their own resourcefulness


25:39 – What this journey in generative listening revealed to her and the realizations she has now that she had not thought of before


30:22 – What might get in the way of people listening deeply, what assumptions might one be holding about oneself or another, or the situation that prevents them from listening?


32:53 – The one word to describe the listening that helped Jane: The experience was insightful. It would reveal to her that she had within her what it took to get through what she was struggling with at the time.


38:04 – What her experience looks like when it’s difficult to listen to someone who has a very different view from your own. When do you not listen to somebody?


41:14 – Jane sharing about the research she’s doing now: looking at the impact of listening training on the participants and business outcomes


43:50 – Jane shares simple exercises to help develop your listening capacity: First, reflect and notice the impact. Second, practice listening to someone free from interruption and judgment.


47:24 – A thought Jane shares that would help organizations consider listening: Think about the inclusivity within their organization and how listening can create an environment of inclusion


49:49 – How she keeps abreast with listening: Regular practice, constantly observing what works, what gets in the way of people listening, and making connections with people.


50:52 – Jane shares an important thought we need to pay attention to when listening.


51:22 – Jane sharing her appreciation of Raquel’s work — the breadth and depth that she brings to the topic of listening.

Key Takeaways:


“I think the leader, in this way of listening, is that their role is to help that individual think more for themselves —  creatively, resourcefully, independently. This will become a lot more empowering for people rather than the leader telling them what they need to be doing differently.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


When others embrace this skill and recognize the impact of listening and take it wholeheartedly into their way of leading. It’s just wonderful.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“I have seen…individuals transform their lives through a time when they felt wholly listened to, and for the first time revealed what was holding them back from living the life that they chose to live.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“As I rewind, when I started my journey on listening, I didn’t know the power and the transformation that listening can generate.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“I think to be a great listener; it’s very much an experiential experience. And so we need to practice both, we need to practice listening. And at the same time, we need to experience what it feels like to be really listened to.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“Meetings are one of the most common ways of exchanging ideas and being together in the ways of working and I love to introduce rounds –giving people the equal turn to share their thoughts and ideas on a question… And I always love to start meetings with an appreciation round so that people feel that they’ve joined the meeting. Because people don’t feel they’ve contributed…until they’ve actually spoken.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“How do I ask questions that ignite the best in others? And to your point, it comes with listening. It’s not simply about asking a question it’s listening to how the person is responding.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“One important thing to pay attention to, is noticing the impact of listening and appreciating people when they do it well.” – Jane Adshead-Grant


“Setting myself up as a practitioner rather than an expert keeps me abreast with my listening.” – Jane Adshead-Grant




Connect With Jane Adshead-Grant:


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