Better Listening: From Surface Conversations to Empathic Meaningful Dialogues with Stan Slovin 

How often do you catch yourself merely waiting for your turn to respond, not really noticing or even caring about what the other person is trying to communicate. This reactive mode of communication often stifles genuine expression, preventing us  from fully emptying our thoughts and emotions. Consequently, a lack of authentic listening extends to various facets of our lives, from family dynamics to professional environments, hindering meaningful connections and triggering misunderstandings.

Author of Better Listening, Stan Slovin has worked over 30 years in the securities industry with individuals, families, and business owners as a financial professional with major national brokerage firms. Stan earned his bachelor of science degree in finance at the Champaign- Urbana campus of the University of Illinois. He also holds a Juris doctorate from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. Stan is actively involved in charitable organizations focusing on mental health and children with disabilities. He loves traveling and plays in a rock and roll band. Stan, his wife, and their two adult children are from the Chicago area. 

In this episode, Stan talks about how empathy and genuine engagement can create safe spaces for authentic expression, both in personal relationships and professional environments. And he shares stories on how this paves the  way for more meaningful conversations and discussions.

“When others see that you are listening, not only will they appreciate it but you’ll appreciate that they appreciate it and you’ll be happier.” – Stan Slovin

Listening SUPERPOWER Notes:

00:30 – That moment he noticed the power of listening: I’ve recognized this my whole life with my parents, at school and in the area of sales and advisory.

01:56 – Stan’s aha moment about listening: We are actually listening to respond versus listening to understand.

04:15 – What is so important about leadership: Great leaders are the best listeners.

06:15 – A different approach to listening brought about by change

09:08 – The need to shift from transactional to empathetic listening

14:00 – What helps to improve productivity and retention at work: Leaders have to enable their employees to give feedback.

17:21 – The premise behind the title of his book, ‘Better Listening

20:54 – Life experiences showing how important empathy is in listening

23:57 – What ’emptying of bucket’ as a result of empathy all boils down to: Allowing a person to go deeper instead of a surface response.

26:28 – The ‘golden ticket question’ you can use at work: What is most important to you with regard to a relationship with working with X?

30:24 – What Stan wants to see in a podcast interview and what relationship he wants to have with the host: What’s important to me are open-ended questions.

33:12 – A deeper message he wants to share in his book: I want relationships to be better in terms of respect, of being considerate of others.

36:51 – The importance of fostering better relationships through better listening.

40:14 – Stan’s most encouraging parting words: We’re all good listeners; but we could all be better listeners.

Key Takeaways:

“To be a good leader you have to be a good listener.” – Stan Slovin

“Why does a relationship leave? It was that they believed that you were not listening to them. you didn’t have their best interest because you weren’t hearing what they were saying. You were just always talking.” – Stan Slovin

“People are crying to be heard.They want others to listen to them.” – Stan Slovin

“Leaders don’t have to change everything; they just have to tweak a little bit.” – Stan Slovin

“Everyone could be a better listener because what’s missing in the conversation is that we’re not allowing that empathy piece to really play a key role.” – Stan Slovin

“Empathy is key in listening.” – Stan Slovin

“They don’t have to agree with the person that’s talking, but they should at least pause and listen to hear. So that there is mutual respect and consideration so that the relationship.  Even though it may not come to an agreement, they could still remain being invited to the thanksgiving dinner.” – Stan Slovin

Notes/ Mentions:

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