‘Today I Will Listen’, Listening as the foundation of all communication skills with Marva Shand-McIntosh 

Have you ever thought about how listening develops in children and how this connects with listening in leadership development? You might be surprised by what you discover from our guest today. 

Marva Shand-McIntosh  founded the I Love to Listen Day in 2005, and it’s still going strong. This day is celebrated every year on May 16th. She is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist as well as an international communication consultant who trains executive leaders, educators, youth leaders and parents in successful listening practices.

As a Certified Listening Professional, Marva has presented papers at international and national conferences. She also serves as a guest lecturer on listening at various university campuses, in churches and the community. Her professional activities include memberships in the ILA and the American Speech-Language Association.

I hope you are inspired with Marva just like I am in finding ways to raise the awareness of listening and inspiring communities and families on how they can listen to each other better. Even creating fun and creative ways and rituals that have long lasting effects.

Enjoy listening in.

“Whether or not we think we have a listening reputation, we do.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

Listening SUPERPOWER Notes:

01:07 – When Marva noticed the power of listening — and how it indeed worked

04:42 – Knowing she is a listener by heart: It was my comfort zone when I was in a group or with other individuals, I just felt more comfortable being the listener, even though I could talk up a storm.

07:40 – What is it about a leader’s listening reputation: As a leader at any level of leadership, we motivate, we encourage, we send the message to the workers that you are valued, and we appreciate you.

11:02 – The impact that listening has on Marva: The most impact on me is that listening is foundation work.

15:14 – One important thing she reminds herself of: Be the first to listen and listen first.

17:24 – Understanding the development stages of listening that starts from a mother’s womb

23:19 – A deeper understanding of a teenage brain and why they’re responding to other voices and not so much to their parents

25:37- Learning more about the ‘silent period’ that we go through in the development stages of listening

27:51 – Marva talks about the ‘I Love to Listen Day’ and the inspiration that started this inspiration. She shares ways it is celebrated and the impact it leaves on people

34:11 – Watch out for Marva’s Listening Proclamation on her website which you can send to your family, local and national government

35:54 – Marva’s heartfelt message to everyone: “When you get into an interaction, be that one person to be the first one to do the listening and to listen first because you’re giving someone an opportunity to be understood.”

Key Takeaways:

“Listening is motivating; and that’s what we do as leaders.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“If you can listen to teenagers, you can do it anywhere.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“Listening is hard work. It’s not intuitive and it is foundational and no one thinks about the foundation.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“In language learning, when you move to another culture and you are acquiring the new language, you do go through that silent period and you are learning.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“How we know (listening) is a powerful thing? When someone is misunderstood. It is the most stinging, the most disturbing experience.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“Listening is a life and death matter in many cases. And in other cases, people have missed opportunities that will never come back because your listening wasn’t there.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh

“As a leader, be that motivator and use listening to motivate others; as a parent do the same, because I would always say if you want to change the world, go home and listen. That is a great place to start.” – Marva Shand-McIntosh


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