1. Listening Deeply
Live Online Classes
Next course start date: 26-Jan-22
26-Jan-22 to 26-May-22 (Live access)
26-Jan-22 to 9-Mar-22 (Follow-along)
For immediate access to the most recent recorded class, visit the Archive Page.
Group A: 30 places left
Group B: 29 places left
- Articles about Listening Skills
- Demo Listening Sessions
- Chapter 4 in Practical Empathy
- Book – Listening Well by William Miller (a therapy perspective)
- Articles about Demographic Assumptions
- Book – Realizing Empathy by Seung Chan Lim
- Book – How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
Experience the most recent recorded version of each class as Indi teaches it. Indi records the Wednesday class of each week. You get access to the recordings each Wednesday evening, after class.
The idea behind follow-along is that you can, for a much lower price, experience the latest course content and the energy of taking the course along with other people. The access period is limited to 6 weeks (from the first day of class) to encourage you to “follow-along” with the live class, interact with your fellow students on Slack, and even partner up with other follow-along students for homework, exercises, or just to discuss the course materials.
If you’re interested in a longer access time, please check out the Archive Access option.
About this course
Listening deeply is a powerful skill. Most people don’t realize they are listening at the surface, so the experience doesn’t seem to shift anything. This course teaches depth. (The classes in this course are each 2.5 hours long.)
Do you know how to get past the surface to listen at depth?
Listening has so many applications: developing relationships, forming rapport, connecting with people, seeing new perspectives. While these may sound too mystical to apply in your org, any hope of improving support for people, teamwork, or leadership is rooted in being able to shape relationships. Listening is the foundation for inclusivity, new market opportunities, and powerful team efficiency. I make sure professionals have the skills to wield the empathetic mindset when they are feeling confronted by someone who has different values. If a professional has the awareness to recognize then they are reacting, judging, or being triggered, they can hit the mental pause button and decide what to do next.
The empathetic mindset does not mean you have to feel warmth for another person. The words “understand” and “comprehend” do not mean “adopt” or “agree with.”
It may seem counter-intuitive to take time to listen when you want to solve, but it’s foundational. In product & service design, listening deeply allows you to learn other people’s thinking and approaches to the purposes your organization intends to support. It is the path to discovering whole new markets and opportunities. To this point, listening deeply is the way to create a mental model diagram or thinking styles. These let you consider how well you are helping people achieve their purpose using an approach matched to them. Listening is the key.
You will learn how to:
- Identify the ways you already listen
- Discern surface from depth when you are listening
- Start a listening session & recognize when it’s over
- Develop rapport & trust with the speaker
- Get past the surface to depth
- Prepare for formal research studies
- Deal with uncooperative or aggressive speakers
Expect homework to take about one hour a week. (Some people invest less time or more time, depending on their context.)
- Homework #1: Build your awareness of how you currently listen in real work and life. Practice paying rapt attention.
- Homework #2: Connect a person’s purpose to the reason for listening. Start a listening session based on a purpose.
- Homework #3: Run at least one formal listening session. Develop rapport & trust, get the speaker to go deep, recognize when it goes out of scope, and recognize when the session is “done.”
Who is this for?
If you are a researcher, a listening session is very different than an interview. Learn how to let the participant direct the conversation and how to encourage the participant to uncover a trio of concept types that provide the richness of understanding you need in your data.
If you are a leader or team member, listening deeply is how you build relationships, giving other people the gift of feeling heard. By understanding their guiding principles, you are able to collaborate more effectively, with less strife and misunderstanding.
Learning paths for different roles
Previous start dates
Demo Listening Sessions
Want to see/hear what a listening session is about?
Here are three recordings from three different listeners. Everyone brings their own style to listening deeply, and it’s important to embrace that. The podcast is at Design Thinking 101, hosted by Dawan Stanford, where I talk through the details of these demo listening sessions. And here is a one-pager, transcripts, recordings, and other material.
(All demo participants were recruited knowing our intent and giving their permission.)
Listener Skills Covered:
- Structuring the Session
- initial to the person’s purpose
- germinal question
- “earlier you said” as transition
- another instance of this purpose
- closing question
- Listening Deeply
- “what went through your mind”
- micro-reflection, reflection
- pin to a place & time
- find the root
- encouraging more
- personality warmth
- support (non-judgmental)
- support (showing they were heard)
- “because …” “why”
- Avoid These
- surface-level question
- new topic/vocab introduced
- leading question
- conjecture (future thinking)
- complex reflection
- missed hearing Speaker
- Things That Happen, Which Are Okay
- explain how session works
- verification if it’s Speaker’s thinking
- clarification of spoken words
- Listener’s verbal habit