The Bregman Leadership Podcast
Episode 214

Mark Goulston

Just Listen

What are you listening for? Dr. Mark Goulston, a UCLA professor of psychiatry, former FBI and hostage negotiation trainer, and author of multiple books including Just Listen and Talking to Crazy, shares his powerful listening methodology with us in this powerful episode. Discover his FUD (Frustrated, Upset, Disappointment) approach for difficult conversations, learn what it means to take the conversation to the ICU (Important, Critical, Upset), and what it means to “listen for” instead of “listen to.”

About

Get the book, Just Listen from Amazon here:

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Get the book, Talking to “Crazy” from Amazon here:

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Website: MarkGoulston.com

Bio:  Originally a UCLA professor of psychiatry for over 25 years, and a former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, Dr. Mark Goulston’s expertise has been forged and proven in the crucible of real-life, high stakes situations. An influencer who helps influencers become more influential, his unique background has made him an indispensible and sought after resource and change facilitator to Fortune 500 leaders, entrepreneurs and educators across the nation. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California.

Video

https://youtu.be/Fa9N8cJ-CMc

Transcript

This transcript is unedited.

 

Peter:

With us today is Mark Goulston. He is one of the world’s foremost thought leaders on empathic listening. He wrote a book called just listening. He has worked with a hostage negotiation. He was a hostage negotiation trainer. He knows a lot about, about listening and about being heard and what you need to do in order to create an environment in which people feel hurt. And so I’ve, I’ve been on his podcast. He’s a delightful guy you’re in for a treat one of my favorite people. And I’m just excited to have this conversation with him and to share it with all of you Mark, welcome to the Bregman leadership podcast while it can only go downhill

Mark:

From that, I’m a legend in your own mind. There you are.

Peter:

You are a legend. So I, as we were talking before the show a little bit, I would like this to be an open conversation about listening and you know, you, you are very good at it because I, I see you as good at it in our conversations and in the questions you ask and the way you hold space. And I think it’s I think everybody would benefit from, from hearing some of your thoughts on how we can become better listeners and you know, things we can do so that the impact of our listening is that people feel heard. So let’s just start with what got you into this in the first place into listening. Yeah. Having to be so important. Right.

Mark:

Well, I don’t want to go into the total backstory, but you know, one of my, probably one of my greatest accomplishments in life, you know, outside the family and it seems relatively functional. Um I dropped out of medical school twice and finished. I don’t know anyone who dropped out of medical school twice and finished. And I dropped out probably for untreated depression. And the second time I dropped out the medical school wanted to kick me out because they were losing matching funds. And I was at a low point. And and I met with the, the Dean of the school who was a very transactional conversation. Don’t quite remember it. And I was in a low point, you know, I’m not sure if I would say the S word, the suicide word, but I’m sure if I went much lower, I, it would have crossed my mind. And I a call from the Dean of students and the Dean of the Dean of the school cares about finance. Dean of the students cares about students. And he called me and he said, we’ve got a letter here from the Dean after you met with him, you need to come in. And I was really low. And I came from a background where you’re only worth what you can do and what you can produce, you know, came from, you know, depression, age parents. And, and I didn’t think I was worth much because I was stuck. I was still passing things. So they couldn’t really kick me out. And, and the, the letter, he said, he said, here’s the letter from the Dean? It says, I’ve met with mr. Goulston. We talked about an alternate career, suggest that you find one and I’m advising the promotions committee that he be asked to withdraw, which is a euphemism for, well, I asked the Dean of students. I said, what does this mean? You said you’ve been kicked out Mark. And I’m not really religious, but I think a miracle happened. So I hope you know, that I’m going to take the time to share this story.

Mark:

And, you know and I say, it’s a miracle because when he said you’ve been kicked out, I felt like I had been shot in the stomach. And I know what that feels like. I almost died from a perforated colon about 10 years ago. And it’s like, and I stopped. I felt something wet on my cheekbones. And I thought I was bleeding from my eyes and I’m not a religious person. And so I kept rubbing the wetness and it was tears. And I think I was plummeted. And so again, you know, I come from parents who, you know, different mindset. And so when you’re plummeting and you feel you’re not worth anything because you can’t do anything and you’ve just been kicked up, this is what he said to me. So this is how he listened to me. And I didn’t even know I was saying this.

Mark:

He said, Mark, you didn’t screw up because you’re passing miraculously, but you are screwed up. But if you got unscrewed up, I think this school would one day, be glad they gave you a second chance. And so I just started to tear up with he’s pummeling me with compassion, which I didn’t know. And then he said, and then he said, and even if you don’t get unscrewed up, even if you don’t become a doctor, even if you don’t do another thing, the rest of your life, which is probably what I was thinking, I was capable of. He said, I’d be proud to know you because you have a streak of goodness in you Mark that the world needs, and you don’t know how much the world needs it. And you won’t know it until you’re 35, but you’ve got to make it till you’re 35.

Mark:

And then I’m really just crying. Like, what is he seeing? He’s seeing value. I have a future. And then he said, look at me. And I could hardly look at him because I’m just sobbing. And he said, you won’t know how much the world needs until you’re 35, but you need to make it till 35 and you deserve to be on this planet and you’re going to let me help you. And then he stood up to the whole promotions committee at his own risk. He was just the PhD. These were the heads of hospitals. And I guess he was able, and then I had to meet with them. But what happened is a switch clicked inside me. It’s like I was plummeting and he put a hand underneath and saying, you’re not going anywhere. And you don’t even have to do anything. You can just be who you are.

Mark:

And you, you as a human being have value in the world. And so it just flipped a switch inside me. I mean, it was amazing because up until then my coping mechanism, I could be very sarcastic and, you know, had this edgy sense of humor, totally a defense mechanism and and very cynical. But after that, something switched and I went from anyone who cares about anything as a fool, I switched to the only thing worth living for is caring about things, people. And so what happened is I then became a suicide specialist for 30 years and none of my patients killed themselves. And I basically did with my patients, what Dean McNary did with me, I would listen into their eyes. And I basically, basically I was saying, where does it hurt? How much does it hurt? How alone are you when it hurts, take me there. And I just keep them company in the dark night of the soul until they started crying. And then they felt relief.

Peter:

What does it mean to listen with your eyes?

Mark:

Well, it means listening, listening into people’s eyes. So I’m going to share something. So thank you for allowing me the space to tell that story. Yeah. It probably killed off half your audience, but the people were still listening. Hopefully you’re going to be glad you listened. Cause I’m going to hit you with something. That’s going to change your life. I spoke my book justice and became the topic enlisting in the world. And I spoke in Moscow. But three months ago, along with Daniel Kahneman, you know, I think I wrote thinking fast and slow and a great guy, Joseph pine, who wrote the experience economy. And I spoke to a thousand Russians and you can find me on YouTube video clips. And I said you probably here because my books have done pretty well in your country, but I’m going to introduce a different kind of listening.

Mark:

It’s going to change everything you know about communication. And I’m going to now give that to you, Peter and your listeners. And I said, I’m looking at the audience. If I focus on what you’re listening to, if we’re just transactional, you’re listening to me. And if I listed off bullet points, you know, you’ll try a couple of them. They’ll work out. They won’t work out. And if I focus on what you’re listening to, you’ll give me your mind. And then I switched to an NPR voice. And I said, but if I focus on what you’re listening for and I deliver that, you’ll give me everything. And so here’s what you’re listening for. Peter, because you were asking me a question, you know, your typical question, let’s talk to the expert. You know, let’s get some concepts and tell me if I get it correctly.

Mark:

And if I do what that experience is like, and if I don’t, we’re going to have to do some really good editing. So as I look at you and I’m thinking, what is Peter listening for? What I pick up is you actually care about people. You actually care about your listeners. You actually want to give them value. That’s immediately helpful to them. You know, they want to get ahead, but you not only want them to become more successful. You want them to become better people and have those both combined. If I can help them become better people and more successful, as opposed to some killer transactional person, you know, who hurts other people just to make a buck. So I think what you’re listening for is I want to give value to my listeners that they, they don’t hear elsewhere. The second thing you’re listening for is you’re listening for my sharing.

Mark:

Something that you can say, Oh, I get that, that actually could work. If I was in a conversation with people and I just stopped whatever I was going to convince them of and just ask myself, what are they listening for? And I kept my agenda out of my mind. I would be totally present. Wow. And then the third thing you’re listening for, because you are a podcast host bringing, you know, a guest expert. I think you’re listening for my being able to give some tips that are doable immediately by your listeners. They don’t have to buy a course. There’s no upsells. They don’t have to buy a book. And so I think you’re listening for value. That is something that would actually work that people hadn’t thought of and that’s doable by them. And if we deliver that, it’s, you’re going to be serving your audience.

Mark:

So is any of that accurate?

Peter:

Uh yeah. It is accurate. Those are the things that I’m listening for. That’s absolutely right.

Mark:

Yeah. And see, it’s interesting because when you just said that people can’t see in the video cause you’re much more professional than I am. You know, I’d like to grow up to be like you, I mean, I just, I just wear my in my sleep, but when you say you paused, you assessed it and you said that’s absolutely true. And I think you said that and you actually smiled a little bit because what connected with is you said in your mind, I think that’s what I was listening for. Mark got me. He got where I’m coming from. He got what I’m actually trying to do with my listeners. So that’s an example of what you’re listening for. And if you’re a listener to this podcast, you’re listening for the same things.

Mark:

I’m hoping to hear something that will help me become more successful because Peter is as much a human being as he is a human doing, you know I’m listening for something that will actually make me a better person because I wouldn’t listen to Peter’s podcast otherwise. And I’m hoping it’s something that is counterintuitive. I never would’ve thought of that, but intuitively correct. I think, I think this stuff would actually work. And then what you’re listening for, if you’re the listener, is, is there something that I can do immediately in my next conversation, can next person I’m with, can I just pause and just be focused on what that person listening for? And by the way, if you’re listening in, you don’t have to really know what they’re listening for. You can just get rid of your agenda. And what happens is when you’re just there listening for something, they’re going to pick up a different eye contact. It’s going to change the energy. And often they’re going to say, well, what are you looking at me? What are you thinking? And if you say I was just being very curious about what you’re listening for to get out of this conversation. And I have some ideas what it might be, but why don’t you tell me what you’re listening for? Because if I can be of service and I can be of help, it’s going to go better, not just for you, but for both of us.

Peter:

So I’m curious about if you’re in a hostage negotiation, for example, and that’s just an extreme example, you never really let go of your agenda. Do you, or is there a way of letting go of your agenda? I mean, at that point, you’re in a hostage negotiation, you have a very, very clear agenda. And I’m just using that because it’s an extreme example of something that we face every day, which is I have a meeting with my boss. I have a meeting with the board or have a meeting with a client. And there’s a way in which in that moment I am really just there present, but there’s a meta agenda to the whole conversation.

Mark:

Sure, sure. And and I’m going to give you a magical hack and your listeners, a magical hack. This’ll be, this’ll be the best thing that you get out of this podcast. So we might have to, we might have to quit while we’re ahead. And it’s actually in my most book is called talking to crazy how to deal with the irrational and impossible people in your life. It’s not about mental illness. It’s about the people that drive us crazy. And the reason they had me over at Moscow is because the Russian edition of talking to crazy is how to talk with assholes. And it went viral. I said to them, why are you having me over with a Nobel prize winner? You know, I mean, know, I’m just, this guy’s written some of these books, they said, doctor his book did not go viral.

Mark:

Yeah. And, and, but one of the things that I talk about, cause just listen, is about how do you get people to open up to you? Talking to crazy is how once they open up to you, how do you kind of disarm whatever negative is going on. So here’s the, here’s the hack that I would like a drum roll for, but we’re not going to get, and it’s called FID crud, forget the crud. I was just being immature. But here’s how Fudd works. You’re there with your spouse or they’re with your teenager or they’re with a boss and you get a sense that they’re a little frustrated about something something’s not going, right. So rather than getting defensive, getting scared, crying, you know, if they tell you it, if you pick up that, they’re about to tell you something and it might not be just you, it might be, it might be something in the company that they’re telling you about.

Mark:

So let them finish look into their eyes the whole time, because I’m giving you a process. You wait for one to two seconds and they’re going to be curious because you’re totally present. You’re not defensive. And you say to the other person and your spouse, your teenager, your boss, and you say, you sound frustrated. And I think you’re holding back and they’ll go, what you sound frustrated. And I think you’re holding back because I think you’re also upset and disappointed. So can you fill me in on all three of those? See if we can make it better. It’s magical. And see if you say to someone you seem upset or you see my angry, they get defensive, but everybody’s willing to talk about being frustrated. But the key is you want them to be able to talk fully about what they’re frustrated. So when they’re talking about what they’re frustrated about, something else that I teach people is be a first class noticer that makes you present.

Mark:

So when I went through my listening for, I noticed that you pause, you tried it on your head and you said, absolutely. I think you got what I was listening for. So when you notice something it’s, you’re more present than when you’re looking, watching and seeing. And so what you notice when they start talking about what they’re frustrated about is you try to notice hyperbole when they re, when they say awful, horrendous a mess, but when they raise their voice in intensity and so you let them finish that, and then you say, say more about the horrendous, say more about the mess. So you’re opening them up and you’re because they’re giving you the tip of the iceberg, right? And then they’ll say more. And then what you want to transition them to when you get a feeling that they’ve gotten that off their chest, you could say, yeah, I think you’re holding back.

Mark:

What about all that? Are you upset about? And disappointed let’s sell with what you’re upset about. And then you do the same thing. They start talking about what they’re upset about. This works amazing with teens and spouses, because really what you want to get them to is get stuff off their chest and they’re react reactivity. And you’re not getting defensive because you have a, you have a method, you have a process, but what you really want to get people to is what are you disappointed in? You’re disappointed in me or you’re disappointed in the company, or you’re disappointed in a vendor you’re disappointed in yourself. And when you get people to start talking about what they’re disappointed about, it’s a much calmer conversation.

Peter:

And let’s say on your side, you’re listening to what they’re disappointed about, but you feel like they I mean, especially when I think about the title of your book, that they, they are missing the boat that like you, you, you don’t own the stuff that they’re disappointed about because it’s really their issue or they’ve you know, that you’re, you’re not in a position or you don’t actually even feel like it’s right to give them the thing that they want or, you know, like it’s I’m cause that’s your, like when oftentimes when people walk into a conversation, they have an agenda. And so what you’re saying is how do we create the space to really empathize with the other person? And that if they feel seen and heard, is that what we do to lay the groundwork for us to then ask them to see and hear us?

Mark:

Well I think what happens is when you can watch the other person open up and get rid of their frustration upset, and they become calmer, you often don’t need for them to hear you out because it’s become an authentic conversation. So if you’re talking to a boss and they come up with all these things now of course it has to be, you need some input from them. And you know, one of my friends, someone else, you know, is Marshall Goldsmith and Marshall Goldsmith has this whole approach. And I talk about it in my books. He basically says focus on the future. That hasn’t happened yet. As opposed to something that’s already happened, people just get defensive. So my boss said something and they’re way off what I would do again, I’d pause. And I’d say, going forward, what must I consistently always do?

Mark:

And what must I never do going forward so that this kind of frustration you’re feeling goes away and talk to me like I’m five. It has to be observable. If you say you gotta to be a better communicator. I don’t know what that means. Does that mean, do I interrupt people? Do I have to have the last word? I mean, what is it? But when you focus on the future and what’s really helpful then is you say to them and you use the I word, which people don’t hear enough. And you say, what you just said is much too important for me to have gotten wrong. Oh, someone said unimportant, wow. I haven’t heard that in my life for 10 years. And you say what you said was much too important for me to have gotten wrong. So I’m going to tell you what I heard you say that going forward, I need to do consistently a what I need to stop doing.

Mark:

And I want to run that by you. And then what happens is when you run that by them, they have to calm down further because they’re listening to you. They’re not venting. And they’re listening to you because you’re telling them that what they told you was important. So that changes the energy also. And then if they say, no, that’s not exactly right. You have them correct it. And then when you finally get it right, you say, so do I have it correct? You follow Bob Cialdini’s work on on influence persuasion and you look for the confirmatory. Yes. So when you finally give it back to them, they say, yes. Right. And then you say, I’m going to work on it. I’ve a request I’d like to check in with you once a month and tell me how you think I’m doing, you know, have I am I consistently doing that thing that, you know, frustrated, upset and disappointed you have? I stopped. So am I doing the positive thing that I wasn’t doing? Have I stopped the negative thing, but I’d like to check in with you. And so what’s happening is you’re, you’re taking charge of the conversation with a boss, right. But you’re not being controlling.

Peter:

Right. I find myself wondering–

Mark:

Now you don’t have to adjust. You have to adjust this to who you are. Obviously I’ve got a down Pat because you know, I’ve negotiated all kinds of things and I’m, I’ve written all these books. So, you know, take what I’m saying and adapt it to what will work for you.

Peter:

Right? Yeah. I mean, when I find myself curious about is when I really think of deep listening, when I think about what I’m listening for, when I think about really being present with someone else, it’s you separate yourself in some way, maybe I’m being naive about this, but you separate yourself in some way from technique. Meaning the reason I paused after you asked me the question is because I wasn’t thinking about my answer to the question I was listening to you and I was present with you. And then when you asked me a question, I had to pause in order to think, is this right? Because if I was thinking, is this right the whole way? And then making the assessments and making judgements, I’m not really with you. So it’s this uncomfortable maybe moment after the listening, where, when you’re asked a question, you have to say, and I remember saying this to someone, someone, you know, made an argument for something.

Peter:

And they said, what do you think? And I said, I don’t, I don’t know, give me a minute. Like I wasn’t thinking I was listening. So give me a minute to think about what I think based on what I just heard, because I haven’t been processing that in my head. And I guess my question Mark is, is there a way, cause I know, I know my experience of you is your, and my experience of being interviewed by you and my experience of being in conversation with you is you’re very present and you listen really well. And and there, and like we almost have a conversation soul to soul. And when I think about some of what you’re suggesting, which are these sort of, you know, then say this and then say that I wonder whether that comes off as sort of manipulative and you know, driving to a process and actually detracts from the experience of connection. And I recognize that those are really good tools. So it’s, it’s a true question for you is like, where is the balance between truly just being with someone and listening to them without agenda. And all of the techniques we just talked about, which are very useful, valuable techniques. And I wonder whether they remove us from that really being present and really listening and really being connected.

Mark:

Well, you said something interesting, you say, well, what I’m focusing on, what I’m listening for. See if you, if you focus on what you’re listening for, you have an agenda. I’m listening for something, I’ll plug it in my agenda. So what I’m suggesting, this is why this is, I think one of the most disruptive approaches to listening. If you focus on what they’re listening for, forget about what you’re listening for and you get them to be clear about it, something else I talk about.

Peter:

And is that another way of sort of saying, what do they care about? Like what, like, based on what they’re saying, what do they care about?

Mark:

Yeah. So here’s another hack. Here’s another technique. But the point is, this is not going to work for people who are dyed in the wool transactional agenda types, because it will come as manipulative and disingenuous. I just know that when you get people to be really open with you, they lean into that. But the point is you can never do here’s the, this is the downside. When you get people to be really open with you and they trust you, you can’t do a bait and switch and then manipulate them. They will hate you. Right? So you’ve got to find out who you are and your values. And you got to realize I’m a little bit older. And so as I look out in the transactional world, I don’t think it’s done that much for mankind. You know? I mean, it’s created the zero sum thinking, you know, all this win-win stuff, it feels like who did the ROI people.

Mark:

And so but when you focus on what they’re listening for, and like you said, if the other person says, what do you think here’s another tactic, but it’s not a tactic. If you mean it earnestly. And what you say to the other person is I could tell you what I think, but what I’ve been listening for from our conversation is what I called the ICU. I want to take the conversation to the ICU when people say, what do you mean I see you now, I get away with it. Cause I’m a medical doctor, but I could say I was, as I replayed the conversation I was listening for. What was most important, critical, and urgent to you, and they’re going to go, what important is something a year from now? Maybe we didn’t even talk about it. Critical is three months, three to six months, urgent is this week.

Mark:

And I’m trying to figure out what, from our conversation from your point of view was most important, critical, and urgent. I can guess what it is and I might be right, but why don’t you tell me? It’s kind of like the FID thing, you know, I know you’re frustrated, but I also know you’re upset and disappointed. Why don’t you tell me and see what you see. If you watch the energy as the person is saying those things, and if we’re talking business, instead of, you know, the emotional stuff, they lean into the conversation because you’re helping them make clear in their head. A lot of people don’t know, they are confused about what’s important, critical, and urgent. They wish them all up, but you’re giving them a filter in which to clarify their thinking, which is going to cause them to be more appreciative after the conversation, because are, there’ll be able to say, geez, I know I really gotta take care of what’s urgent because if I don’t, it’s going to be a crisis. And when I keep them talking,

Peter:

I’m hearing, that’s the thing. That’s that what you just said, keep them talking that I’m hearing in the end is like our role as listeners is to deepen the conversation by asking questions that allow people to go deeper themselves by and using that helps them categorize their thinking in some way that enables them to sort of capture things they might’ve missed, or they might’ve sort of aggregated with other things. And we’re sort of asking these questions. It’s a more sophisticated version of telling me more that actually gets people to tell you more.

Mark:

Yeah. I, I have a saying in one of the books you know, if you want to be influential with people, it’s less important, what you tell them that then what you enable them to tell you, that’s truly important, critical and urgent to them.

Peter:

So one last question is, I’m curious, as you know, you’re in this role, I’m in the role of listening and asking you questions and you’re in the role of sharing thoughts and experiences and advice. And I’m wondering in this situation, are you listening for something? And if you’re, because I know what I’m listening for and you articulated that, are you listening for something? And, and how does that, you know, it given our roles in this conversation, how does that play out?

Mark:

Yeah, because I mean, you know, we’re going to get a comment boy for a guy who wrote a book on listening. He wouldn’t shut up. I understand that, I guess part of it. Yeah.

Peter:

That’s not what I’m saying by the way, just to be clear, I’m like, I’m asking you to speak, I’m the, I’m the one in the role of listening to say, but I’m wondering if even in the role of speaker, is there something that, you know, when, when you’re the one presenting and speaking, which is your role right now, is there something that you’re also listening for?

Mark:

Well, it’s interesting. I have breakfast with Larry King seven days a week, and I’m telling you, I got to stop beating the crap food. You know, I had breakfast with them today and it’s kind of a loss, a lot of weight. You can’t be still eating crap food. I know because we get some health nuts who occasionally join us, it’s quirky. But what I’ve noticed with with Larry is part of what has made him. So, I mean, he’s still relevant at 86, he was in the super bowl. It was an ad on the Superbowl and he was the star of the ad. I forget what it was. And but what he does, and this is the parallel between you and Larry is when he’s speaking to guests, he’s nonjudgmental. So they don’t think he’s going to hit them with a gotcha.

Mark:

He always, he gets into, why did you do that? But he asked the questions that his listeners want the answers to. And so what’s made him, so endurable is, he’ll ask the kind of, you know, regular question, well, why did you do that? What were you thinking when you did that? Oh, and nonjudgmental. So people aren’t afraid that they love to be interviewed by him because they get to actually clarify their story. Right. And so in our conversation, what I’m sensing, if you’re a host, there’s a part of you that is listening to me, but you are listening for what would be most valuable to your audience. Right. In fact, in fact, I, in fact, I teased a podcast host the other day who was interviewing me. And I said, I’ll tell you something else you’re listening for. You’re also listening for whether I’m going to be a total waste of time. Boring, irrelevant. Even though I have a fancy book, because you’re going to have to call me back and say, I can’t post it.

Peter:

Right. And, and in that, in this relationship, what, how would you, like, what is the listening? Like, what is the listening for that you’re doing? Okay. I understand the listening for that I’m doing and, and always in a relationship, there’s someone who’s speaking and someone who’s listening. And what I’m curious about is when I am in the role of speaking, you are in the role of speaking. So when you are in the role of speaking, is there something you’re listening for it?

Mark:

Well, I’ll tell ya. Yeah. What I’m listening for is that you have enough sincere curiosity, and there’s a mutual respect between us because I’ve done some lousy podcasts as a guest because the person just had an agenda. Here’s our next question. Here’s our next question. Here’s our next question. And totally legitimate questions. I was just a terrible fit for it. Right. And he got, and he wasn’t willing to go where the conversation went organically. Right. So what I’m listening for is, is this a person, you know, who’s comfortable enough with just an organic free flowing conversation and is comfortable enough being curious. And because as I say, if they’re not comfortable and they just now that said, I mean, I just did a podcast. They say, you know, they said, Mark, this is an amazing conversation. But you know, part of our brand is what are the three top takeaways for our listeners? And we put that up on the website and, you know, and so I was able to deliver those things, but I’m listening for someone in which we’re both curious about each other. We respect each other’s minds. We like each other. Got it.

Peter:

Thank you. We have been speaking with Mark Golston who is a true expert at listening. He wrote the book, just listen. And just say, if you wouldn’t mind again, the name of your most recent bookmark,

Mark:

My most recent book is called talking to crazy how to deal with the and impossible people in your life. There’s a forward by Marshall Goldsmith. And I think, you know, if you’re interested in any of what I’m talking about, you know, I would read them in sequence. So the just listen is about how do you get people to open up by listening to them. But once they open up, we all deal with people that drive us crazy. And so talking to crazy is kind of what to do with them. I gave know, I think I gave away a few tips during this that you could use today. So so I hope you’ll check all that out. Can I make a plug for a global movement that I just started? Sure. If you go to at W M Y S T global on Instagram at W M Y S T global, it stands for what made you smile today.

Mark:

And, and it’s a movement. It’s a, it’s a, there’s also w M Y S t.org. And the movement is to go up to people who have name tags, but feel like functions feel like appliances after they serve you. You go up to them and you level the playing field like I did with Carmen at McDonald’s. I say, Carmen, thank you. My name’s Mark. I have a question for you. No, no, no, no. You didn’t get any trouble. And then I just calmly say, Carmen, what made you smile today? And when you say it in an inviting way, several things happen, they smile at you. They feel like a person. You call them by a name. They smile because they get to be grateful and share with you. And they’re grateful to you. But the best thing is it takes you out of being self serving and self-absorbed, and our mission is making the world happier. One smile at a time. And we just had in the TEDx talk finally came up and, and when this year is, it’ll have been up for awhile, but you can find it what made you smile today? Goulston TEDx and you’ll find it.

Peter:

Mark Goldston. You made me smile today. Thank you very much for being on the Bregman leadership podcast.

Mark:

Well, thank you. Thank you for a thank you for giving me a long enough leash.

Peter:

It’s a pleasure. I think we’ll all be slightly better listeners for this conversation. Thank you.

 

Comments

  1. Brian Papali says:

    Quite an amazing take on Listening indeed! Recall that this one aspect was actually honed when I worked as a Volunteer for suicide prevention with an affiliate of the Samaritans. We were instructed to take off our watches and sit in a position such that we had full eye contact. Always sought to clarify by summarising the understanding of what was stated and asking some probing questions (without any prefixed agenda) to unravel other perspectives and calm the person by truly being there! And never, ever interrupting their flow. Was truly amazed at how potent this tool of finely honed Listening was later while dealing with difficult Customers professionally!

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