We hear a lot about Emotional Intelligence these days, but what about Listening Intelligence? This week’s episode will help you re-think how you listen to others, and how they listen (or don’t) to you.

Podcast Leader Assistant Dave Momper Episode 49

Dave Momper is a certified listening practitioner who helps executives build productive and innovative teams fueled by trust and confidence. In this episode, David and I talk about the practice of listening, six common things that make listening challenging (listed below), how listening intelligence interacts with emotional intelligence, and why it’s important for assistants to know what their executive’s listening style is.

  1. Our attention is a limited resource.
  2. We each have unique purposes, concerns, and circumstances.
  3. We carry around unconscious biases.
  4. Bio-reactions – fight/flight, freeze/appease – are triggered all the time.
  5. A bias toward action and business urgency.
  6. We each seek to have a voice in this world.

SPECIAL OFFER: Don’t forget to take advantage of Dave’s special offer that includes an assessment and a coaching call for only $100! Go here to purchase your ECHO Profile and Debrief Strategy Session


Check out this episode’s sponsor Spoonful of Comfort for custom homestyle meals-by-mail that are beautifully packaged and always appreciated. Learn more at spoonfulofcomfort.com/leaderassistant.


I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley


Listening Profiles Leader Assistant Dave Momper ECHO

Dave Momper Leader Assistant Podcast

Dave Momper is the founder of Thrival Concepts, a leadership communication consulting firm that helps executives and teams approach listening as a strategic business function to drive performance. In his work he consults on The Practice of Listening, High-Value Communication, and Design-Thinking.

Dave is also the host of CreativeMornings/Denver, which is one of over 200 chapters around the world that produces a free monthly breakfast speaker series on creativity.

His passion for leadership, creativity, life-long learning, and community fuels his personal and professional endeavors. Dave has lived in Colorado for over 30 years and when he’s not working with clients he’s usually up in the high-country savoring the woods and the mountains.


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Dave Momper 0:00
I’m Dave Momper and today’s leadership quote comes from William Ernest Henley and his poem Invictus, which goes as follows out of the night that covers me, black is the pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoned means of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms, but the horror of the shade, and yet the minutes of the years, finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, how charged the punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.

Speaker 2 0:55
The leader is the assistant podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants. Thank you for listening to The Leader Assistant Podcast. Hi, it’s episode 49. In here’s your host, my dad.

Jeremy Burrows 1:17
Hey friends, we have a unique episode today talking about listening intelligence. So get your listening hat on and pay attention and really soak up what my guest Dave Momper has to say about our listening intelligence and how to be a better listener. But before we dive in, I wanted to share a quick note about some friends of mine who run a company called spoonful of comfort. So spoonful of comfort was on Shark Tank A few years ago. They have care packages customized with sensational soups, classic cookies, and accessories, to make a big impression for any occasion. It’s a unique way to nourish customer and employee relationships. So if you have staff or executives who recently had a baby, or recently graduated, got their masters, maybe there’s some sympathy and grief packages that you need to sit in for people who lost a loved one. Or perhaps they lost a pet or any sort of occasion where there’s sympathy and care that you want to share with your team members and family members. And then clients. So again, spoonful of comfort provides custom homestyle meals by mail. And they’re beautifully packaged and always appreciated. They actually sent me one when I was sick a few months ago, and my kids actually enjoyed the soup and the rolls and the cookies. And they usually are very, very picky and don’t like any of that any soup. So it was very appreciative. But anyway, if you want to warm personal, meaningful care package, customized to the occasion, spoonful of comfort is definitely worth checking out. So you can learn more at spoonfulofcomfort.com/leaderassistant. That’s spoonfulofcomfort.com/leaderassistant. And I got to hang out with the CEO Marty and in their marketing team with and they’re just great, great ladies who really are passionate about taking care of people. And yeah, let’s hope you can check them out at spoonfulofcomfort.com/leaderassistant. All right, let’s jump in to today’s interview. Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s your host do Jeremy Burrows and I’m with Dave Momper from thrival concepts. How are we doing Dave?

Dave Momper 4:01
Doing great. How are you doing Jeremy

Jeremy Burrows 4:03
hanging in there man hanging in there. Just excited to chat with you about listening.

Dave Momper 4:08
Likewise, likewise. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Burrows 4:10
So let’s, before we get too deep into listening stuff, let’s talk about your very first job. Well, our very first job

Dave Momper 4:21
was trying to think of all the little jobs I had, but I suppose the first job where I actually had to sign like paperwork to become an employee. I was working at an auto body shop in high school and I was in charge of just the menial stuff like keeping the place clean and organized and kind of an extra set of hands around the shop, cleaning things up filing paperwork, that kind of work. So I guess that world is all about attention to detail and kind of craftsmanship and I suspect I brought those things along with me a bit. I like to think

Jeremy Burrows 4:59
nice So how did you manage to go from auto body shop to becoming a coach? Yeah,

Dave Momper 5:10
it hasn’t been a straight and narrow path or any by any means. Technically, for the last chunk of my career, I’ve been in sales and in business development roles, nearly my whole career. So, but in different capacities, but in a way, we’re all we’re all kind of in sales. But in particular, after a number of a number of things early on in my career, little over 10 years ago, I was an account executive for this leadership consulting firm out of Boulder, Colorado, and went through a lot of the training they provided so that I could then speak firsthand about the, you know, the offering, when I was calling on prospects and, and managing the existing clients. And it was really struck by the nature of that work, right, they were focused on helping executive level leaders to be awesome, productive human beings. And I remember really committing to myself that one day, I wanted to coach and mentor inspire people for a living. In a way, I’ve really been coaching all my career, you know, supporting and mentoring my colleagues and my my employees. And then I began formally coaching leaders full time in early 2016, when I launched thrival concepts.

Jeremy Burrows 6:26
So how does one get people to pay them to coach?

Dave Momper 6:34
Yeah, I mean, the the nature of a coaching role in I suppose, in my capacity as a formal coach, my job is to help people uncover the obstacles and kind of issues that aren’t necessarily available right on the surface. And so my job is to ask really important questions or high value questions, and then to really listen to that person, like they’ve never been listened to before. That kind of that capacity of showing up for people is available to really anyone and all of us. But my duty as a coach reason people pay for for coaching typically is to what they have a desire to go from a certain place where they’re at right now, point A, and to navigate to a particular point B. And it’s the coach’s duty and say, number one responsibility to help them see what point B is to uncover the things that they inherently know themselves about, kind of navigating that that path. And in a sense, be that that sounding board, right, a coach is a is a sounding board. No coach has, say all the answers versus some people might have a particular expertise in a way some of my work is definitely consulting work, or I have a particular expertise. But as a coach, my job is to extract the insights of my my client, and let them see them the new insights for themselves. And that, in some cases is invaluable for people.

Jeremy Burrows 8:22
So that’s great. So you’re focused, or some of your main focus is our communication, and listening. And so let’s talk a little bit about the practice of listening. What do you kind of focus on or what’s kind of your bread and butter when it comes to what the practice of listening is? Or how you help people with it?

Dave Momper 8:48
Sure, sure, sure. Think of the act of communication. It’s half speaking, half listening, or it’s, it’s 5050 in the sense that those are the two components, but depends on the nature of the interaction or the dynamic, sometimes we’re doing all the speaking. And that’s appropriate. And sometimes we’re doing all the speaking and we really shouldn’t do more listening. Generally, we’re listening more than we’re speaking in terms of the role we play in, in our interactions, but we’re not necessarily even retaining everything we’re we’re hearing or listening to. So, the practice of listening is critical, because we treat speaking as this skill set that can be honed and developed and we we neglect listening in that capacity. So my objective with my clients is to help them approach listening to approach listening as a skill set. Right? Treat it as a set of disciplines that we can practice. And if we practice those, it allows us to really treat listening as history A teaching business function, and one that we can incorporate as individual leaders into our own, say daily practices, our communication style, but then also a leader or a business function that we can really incorporate into our protocols and systems as an organization, right as teams and as an organization. So the practice of listening is really the approach to treat listening, like his skill set. And then that’s fueled by listening intelligence, which is really this framework that has been designed around listening, or that has been defined around listening, that allows you to see that listening is this skill that that one can practice that one can hone and really, in a way, master over time. So the practice of listening really comes into effect when you have awareness of the unique ways that you’re listening to information. And that’s the echo listening model that you and I have discussed. Listening intelligence is the is the model, or is the awareness. And the model allows the awareness. And I’m typically working with executives and senior level leadership in maybe a workshop or perhaps a team off site, and guiding them through an experience all around leadership communication, when he was it truly mean to listen like a leader. And the practice of listening is one key component of that, that work that I focus on.

Jeremy Burrows 11:35
So it’s interesting, because you know, you hear a lot more about, as you mentioned, skills and techniques on public speaking or how to use your words, or how to how to speak or present. And you don’t hear as much about how to absorb and listen. So I’m excited to kind of dive deeper into this. Sure. So okay, so you talk about kind of one of the things we’ve we’ve chatted about, as we’ve had a couple phone calls and got to know each other. There’s kind of common things that make listening challenging. So maybe walk through those that you said, there’s six common things that make listening challenging,

Dave Momper 12:23
right, yeah, called the the the six ongoing human factors that challenge productive and present listening. And after working specifically around the act of listening, and how it equips leaders for about 18 months, I’ve been focused on that. And then over the course of my work with rebel concepts, it’s been said, a little bit wider leadership development initiatives. But in the past 18 months, these have shown up consistently, and if there’s other ones out there, I’d love to hear them. But I point these out for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, just know that listening is a challenging thing to do. And it’s not about being a perfect listener, right? We’re talking about being good listeners and bad listeners, we’re all subject to the challenge of being a good listener, because of these common themes. And then there’s also a little bit of, it’s important to be aware that everyone is susceptible to these. So anyone you’re interacting with, potentially is faced with these same challenges. And so the act of listening as important as it is, it eludes us at times, and to give each other a little bit of almost grace and generosity because of this. But so that said, the first one is that our attention is a limited resource. And you might remember growing up as a kid, people would tell you to pay attention, that at least happened in in my, my childhood pay attention, they tell you to listen, they tell you to pay attention, we never really actually explain what that meant. But think of your attention as something that you truly do pay, meaning you only have a limited amount of it, and you’re paying your attention down. So you’re in a sense, you want to invest your attention. But back to the actual challenge, our attention is this limited resource. And there’s distractions and obligations everywhere in our world that are vying for that attention. Right? Think of all the different advertising that’s out there, all the different content that’s out there, all the different channels, or channels that people can get in touch with us via or that we can get or that we can interact with to get information and data. So number one, our attention is a limited resource. And then the second one, think about for yourself. We each have a unique set purposes, concerns and circumstances. So my set of purposes concerns in circumstances sometimes hasn’t been fully engaged and listening. Sometimes it has me distracted, or worried or excited. And everyone, in the moment in any given moment, is potentially affected by their purposes, their concerns their circumstances in life, and it pulls them away from that, that present moment. Next challenge makes listening challenging. Number three is all about all about how we we carry around unconscious biases as human beings. And that’s not necessarily bad, but it does affect the way we look at the world. And so, sometimes the way, when we’re listening, based on certain biases we have, we may check out or we may make conclusions, we’re just not truly present and listening to, to the information that’s coming before us. Because of our biases, we’re jumping to conclusion in a sense. The fourth thing is that we all have biological reactions or bio reactions, right? These are these reactions to perceived threats that at one point helped us survive and still do in a sense. But today, in our kind of present day, modern culture, there’s still threats that we perceive as threats or, or situations that we perceive as threats that cause us to either fight or flight, freeze, or appease, right. So we’re, we’re either showing up and kind of confronting those, those, those threats, or those things, or we’re fleeing the scene, or we’re kind of freezing, and we just find ourselves kind of trapped in the moment maybe, or we try to appease in the moment. So we’re all subjected these things to these are the reactions of the amygdala in our brain, which is assessing, you know, assessing threat at all times, and kind of, it’s the, it’s the, it’s the security mechanism of our brain. And it’s constantly being triggered. And it distracts us or pulls our attention away from the present moment. Number five, is that we all have this bias towards action. And I say we all I guess that’s a little bit general. But there is a bias towards action in business, we know that we need to seize opportunity. And there’s someone always be behind just behind us trying to overtake us in the market or competition is this real thing. So there’s a absolute sense of business urgency, and all we do and a bias towards action, which is technically a healthy thing from my perspective. But knowing that that’s there, it comes at potentially a cost that we’re not that we’re not slowing down and listening deeply to all the information available, we might be neglecting some. And so just be aware, that times that bias towards action may be hindering us. And then number six, is the most human of them all is that we really want to have a voice in this world. As individuals, we seek to have a voice in this world, we think it’s a bit fair, but maybe it’s debatable. But the contribution we make, right, the the impact we have, we typically think our voice is that is the greatest contribution. And I just wonder about how listening can be can cause a greater impact on your interaction. How well are you listening? Or in what ways are you listening? And is that is that potentially your, your superpower, as a professional to influence inspire people through the act of listening more than just our voice? But we all want to we all want to be heard. We all want to be heard. And in a sense that makes listening to others challenging at times. So those are the six.

Jeremy Burrows 19:10
Wow, those are great. So what? Okay, so those are the challenges, those things that kind of get in our way to, you know, listening well, and you said before high value listening when we chatted and so maybe on the flip side, what is high value listening, that way we can kind of counter counteract the challenges that you just listed with some healthy ways to listen.

Dave Momper 19:39
Sure, sure. Sure. Yeah, almost the contrast of poor listening. I want to even invite people to think about listening differently. It’s really not about good listening versus bad listening, which that’s simply Are you paying attention or not? And if you’re not ever paying attention or people around you aren’t paying attention And that’s definitely bad listening. And the shift to being present in the moment and fully committed to that interaction is step one, right? But think of what on the contrast of poor listening, high value listening is where the objective is to be, truly, in the moment listening to your fellow human being. And you can really imagine this in customer service based roles. When you’re trying to actually build trust and rapport with a prospect or a client. This goes for really any and every interaction in our, in our business systems, but imagine that when people actually feel heard, and they feel understood, and valued, and then respected. That’s high value listening, it’s when you create the ability for other people to feel heard, understood, valued, and respected. And that leads to trust and confidence between the people in that inner interaction and allows for say, problem solving, more risk taking, innovation, agility, and flexibility. And then the major objective is productivity. And what I want you guys to think of, for those listening is high value listening is actually deeply truly listening. Right? It’s listening intentionally. And I like to say, Listen, first, on purpose, with purpose. So if you can imagine, just for anyone listening and Jeremy yourself, it’s think of any one on one relationship, whether it’s intimate or romantic and, or for a friendship, you think of a team of people think of an organization interacting with its users or its its clients, when, when we listen and interact with the other party involved in a way that they feel legitimately heard, understood, respected. And that’s where we unlock the magic of that relationship, and the potential to actually get great work done together. And at the end of the day, I mean, what’s the point of a team, it’s to actually be stronger together than separately, and to be connected and able to count on each other. And that goes for, say, a pair of strategic partners to people, a team of people, the whole organization, perhaps. So high value listening, really is about intentional listening, listening, to hear people where they’re actually coming from.

Jeremy Burrows 22:49
So, what’s interesting to me about all of this, there’s several things interesting, but I work at an artificial intelligence software company. And so we talk a lot about in my work with EAS, and we talk a lot about AI and the future of work. And we talk about emotional intelligence as being one of the key kind of differentiators between us human assistance and human team members, versus the artificially intelligent software and programs that are kind of taking more and more tasks from us. So how this whole listening, intelligence is fascinating to me, as well as I feel like it, it ties to or falls under the bucket of emotional intelligence. But how do you how would you say listening intelligence, interacts with or relates to emotional intelligence?

Dave Momper 23:54
Great, so maybe a little bit of a definition around listening to intelligence, for some context, listening to intelligence is the awareness that we are all processing the world or that we’re all listening to in for different information. And it’s not just the conceptual awareness, the the echo listening model really affords a model for us to see the act of listening through a new lens. And it’s being aware that you’re listening and processing information in a particular way that is unique to you. It’s a habit. It’s a cognitive pattern of kind of how you process and prioritize information. So it’s a habitual communication style, the way you listen, and you’re able to see that in in that tool, the echo listening profile, and then you’re able to have greater awareness of others in general. Through that, through that model that everyone you’re in, you encounter everyone that you work hand in hand with, they potentially listen in a unique way through this framework, and then of course, if you can get specifically aware of their particular habits and their style, as a team, or as a collective, that can be pretty powerful. So listening intelligence is the awareness that we’re listening to information in a unique way. And that opens up a new way of approaching listening. The act of being intentional listeners, is calling on our emotional intelligence, it’s demanding of us to be more self aware, to actually take inventory of the tendencies we have, in terms of how we listen and how that impacts our interactions. And then say the second component of, of emotional intelligence might be compassion, right to have compassion for other people to listen intentionally calls upon that compassion to say, I’m going to put myself in, and not their specific shoes, but just know that they’re there on their own, they’re in their own world, try to, they probably have good good intention of being highly productive human beings, and I’m going to hold space for them in a compassionate way. The fourth component, or excuse me, the third component in emotional intelligence that I think of is conviction, almost like clarity of purpose, and being intentional with with kind of your, your gifts or your your one life to live. And so you’re showing up on purpose, and listening on purpose. With with that conviction, facet of EQ, and then ultimately, empathy, empathy within emotional intelligence, is maybe the most important thing that’s being called upon when you’re listening, because you’re bringing a sense of curiosity to the conversation, if you’re truly listening, if you’re listening on purpose, you’re imagining the, the person and what they potentially are thinking or going through, or you just giving space for them to act, you know, that there’s their, their take is a unique take, and you have empathy to the degree that you can understand that, that, wherever they’re coming from that that happens to be where they’re coming from. So I think the the correlation is, anything with the word intelligence after these days is really implying greater awareness around that, that subject. So you know, emotional intelligence is greater awareness of how our feelings and our emotions affect our behaviors and the experiences we have of of life. And then listening intelligence is awareness that we’re all processing the world differently, and to be really high value listeners. It demands that we have greater self awareness, greater compassion, greater conviction and greater empathy, or that we utilize them in a greater way, or in a deeper way.

Jeremy Burrows 28:05
Yeah, that’s great. So let’s get let’s talk a little bit about the profile real quick. So basically, this eco model and profile, I took the there’s kind of an assessment, very, very similar to like a personality test or a values or a Strength Finders are similar, where you have a series of questions, and you go through and you ask, or you answer them, honestly. And then that kind of takes their years and years of research in the algorithms and whatnot, and spits out a profile for you. And so when I did that, it was very interesting. I, you know, there’s different types of the listening eco profiles. So why don’t you talk about the we’ll have, we’ll actually have this image, this kind of four piece pie chart, in the show notes, if those of you listening want to kind of look at this while you’re listening while Dave walks through it real quickly. But talking about the four different I came up with these types, or profiles or styles, I don’t know, Dave, you can kind of talk about what they are, but briefly go over those four. And then I’ll kind of dive in a little bit more on how I experienced the test and what I got out of it.

Dave Momper 29:34
Sounds good. Okay. So the echo listening model is, is a framework or a model put around listening as a way to describe the act of listening in such a way that lets us talk about it differently in a, you know, frankly, in a real way, where we’re now talking about listening differently than we then when we were able to before, historically it’s more rhetorical we can we’ve probably experienced people for talking about how listening wasn’t even wasn’t happening, or it was negatively affecting a meeting, or no one’s listening by, throughout the organization, but what to do about it seemed to kind of elude us. People could commit to being better listeners, but that really just made me more present. So this model is a way for us to shift the paradigm and approach listening as a as a skill set. And so the model is four different specific habits that we each deploy. But we’re, we’re putting them in a different preference. Order, in a sense, right. So think of Imagine yourself in an interaction in a meeting with a group of people one on one, whatever it may be, perhaps it’s a presentation, a bunch of information is coming into your pay per view into your world. And go back to those six, those six challenges and keep it keep them in mind. But imagine that we’re each putting our attention on a subset of that information. And kind of putting a R word prior to prioritizing a subset of the information or we’re seeking out a particular subset of that information. And the model puts four habitual categories out there for us to kind of think about as as filters that we apply to the information we’re processing. So the first one is connective. So the first habit in the ECHO model is is connective listening. The second one is reflective listening. The third one is analytical listening. And the fourth one is conceptual listening. So quickly, and we can get into as much detail as you’d like. But connected listeners are hearing the information that’s being presented and they are seeking out or putting their attention on. They’re filtering for the information that relates to other people. So connected people are connected listeners are first and foremost, worried about concerned about thinking about how the information impacts and relates to other people. On the flip side, reflective listeners are seeking out or filtering the information of all the information coming in, they want to put their attention on the information that relates to them, their duties themselves, they’re not in a selfish way per se, but how it impacts their responsibilities or relates to the world they know the experiences they have, or the archive of knowledge that they they have to date. So reflective is a little bit more internal connective is a little bit more external. And then analytical listeners are seeking out or filtering out of all the information, they’re filtering for the details, and the objective data. Right, they want to know the facts of the matter. Of all the information coming in, that’s what they’re putting their attention on. And then conceptual, conceptual listeners, they’re seeking out information that affords big possibilities and new ideas, they’re theirs, they’re kind of looking for the big picture that lies within the information they’re hearing. And I really like to think of these as filters. So we’re applying these filters each of us, we’re all using all four filters. But what we do is we approach most of our interactions in a habitual way, in terms of how we’re listening, we approach the way we’re thinking about information that we’re listening to information, kind of in a habitual way. And we’re going to start with one of these as a preference. And then perhaps there’s a second one, that’s the subsequent filter we apply. And that third, and then a fourth, the Eco profile ends up showing you the hierarchy of the preferences you have. And the order in which you’re applying these filters to your interactions, and reveals to you kind of how you what you think about and what you care about, which you probably already know, to a degree inherently, but this elevates your awareness in terms of the listening habits you have with each of them. I think there’s a couple important things to kind of point out the way we listen, isn’t this isn’t an assessment methodology to judge good or bad, bad listening. It’s really about heightening your awareness that you listen in a particular way. And that it’s a habit and lets you ask a new set of questions. It’s like each, each unique kind of combination of our listening habits affords us certain strengths, and potentially certain challenges. And the echo report will reveal those. Categorically connective has its own strengths and challenges, conceptual, reflective, analytical, so and so forth. But for each profile, it shows as this type of listener is when you’re at your best this is, these are circumstances that might show up and make your interactions challenging. And at the end of the day, it’s a self awareness tool that lets us see yourself through a new lens and understand what it really means to be a listener in your shoes. I think the next step with the tool, if you think of the Echo, listen to model as a tool. The way that other people or the way that people listen, is a bit, there’s certain cues that we’re all giving off. And so the idea is to then heighten your own individual awareness, but then also heighten your awareness around the different ways other people are listening, and what what cues are available to help you become more aware of your, your fellow human being or the executive you’re working with, or the team that you’re on. And so we can begin picking up on certain body language related to each of the listening habits. And it’s different than the the body language we have. And we’re in our speaking modes. So each listening style has tendencies of body language that is associated with it. And so that’s a cue. And you can really think about the question someone’s asking, and what that suggests that they care most about analytical factors, conceptual factors, reflective factors, or, or connective factors. And you can begin to kind of deduce that this is what’s most critical to that person, if I’m truly listening to them, I can actually pick up on what they care about most, based on how they’re listening. And that allows us to actually get to the root of whatever the opportunity is between us. So I also then ultimately use this with within teams, or between key executives, so that they can understand each other. And in particular, understand each other’s listening styles and habits. So you can see the way that each other styles have potential conflict or potential opportunity to leverage or to be aware of, and what to do about it. Right.

Jeremy Burrows 37:35
So yeah, so this is, this is pretty, pretty helpful tool. And I, I found it helpful. And what’s interesting to me, though, is, you know, even as I listen to, to you describe it, and I’m sure a lot of people listening right now to this episode, are probably in this category of analytical as well, I’d actually be interested to see kind of the percentages of, you know, if all the EAS in the world took this profile test, you know, what the percentages of each one would be because EA is I would, I would I would kind of that is fallen under the analytical often, I don’t know how often but often, but that’s what I fell under. And even just listening to you describe it now. Like, I’m reading the the challenges of the analytical listener, and basically just says things like, can discard information that could be valuable, and Miss others feelings can shut off complete interactions. So like, I found myself just only listening for what applies to me. And, you know, well, that’s doesn’t really apply to me. So I’m gonna just check out and one of the things that the profile kind of gave me as, like an action item, which I liked about this, this one is, is pretty, pretty simple, you know, 10 page report. But But real clear, and not like a long read or anything. And there was the action page, it said, Five insights you can immediately put into practice. And one of the ones you know, for my listening style, and one of the you know, insights was demonstrate your interest in people as well as in the details. And, you know, I, I’ve kind of been known to worry too much about the data and be kind of non emotional or non emotive, in conversations or in meetings, and, like, been accused of not caring about the people. And so it encourages it. urged me to use my body language voice, use eye contact to show engagement and just demonstrate that I’m interested in the people, not just the things they’re saying. So anyway, I thought it was a very helpful takeaway, and I think just showed how, you know, this tool, I could take something away right away and apply this tool. And so, anyway, all that to say, as we transition into talking about assistants in their executives, I see, as I went through this profile, I could kind of pinpoint what I’m pretty confident my, the style of listening my executive is, and then I was able to read the strengths and the challenges for their style and start to think, oh, you know, what, maybe if I communicate this way, it would, you know, he would maybe listen better or be more engaged in, it’d be, it’d be more helpful for our partnership. So. So anyway, what, what would you say to assistants, or even executives listening? Like, if they’re thinking, oh, you know, this is just another test, you know, why should they care? What they’re listening style is?

Dave Momper 41:18
Well, I hope no one’s necessarily thinking that. But I’ll tell you, there’s, there’s 1000s of assessments out there. And there’s, there’s so many different categories of assessments, as you noted, strengths, personality, behaviors, your thing motivating, motivating strengths, there’s all sorts of stuff. But this really is one of the if not the only assessment or kind of model around listening. And the, the distinction, I suppose, or the the power of it is that it’s just the most, it’s the most fundamental thing, listening to each other. Right? Listen, truly listen to each other. So, so darn important, but we treat it like we treated with a bit more. Let’s, let’s hope that we’re listening, rather than let’s listen intentionally. And this shifts all of that, if you will. So with that said, I suppose the the particular opportunity, whether it’s between an executive and an executive assistant, or a team of people, as you just noted, it prompts you in your, in your report, there’s a couple of key things that you can do to actually show up with a little bit more flexibility and your style, and maybe a little bit more awareness of who you are and who other people are. So that there’s an opportunity to be more collaborative. Imagine if we all showed up just rigidly the way we are, and never gave, you know, any ground. Right? That would, it’s just constant friction and tension in our in our interactions. This allows us to see ourselves kind of objectively and see the habits we have. And then to ask a new set of questions you can ask yourself is the way that I’m listening, helping or hindering my desired outcomes with respect to my interactions with with, you can list off whoever, whoever might be most critical, but certainly in the executive executive assistant relationship, extended but direct team that surrounds you. And in essence, the ultimate goal would be that you and your, your fellow executive, in your case, Jeremy, your, your fellow executive, both have awareness of each other, and understand that if I really want someone to listen to me, because I need them to, that’s maybe their role. The best way to get others to truly listen to you is to truly listen to them first and foremost. And Stephen Covey has this great quote, or it’s, it’s Habit number five of his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and seek first to understand, then seek to be understood. And that’s, that’s really the magic that in this shows us that, you know, other people are processing the world in their own unique way. And if you can show up with a sense, or even a duty of curiosity to learn about them, and what motivates them or what problem they need solved, or how they tick, listening with that intention, and then perhaps a shared objective, which could be like, say, the purpose of the organization or the mission or vision of the of the team. If you’re listening on behalf of that together, it just changes the paradigm of the relationship people can bring. In my work. I’ve seen executive teams who go through an engagement where we’re using this tool to learn and kind of It’s a team building tool in the sense that it’s certainly a communication tool. It opens up a new commitment to communication but we realize where We all need each other, you shouldn’t necessarily change your ways, Jeremy, based on your your report, it’s not necessarily prompting you to be drastically different or to modify your behavior dramatically. What it’s saying is, you should show up the way you show up, and everyone else can show up the way they show up. If you understand each other, and are aware of each other, and each other’s habits, then your differences become your potential power together. Oftentimes, our differences when they show up, and especially in terms of what we consider important and how that affects our listening, our differences in the end up leading to tension, chaos, frustration, people defending their ideas, maybe a disruption in executing on an idea, just people generally misunderstanding each other. So our differences, they derail us all the time. But potentially, our differences are our superpower in a sense, like when you can actually see the cognitive diversity of a team and identify the opportunities and the potential conflicts or challenges, you can actually draw on each other differently, you can count on each other differently, you see how in a sense, you need, Jeremy, might you for you, in particular, you might need someone with a little bit more of a connective listening approach, thinking on behalf of others to kind of get your back. But that that relationship can exist until you you see them in a kind of a generous light, and they see you in a generous light and see how that you both need each other. Right. There’s some synergy they’re afforded in that awareness. But until that awareness exists, our differences. They throw us off all the time, one on one and in groups, and I suspect you can relate to that. And people listening can relate to that as well. Yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 47:00
Well, that’s great, man, I think I think I’m definitely I’ve definitely got a lot to think about. And I think co listeners have a lot to think about and dive deeper and do some research on this. So as we wrap things up, and it’s kind of a lot to go through. And you know, you do sessions with teams that are, you know, multiple days, and there’s a lot to dig into and dive into what’s kind of a few things that my listeners can take away. And if they don’t remember anything else, they just remember these few things. What’s something you can share?

Dave Momper 47:35
Sure, sure, I’d say there’s there’s three particular disciplines and I say disciplines, on purpose, just think of them as, as disciplines. Everything we do, it’s a habit is the product of the disciplines that reinforce that habit. And if we want to shift our habits in any way, in particular, with respect to how we listen, these are three things, I think, serve us really well. The first is to invest your attention, really look at it as an investment. And think about of all the people that you’re interacting with, who must you invest your limited resource in your attention into. And it’s an active and ongoing choice and decision to make because it could change in each and every moment, I suppose. But the point is to take an active role in asking that question. Who do I invest my attention into? Right, so the first one first discipline is to invest your attention. The second is when you will, whomever is worth investing your attention into that you if you deem that there, then they’re worthy of your attention. Kind of a funny way to say it, but that you, you’re investing your intention in that person, the next step of the next discipline. And you can bring this with you and all your interactions no matter who you’re interacting with, but it’s listened to learn. And I liked that because it’s a bit of a alliteration and a mantra. So listen to learn, bring a sense of curiosity to your interactions, we have a tendency to want to speak up and have a voice, we have a tendency to want to listen to respond, or have a tendency to maybe not even listen at all. And so if you put a bias on listening, first and foremost, the name of the game to do so is to listen to learn, you know, ask yourself what can I learn about this person or from this person? That’s essential information relative to my kind of my duty and my responsibility or our common our common purpose, but what can I learn about this person or from this person that I didn’t know yet? And be committed to gathering that insight before moving on? Before moving on, so listen to learn, almost put a bias on listening before action. And then the third one is learning the power of questions and asking high value questions. There’s a great book if there’s any recommendation on a book, book nod, it would be questions are the answer. And I, the author is escaping me right this moment. But questions are the answer, which implies that we’re usually as leaders, or as human beings, we might be inclined to think we have to have all the answers, or that we have to have our contribution must be a statement or a declaration or, you know, our contribution is our voice. But in a, in a really, really beautiful way. The secret to solving problems is in the questions we pose, or the secret to connecting with other people is often in the questions we pose. So asking high value questions, which involves asking insightful questions, questions that you might have the answer or see the, the, the the answer that you ask your your counterpart or the the person you’re interacting with. You ask them a question, which, which lets them see it, or which lets them see a new possibility. Right. So insightful questions, clarifying questions, questions that allow you to kind of acknowledge where someone’s coming from, but ask them to say more about it to get deeper, to kind of go a layer deeper to the root of the issue or to the essence of the of what’s at stake. Right. And then often open ended questions. The point of listening is to gather essential knowledge. It’s not necessarily to make a conclusion immediately. And so asking open ended questions to just actually afford that space for someone to continue to process the, the issue at hand. So in summary, the three disciplines invest your attention. When you once you’ve invested your attention, listen to learn. And then if you’re in the spirit, or if you’re in the space of listening to learn, ask high value questions as your as your MO.

Jeremy Burrows 52:25
Awesome. Well, Dave, thanks so much for your time. Let’s let’s kind of share how folks can reach out to you and find you online. And then also just how we can support what you’re doing.

Speaker 1 52:41
Absolutely, yeah. Thanks for Thanks for asking the the best way online with respect to my professional endeavors is thrivalconcepts.com. That’s my website. So thrivalconcepts.com will showcase can all the the actual the deeper dive around the practice of listening and listening to intelligence, and the executive work I’m doing. And then I also invite people to check out an organization I’m a part of here in Denver called Creative Mornings, which is one of over 205 chapters around the world. And we get to put on a monthly breakfast Speaker Series, inspired by creativity, or really inspiring others to be creative, spirited, or living creative lives. So those are really my, my, my two online locations where you can check out more. And then in terms of how you can support what I’m doing, I would love to hear from those listening on this podcast really from from your vantage, as an executive or as a, you know, a leader Assistant. from that vantage point, where is listening most critical in the organization? I’d love to actually maybe in the comments on the podcast eventually or get in touch with me and just share that, that particular place in the organization. curious to hear if it’s client services, or the internal executive team, or perhaps it’s product development, or maybe even just how you’re interacting with your your marketing message, right? With the end user. So we’re in particular is listening, most critical in your organization. Be a great, great bit of feedback. And then for those listening to the podcast, I put together a special opportunity to take the echo listening profile and in conjunction with that have a one hour coaching call with me. Normally I’m charging $215 For for that for the profile and a one hour console, but we have a leak available. And those are I think it’s coming up in the show notes that will reduce the price down to 100 bucks, so for $100 Understand the the Eco profile your particular eco profile, we’ll debrief on that. So you can really become more aware in particular, of yourself and then begin to understand how that model can, can empower you and others around you to understand each other on a on a deeper level really, with respect to listening in particular, so. And on that call, we can explore really any particular communication challenge you have, that you’re faced with, and navigate in a bid, ask that question of how do you level up your effectiveness, and your communication as a leader, as a leader, Assistant, as an executive, but as a leader in the organization. So invite everybody who’s interested to jump on that link and get in touch with me, they’re

Jeremy Burrows 55:51
awesome, Dave. Well, I really appreciate you offering that deal. That’s a good deal, to take the actual test and get your profile back. And then also have the one on one coaching call with you to walk through that. That’s awesome. Thanks for doing that. We’ll have that link in the show notes, along with your website. And yeah, how to find out about you. So thanks, again, for taking time out of your day. And I really find this topic fascinating. Again, we could try to talk about it for a lot longer. But it’s a very good snapshot and overview of of listening intelligence. And just to remind everybody listening, I think that hopefully you’re listening with, you know, high value listening, right. So I just remind everybody like, this is part of the overall future proofing of our careers and just kind of going back to being human in educating ourselves, and not just being okay with the computers doing our work, and us just kind of having the status quo and just going as things aren’t changing or pretending like nothing’s happening. This is kind of part of one of the elements of it. So I really encourage everyone to check out thrival concepts.com. And again, the link in the show notes for the special offer that day’s offering, and we will chat with everyone later. Thanks again, Dave. And we’ll talk soon.

Dave Momper 57:24
Jeremy, thanks for the opportunity. And take care everybody.

Jeremy Burrows 57:28
Thanks again to my sponsor spoonful of comfort, you can check them out at spoonful of comfort.com forward slash leader assistant. And thanks again to Dave for an interesting conversation on listening intelligence. Again, you can check out his special $100 offer where you can take the assessment and get on a coaching call with him. Over half price off, it’s usually 250 I believe and it’s only $100 You can check that link out and register for that at the show notes site at leaderassistant.com/49 Leaderassistant.com/49 here is to listening well.

Speaker 4 58:23
Please move you on Apple podcasts. Goburrows.com

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