It Takes Courage to Listen

How do you respond when you disagree with someone?
How do you respond when you know an idea is completely crazy?
How do you respond when someone accuses you of being unfair?

If you find yourself getting triggered, interrupting, getting aggressive or shutting down conversations it means emotions are getting the best of you. The skill you need is counterproductive: Radical Listening.

Radical listening is about slowing down when you’d rather speed up;  opening up when you want to shut down; staying with difficult conversations when you’d rather avoid or appease.

Why Radical Listening Takes Courage: When in the middle of a conflict or disagreement or when you feel misjudged, every bone in your body wants to be understood — to make a point — to share the facts, argue and make the other person wrong.  But these tactics never work.

It takes overriding years of programming to take a breath and say, “Tell me more.” As Stephen Covey would say, “Seek first to understand.” The one who listens first controls the conversation.

No matter what the difficulty, leaders can develop the courage to cope with uncertainty, navigate through change and manage conflict effectively.

If you would like to explore bringing our Radical Listening program to your organization, email me at