Remember, you can listen a person’s soul into existence.

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Several years ago I created a Listening Workshop. Although the workshop is a full-day event, I always start with two questions that take around thirty minutes to facilitate. After those first thirty minutes I always feel like I could stop at that point and the workshop has been a success.

Question one: Describe how you feel whenever someone really does not listen to you.

Question two: Describe how you feel whenever someone really does listen to you.

I give everyone as much time as they need to write down as many adjectives as they can to answer the two questions. I then go around the room and write all the “not listen” adjectives on a flip chart in red ink. I do the same for the “do listen” adjectives in green ink.

Both list usually contain between 30 and 50 adjectives. Then I hold up both list before the group and I tell them that in every listening situation, we are either giving the red list or the green list–to one degree or another–every time, everyday.

Then, I slowly read the words from the green list. I take my time. When I finish I ask the group, “If I told you, you could make someone feel this way, to give them this gift, touch them in this way, and that it would not cost you a single penny, would you do it?”

Listening, not hearing, but deep, true, sincere, non-judgmental, heartfelt listening is a gift of untold treasure.

Now that I have their attention, the real work of the workshop can begin.

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