I’m a math nerd. I stumbled on an old photo of me from high school where I was holding my Math-lete trophy. It’s the tallest trophy I have ever received, and one I don’t talk about much. Means, averages, angles, charts, all those accounting, geometry, and algebra classes, they were pretty easy for me. I’m lucky that way. And what about when the mean-ing comes from interactions, in relationships? Well that’s a little harder. People are complex, and I’m good at complex equations more than complex humans. That’s what led me to pursue my Executive Coaching credential, to understand the humans.

In my annual clean up of my office I read an old note to myself – am I listening to protect or to partner? Wow. Think about that in your next conversation. Are you listening to them talk while formulating your defense to their words? That’s protection. And it disrupts safety, and the relationship. When I’m listening to partner I set aside my judgments, breathe my way out of distractions, and stay present to the person talking. This might mean turning off your monitor, your phone notifications, or any other buzzing and beeping reminders. Now listen. for no other reason than to hear their words, and the meaning underneath them. The gift you give will build so much relationship!

And if you want to dig deeper into listening skills, join Fundamentals of Coaching, where we will explore listening alongside coaching skills for leaders.

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About Judy Hissong

Judy Hissong is the President of Nesso Strategies. A former law firm Chief Operating Officer, she helps firms become more profitable by developing leaders. Her mission is “world domination for Good.” By creating actionable, lightbulb moments that leaders want to share and spread, she intends to improve the world one person at a time.

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Judy Hissong