ARE YOU READY TO LISTEN? - Mediators' Institute of Version - Are You... · ARE YOU READY TO LISTEN?…

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  • Control Risks Group Limited

    ARE YOU READY TO LISTEN? A new look at an old communication skill

    Sean Cunningham OBE | Senior Consultant

    13 October 2017, Athlone, Ireland

  • 2 Control Risks Group Limited

    A Word of Caution

    Humility that is the magic wordNo man,

    champion, professional or President of the

    United States ever reaches that point at which

    he can say: I have learned the secret

    Sidney L James

    Managing Editor

    Sports Illustrated

  • 3 Control Risks Group Limited

    Sean Cunningham

    Police Officer 30 years

    Head of Scotland Yard Hostage and Crisis Negotiation


    Director of Security gambling company

    Group Ops Manager and Kidnap Responder

    Currently providing training in kidnap management

    and consulting on kidnap plans and policies

  • 4 Control Risks Group Limited

    Current Listening Training Provided

    Control Risks provides communication training

    Our focus is on Listening Skills

    Three specific groups




  • 5 Control Risks Group Limited

    Purpose of Session

    A new look at an old skill - Listening

    A look at some problems associated with listening

    Review of current Active Listening Skills

    Consideration about some techniques to improve

    your current abilities

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    Are you ready to change?

    Are you a good listener?

    If not why not?

    Do you need to improve your listening?

    What have you actively done to improve your


    There is no point in attending a training session

    unless you are willing to change!

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    How do you listen?









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    Stop Trying

    on The Inner Game by Timothy Gallwey

    The real question is, Are managers ready to

    surrender trying to control people and trust their desire and capacities to learn, starting with


    Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art

    and Practice of the Learning Organization

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    Problems When Listening

    Need to achieve objectives

    Willingness to override good practice

    Lack of confidence about active listening methods

    Lack of opportunity to prove or realise benefits

    Insufficient time to train and reinforce

    Numbers v Individuals (FBI model of listening cell)

    Unwillingness to accept critical feedback on performance

    An ingrained belief that what we have already is acceptable

    Variety of advice and apparent expertise

  • 10 Control Risks Group Limited

    The Best Place to Hide a Leaf is in a Forest

    On Friday last week, I ran searches on Amazon, YouTube and

    Google to see how many references there were for the following

    three subject areas:

    Subject Area Books



    Clips on


    Hits on


    Negotiation skills 1,798 445,000 About 12,300,000

    Listening skills 3,665 3,340,000 About 17,700,000

    Communication skills 38,667 4,190,000 About 197,000,000

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    1. Let me tell you how lucky I am

    2. Let me tell you how much I am worth

    3. Let me tell you how crap the old country is

    4. Let me tell you how brave I was to make this decision

    5. Let me tell you what losers my old friends are who have not moved on

    6. Ask a closed question "What do you do for a living?"

    7. Tell me about my job and how it has affected them

    8. Ask me what I am specifically doing there

    9. Tell me who is there I should meet

    10. Tell me who the best people they have ever met in their lives at that role were

    11. Tell me how they were making nothing of themselves at school but then luck

    shone down on them

    12. Then ask me my name!!!!!!

    The Worlds Worst Listeners: ExPats

  • 12 Control Risks Group Limited

    How do we communicate? Active Listening Skills (ALS)

    Minimal encouragers

    Open questions


    Emotional labelling


    I statements

    Effective pauses


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    Minimal Encouragers

    Small sounds, words or physical

    gestures that indicate to the speaker


    Go on

    Explain what they mean

    Show that you understand

    Show sympathy

    Show you dont care

    Or conversely to

    Show you are not listening

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    Open Questions


    New Y/N








    Y/N Y/N


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    Using similar language

    Using similar tones

    Using similar body language

    Using the exact words

    All shows the person you are dealing with that you are on their level

    You are someone who understands them

    You are someone they can do business with


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    Emotional Labelling

    Improve your vocabulary

    Dont just learn them use them

    You seem:

    Happy bright, content, good humoured

    Sad unhappy, down, dispirited

    Frustrated baffled, irked, nettled

    Angry furious, annoyed, cross

    Confused perplexed, befuddled, bemused

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    Communicating by Tone

    You are about to see a table of football results from a

    few years ago.

    In the following clip you will hear the results read out.

    The reader of the results will intimate his emotions,

    through his tones, whether the away team has done

    well or not

    See if you can identify from the tone the score of the

    last team, Bury, to be read out.

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    Use the words of the

    question or statement you

    have heard to repeat them

    back to prove you have


    This will help you

    understand what has been


    It will help you answer the

    question properly.

    This does not, however,

    guarantee success!!!

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    I Statements


    Word Count

    Conversation About Self

    8% 77% 15%

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    Effective Pauses

    A pause can help you

    control a situation

    It gives you time to


    It makes what you say

    have more gravitas

    To not pause leads to

    interruption and


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    When to Summarise?

    At the conclusion of a session

    At the restart of a session following a break

    Whenever there is a change of one of the parties

    What to summarise

    Core issue to each party

    Hooks or power words used

    Points of agreement

    Points of disagreement

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    Hooks and Power Words

    We are now going to re-listen to the Qualities

    of a Family Liaison Representative we heard

    at the start of this presentation.

    What hooks or power words can you identify

    as being used?

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    Advice 3

    Listen 4

    Intimidate/Order/Tell/Confidence 5

    Friends 6

    Men/women 15

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    In Summary

    Change your behaviour

    Move from Active Listening to Conscious Listening

    Be aware of your minimal encouragers

    Start with closed questions to build rapport

    Match the tone of the other party to signify listening

    Listen for and recognise the message transmitted in the tone used

    Use the exact words used when paraphrasing - but make sense

    Keep your percentage ownership of the conversation low

    Pause to give more weight to your messages

    Summarise using the words most important to the other party

    Be patient and dont be selfish!!!

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    No one else's conversation is quite as

    interesting as mine.

    Frank Skinner, Room 101, 2017

  • Control Risks Group Limited

    ARE YOU READY TO LISTEN? A new look at an old communication skill

    Sean Cunningham OBE | Senior Consultant

    13 October 2017, Athlone, Ireland


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