Active listening is paying attention to not only what someone says, but also what they don’t say and how they feel when they say it. Beyond paying attention, active listening is comprehending, empathizing and connecting. When we actively listen, we build trust and compassion and diffuse emotion and conflict. People and teams that support and practice active listening create “psychological safety,” which leads to greater engagement, productivity and success.


Do you actively listen? Are you able to see body language as clearly as you hear someone's words? Are you ready with your response before they’ve finished speaking? Whether during your next meeting at work or dinner with your family, listen and ask questions from a place of curiosity. Notice unspoken words and body language that says something else. Feel yourself being heard as authentically as you hear others.


“Psychological safety” is a key contributor to successful teams at Google, as reported in the article, “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team,” by author and productivity expert Charles Duhigg in The New York Times Magazine. The article is an excerpt from Duhigg’s new book, “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.”




“Why does the lizard stick his tongue out? The lizard sticks its tongue out because that's the way it’s listening and looking and tasting its environment. It's its means of appreciating what's in front of it.” – William Shatner


Simple Intentions founder and work-life expert Jae Ellard is the Local Spotlight at Umpqua Bank Queen Anne on Thursday, March 31. Join Jae and other locals and business owners for Master Your Balancing Act!, a forum and networking event, from 5:30-7 p.m. Enjoy good conversation, appetizers and wine courtesy of Umpqua Bank. RSVP by March 24 to, 206-749-7461. The bank is located at 1630 Queen Anne Ave N.
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