This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients, and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership.

Why you’re listening wrong and how to change it


When others are talking, you think you are listening but you are just waiting to respond, waiting for a chance to move on, or thinking about something that you forgot to do. You are thinking about yourself, and not connect with the other person.

I’m Amber from Amber Rahim Coaching and I’m a professionally trained coach.

When we listen, we normally have our focus on “how does this affect me?”  We are missing out on a huge amount of information about what that person really means and what else is going on with them.  If you are negotiating, building or maintaining a relationship, or trying to persuade them to go your way, that is all information that can help you.

So to get the most out of a conversation, and to really connect with people, shift your focus to the other person.

When you are listening, shift your attention to hearing the tone of voice. Notice the pace. What emotions are present? What’s not being said?

What are the body movements and facial expressions? What values do you hear in their words?

And to really be insightful, expand your attention to the space you are in: What’s the energy in the room? What’s the atmosphere like?

Shifting your focus from yourself to the person you are talking with will give you more information and creates a connection with them that builds trust. And you give them the best gift of all, attention.

Your View

What’s your experience with listening this way? What impact does listening this way have on you, and on the other person?

share your thoughts in the comments

How is this linked to the book Leadership and Self-Deception?

When we listen from the “it’s about me” perspective, it’s really easy to get in the box and stay there. That’s because we are putting all of our attention on ourselves: I think… that happened to me… I would do this….

If we want to get out of the box with people, we need to shift our focus to them so that we can see them as a person, not just an object or vehicle. So when we shift our listening to them, we are already stepping out of the box.