In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

We can all agree that listening is a foundational skill. And it makes sense- research shows we spend half our waking hours listening (Hargie, 2017; Kelley, 2019). But are you listening or are you just hearing? True listening requires encoding, reflection, and delivering on what you heard. It’s a skill, it requires practice and it’s required to ask better questions, to give rewards (people actually want), and to assert yourself. 

Put more eloquently: “Listening is the willingness to let another person change you” – Alan Alda

On today’s episode we cover:

  • The differences between hearing and listening 
  • The 5 types of listening and the 4 types of listener 
  • Verbal and non-verbal indicators to show you’re engaged
  • How to practice the skill of listening 

As you heard, practice requires application. Simply put, these skills mean nothing if you don’t practice and get evaluated on them. We have one Apprenticeship left this year. 

Join us in Asheville – November 13-14 

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Brett Bartholomew  00:12

It is here, the only time of year where we do all of our online courses at 30% off, all you have to do is go to And if you enter BlackFriday30 That’s just one word Black Friday and the number 30. Three Zero, you will get 30% off any of our online courses that are all masterclass style, quality, individually or as a bundle. Now, if you’ve never heard of my courses, you’ve never done it, you’re new to the show. All good. There’s three courses, they’re very simple. Okay, the first one is, Bought In. Think of this as a more in depth sequel to my book Conscious Coaching. That said, if you’ve never read conscious coaching, that is fine, too. We do a lot of callbacks. All in all, this is about how to better get your message across to others, how to better refine your own unique coaching style, and how to build trust with even the most challenging personality types. We go through this in a sequential order, everything this course and all the other courses, you have lifelong access, so you don’t need to rush. It’s all self paced, downloadable printable worksheets on screen prompts, no matter how you like to learn, whether you’re a notes person, you’re a visual person, you’re an analytical person, we have those vehicles for you. So again, if you’re trying to figure out, hey, I want to help others, but sometimes I deal with people that are skeptical, or I don’t really know how to find my own voice, or I don’t know how I’m coming across. This is where you need to start. It’s called Bought In. And do not worry if you are not a quote unquote, strength coach that deals with athletes. I talked about this all the time. Even though some of my vernacular says those things. These courses are for everybody. It’s no different than if a Navy SEAL writes a book, you can probably learn something from them. If you meet a chef at a restaurant, there’s probably something they can teach you. So just swap out your own terms. We all deal with difficult personalities, we all communicate. But we all need to learn how to do it better. So that is Bought In. 


Brett Bartholomew  02:04

Again, if you’ve read my book conscious coaching, because some of you I know, you keep reaching out and saying, Hey, when are you going to write another book? When are you gonna write another book? Guys, for those of you that’s the next step Valued. The next course, this is all about burnout, burnout, managing your career, we have three points in our career, generally, in our life, the beginning stage, the middle stage, where we’ve advanced beyond just the technical sides, now we’re maybe leading others and what have you. And then the latter stage, how are we really scaling our impact? What What how do we focus on shaping the legacy that we’re leaving? How do we manage all three of those areas, so whether you’re trying to break through in your field, or you feel like, Hey, I’m in the middle of it all, and I’m stuck, or you’re towards the end, and you’re trying to figure out what next, you know, because I still want to stay active and in helping others. But I’m not quite sure where I want to go from here. That is a great resource for you. We have everything that can help you navigate burnout, financial questions, my father was a financial advisor for 40 years, he comes in. So if you’re somebody that maybe that’s what you’re struggling with, you just don’t have a lot of money right now. It is a full blown course that will guide you on the stickiest parts of your career, you can check that out. Again, this is all available at 


Brett Bartholomew  03:13

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Brett Bartholomew  04:18

Today’s episode is an awesome one. And we wanted to kind of tone it down a little bit. I know that my toning it down is is a lot of people’s 11. But the last few podcasts, we’ve been going pretty hard on some topics. You know, we’re going to talk about listening how to be a better listener. And I know that seems simple, but I think many of us can realize that there’s a lot of conflicts we’ve had in our life, where we think we’re a good listener. And really, we’re just waiting for our turn to talk. We all know that old line you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. But the flip side to that is sometimes we’re interacting with people that don’t give us much so having two ears in one mouth doesn’t help because that person may not know what to say and they might leave us in some awkward moments. And then what are trying to figure out what to say. Listening is really the foundational skill of communication and leadership for that matter. And that’s what we’re going to be going over. 


Brett Bartholomew  05:08

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Brett Bartholomew  06:26

Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior, and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Brett Bartholomew  06:57

All right, locking and loading here today is all about becoming a better listener. And why does this matter? Pretty straightforward, guys. If you want to get anything done in life, you need to figure out what other people care about most. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, you cannot be socially agile. And you cannot be an effective leader or coach of any kind. If you don’t know how to listen. And like many things related to communication, we think we are better at it than we really are. And and it’s amazing that hubris because oftentimes it’s it’s these moments when we trip up and we realize that we should have listened to something a little bit more closely because maybe we missed something said about a contract we signed maybe we missed something about something somebody said they were going through in their life, maybe we missed a key detail. Because we’re so wrapped up in our own heads. We’re so overeager to help are so over eager to talk and share what we know that we end up screwing things up from the outside in. And this is going to be what today’s show is all about. 


Brett Bartholomew  07:52

Now, I’m going to give kind of an overarching view. This is a sample of stuff that we talked about at our apprenticeship communication workshops. We go very in depth here, we use a lot of tactical strategies. So it would behoove me to say like, Listen, if you’re a hands on coach, and you’re not seeking ways to constantly work on I hate this term, soft skills, I call them power skills, or people skills, relationship building culture building, seeking a deeper understanding of how to work on your communication strategies, and most importantly, your awareness of how you communicate how that message is being perceived. And if you’re not working on these things, you’re missing out on your number one differentiator. And that’s why we run these workshops. I’m always very thankful for those of you that read my book, Conscious Coaching, but guys, that was written in 2016. You know, and, and we’ve evolved a lot since then. That’s a starting point. It’s valuable. But when some of you are reaching out and saying, hey, you know, do you have drills or exercises or more stuff that I can do and what have you? Yes, they are at our Apprenticeship communication workshops. And I know some of you can tune that out, because you think I don’t have the time I don’t have the money. Guys, we’ve tried to make this pretty Excuse Proof. You know, we you have payment plans, we have early bird discounts. If you pass my online course, you get $180 off, I’d love to tell you that we can give these things to you for 60 to 100 bucks. But the reality is, is this takes a lot of time and effort to create, you know, we invest in it. We give people all kinds of handouts and tactical take homes. You know, it takes me I’m gone 20-25 weekends out of the year teaching to eight hour workshops. So I don’t know what to tell you if we can invest our time and energy. If I can take time away from my family and my son, I urge you to consider how resourceful you are. I understand that everybody’s got financial constraints. But this shouldn’t have to be a sales tactic. What can poor communication costs you? Right? Talk to somebody that’s gone through a lawsuit and how many 10s of 1000s of dollars they’ve paid, right and think about what it might cost you to invest 800 to 1200 bucks for a weekend, getting better getting objective feedback actually going through exercises. So the last of this pitch is that it’s by far our most interactive and comprehensive resource. By far, it’s packed with two days of practical exercises, drills, take homes, tools, things that you can take back and teach to your team. It’s got an evaluation that helps you handle some of the biggest moments in leadership. 


Brett Bartholomew  10:18

And really, you know, to date we have the only research-backed, interpersonal skills, focus, objective evaluation, if you’re a teacher, and you’ve gone through teacher evaluations, if you’re a coach, you’ve gone through coach evaluations, if you’re a doctor, and you’ve gone through patient interaction, patient doctor interactions, that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about this thing being solely focused on interpersonal skills. And we have 20 categories that we look at more than 20. Now, we’ve just updated it. And you’ll actually get feedback because a lot of times and what goes in today’s episode, guys, is you’ll say something but what you think you’re saying, and what somebody else is hearing, there’s a massive gap there. And that’s why so such a huge part of this workshop is putting you in a role playing scenarios. And then you evaluating yourself, people evaluating you individually, and then others as groups evaluating you, and then having that discussion, this isn’t pass fail. It’s not, oh, they’re a better communicator than I am. It’s all contextual. So you don’t need to be intimidated. If you’re an introvert, you don’t need to be intimidated. If you feel like you’re not good at communication, guys, that’s what this is for. There’s no words to really describe it. Because we want to make something that’s welcoming, that’s friendly to failure. Everybody just wants to get better here, you’re not trying to get a perfect communication score. We’re trying to show you the the perceptual gap. So goes without saying, go to For more, there’s a you can look at where we’re going, we’re going to be in Asheville, North Carolina, Toronto, please just do me a favor, do not do not email me and say When are you coming to my city? I love all of you. But we go to like 20 to 30 cities a year. And that’s a lot of travel. I cannot go to every city. So please understand that I too, have a family we have a we have a business. So if we’re in Schenectady, please do not ask me, Hey, when you come into this part of New York, or New Jersey, or what have you, meet me halfway. If I can fly from Atlanta to go to you know, your state, something tells me that you could probably find a way to get there. So I would love to see you. Alright, enough of that, getting into it. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:27

So listening, what is listening. Now, we want to take an objective view here, we want to get into what the research says and make it practical for you guys. Straightforward. And I owe this to Owen Harvey, great, tremendous researcher. Listening, the definition of listening is the learned process of receiving, interpreting, recalling, evaluating, and responding to verbal and nonverbal messages, rewind that if you didn’t get it, okay. And the key thing that you want to understand right out of the gate is listening and hearing are two completely different things. Okay, so even when we say Oh, you have two ears in one mouth? Well, that’s that’s not really that helpful. Because a lot of people we all are many of us have auditory inputs coming in, like hearing is a physiological act. And we’ll get more into this in a moment. But hearing right, I hear a sound, I hear a noise. It’s part of what we’re going to talk about as discriminative type Listening. Listening, on the other hand, is a cognitive act. It involves me not just not the input of something, but how I’m decoding it, how I perceive it, how I interpret it, how I respond to it, all of those things. So that’s a huge differentiator. 


Brett Bartholomew  13:46

Actor Alan Alda had a great quote that said, listening is the willingness to let another person change you the willingness to let another person change you. And I love that because again, it is a foundational skill and communication. And it’s the hardest thing for us to do. When we’re people that want to help others. We view ourselves as educators and guides because many of you are achievement drives. And if that term is new to you, go to We have a simple quiz. But those of you that are achievement drives, you always want to help others progress because you want to progress, right? Like you want to achieve, you want to grow, you want to serve, you want to unite people, you want to help them kind of get through some of their toughest moments in life. And so you just want to be so involved and help. But the issue is is when you don’t actually listen. You might not be helping them with the right thing. You know, just talking about what you know and what you perceive. That’s not listening. Now of course true listening is required if you want to be able to ask people the right questions. I’ve gotten asked this a lot lately people keep asking me what I think about motivational interviewing you guys mode Additional interviewing is great. It’s not a new topic. But that being good at motivational interviewing does not make you a great communicator, nor does that make you a great listener. Right? I can, I can ask people questions. But a lot of times people are just asking questions, and they’re only kind of hearing what they want to hear. And you hear this with a lot of really bad podcasts as well. I think it’s, it’s a microcosm of, of interactions that you see, there are podcasts, and I’ve been on a lot of them. And I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it myself. At times, I’m far from perfect. Where somebody would ask me a question when I was a guest. And I would go super in depth in an answer. And then there was no, there was no response from them. It was just cool. Next question. And they just went to the next thing. And the next thing, and I’m like, Are we having a conversation here? You know, and so, motivate, let’s say you, you ask all the questions, you start with why you go through motivational interviewing, you go through seven layers of why is this important? Why is that important? And what do you think that means? And what are you doing with that information? And how deeply Are you listening, don’t just come out with your like, little list of questions that you got from the back of some book. And that’s, again, why we teach this stuff at the apprenticeship, we’ll put you in those situations. And it’s funny, you might think that you’re coming across as caring, and other people are gonna be like, Dude, you’re kind of seeing transactional in that. And that’s the feedback you need. Nobody does it. You know, it’s not an IT, you shouldn’t take that as an affront or somebody casting aspersions. They’re trying to help you understand that how many of us think we’re coming across, it’s not always how we’re coming across. And that’s one of the most valuable things you can learn in life. It’s also why we videotape each other at the apprenticeship because it is painful to watch yourself on camera. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:42

Listening is also required, if you hope to give appropriate rewards, whether that’s incentives at work, whether that is understanding, you know how to give the best feedback to people, more importantly, feedback that they care about. And if you if you want more information on feedback, we have a whole episode on that just search art of coaching dot art of coaching, podcast feedback, but you have to understand what other people care about. Because of that golden rule is crap, treat other people how you want to be treated, nothing could be more erroneous, treat other people how they want to be treated, you have to figure out what their quote unquote love language is all those things. And that doesn’t mean you need to be in love with them, I always have to be hyper literal on this show sometimes is we just mean, you can’t talk in color or speak their language, and give them any kind of reward or acknowledgement if you don’t learn how to truly listen. And then of course, listening is required, if you hope to assert yourself, you know, we have a lot of lawyers or attorneys that that take part in our work. And they have to always stay on a shared narrative, right? They have a narrative of what this case is about what the facts are, what have you. And if they can’t counter the opposing counsel, that puts them in a tough spot, you have to be able to assert yourself, even if you had poor customer service, you’ve got to be able to assert yourself. So to give you frame of reference on how much of a role that plays in our life listening, it is estimated, and this comes from a 2017 article 2019 article, it’s estimated that we spend about half of our waking hours listening. Now I would say we probably spend half of our waking hours hearing because many of us are not skilled listeners. From CEOs to pharmacists to doctors research has established that this is a fundamental skill for being an effective communicator, more stats, and I think I’ve shared this on a prior episode. It’s one of those slides at our apprenticeship that everybody takes a photo of this comes from a 2011 article. And of course, this is going to skew right. But it is estimated that we forget half of what we hear immediately after hearing it.


Brett Bartholomew  18:48

We forget half of what we hear immediately after hearing it. This is a big reason why we do our free podcast reflections if you guys go to because we want you to interact with the material. It’s also why I got tired of just going and speaking at keynotes. And we did our apprenticeship in an experiential learning format. Because when you actually roleplay or you screw up or whatever, that helps you encode that memory differently. You know, it’s different when you have skin in the game. Even those of you listening right now you’re more likely to forget what I’m saying, you know, a day from now than if you actually came in interacted with us because that that creates more emotional load. When you put emotional load behind a memory and you know that you guys have heard a songs come on the radio that reminds you of a summer when you were a kid or a movie comes on that reminds you of somebody that you had deep, intense emotions for. We all have that that version, you might step into a physical environment. And that that puts you back in that moment when we have these moments that encodes that information differently. We only recall about 35% of what we hear after eight hours 35% And then, sorry, I had to get a drink. We generally only recall 25% After a day. And that’s why I got so nuts about it, you know, I’d go speak at these 60 minute keynotes, I was always thankful for it. But then I come home and be like, did is anybody gonna like learn anything, because I’m usually one of like 11 presenters and whether I go first or in the middle, or last or whatever, people are just bombarded with information. And that just drove me nuts. So we’re like, Yeah, we’re gonna start teaching our own workshops, going deeper, making it experience based, making it something that people can interact with. Because otherwise, like that, it’s all just people are making a lot of money in the education space by just bombarding a lot of you guys with information that many of you never interact with, again, anyway, you go home, you never look at the slides again, you know, they sell you on all that kind of stuff, but you never interact with the material. 


Brett Bartholomew  20:52

To give you more in depth statistics, for those of you that kind of like this thing is, you know, it’s estimated that about 40 to 80%, of information conveyed during a health care consultation is either forgotten immediately, or remembered incorrectly by the patient. Think about that. This is like how to take your medication appropriately, how to do this, how to do that, like all these contraindications that people need to pay attention to, because it could cost them their life? For those of you that are, you know, part of our strength coach community. Think about that, like this goes, how much of what you say do you think is actually getting across? Because the research shows us not much. And, you know, as we’ve had to move to virtual all of us, you know, the problem gets worse, for telephone consultations, because up to 55%, of the impact for in person consultations, is attributed to that visual and nonverbal aspect. And that just goes back to what I said about encoding. So there’s a lot of a lot of issues there. 


Brett Bartholomew  21:53

Now, let’s talk about and this comes from Harvey, 2017, Wulven, Burleson Edwards, types of listening, This is critical, I’m gonna give you five types and make sure you have pen and paper ready. Or if you’re driving, you know, come back to this or what have you. But when you know the types of listening, you’re engaging in, this kind of helps you get a barometer of like, Alright, I’m struggling with listening, I didn’t remember what that person said, why we want you to understand what what you’re engaging with, or what your default is, and what’s out there. And we’re gonna give you a lot of types of things here. So pay close attention. One type of listening is discriminative. Listening. This is stimuli centered. I imagine you hear this.


Brett Bartholomew  22:35

Was that a book that fell? Did I did I clap? What was that? Does that sound like a dog barking? Was that a coyote? What was that? Was that lightning? Did you hear thunder? You’re just trying to figure you’re scanning and monitoring the environment for visual and auditory stimuli to see what that was. Then there’s comprehension based listening. This is discernment focused. What you guys are doing right now you’re focusing you’re trying to focus on central facts. Hey, Brett, what’s the main idea? What’s the critical theme, we do this when we’re coaching, if somebody’s got a problem, it’s part of our listen framework. The first stage is trying to learn everything about the history of a situation, what the issue is, all this stuff, we’re trying to get its fact finding its discovery. Okay, so then to go a layer deeper, let’s say you’re really engrossed in a topic. Now you’re going to do evaluative listening. But this could also be when somebody’s just trying to persuade us. Now, it’s important to note that there’s gonna be some gray area between these things, because it’s not like we just go through these types of listening in a step by step fashion, or constantly shifting and changing. If I’m having a conversation with you guys right now, and you’re telling me about something, I might be engaged in comprehension based listening. And then if we hear a loud noise, boom, all of a sudden, I shift to discriminative listening. Or if you go deeper down a subject, now it’s evaluative, because I’m really trying to gauge like, what are you trying to get me to believe when when we see people trying to convince others of their political beliefs, or what have you, and mind you, this can also be just what you see and what you pay attention to on social media and what have you or the news. When somebody is trying to influence us. That’s evaluative listening. Then the other two very easy, empathetic listening is when we’re just listening. So somebody can tell us, you know, hey, I’m struggling, I had a bad day. And this is where a lot of us struggle, because we try to fix it. When sometimes you just need to sit there and shut up and listen to them. It’s about them. 


Brett Bartholomew  24:40

Great communication is about the listener. But you’ve got to empower that person to just be able to talk not every problem needs you to solve it. I say it and Bought in as a matter of fact, I say you’re only an expert in the life of somebody else if they invite you into their life to begin with. So just shut up and listen, that’s relation oriented. And then finally is appreciative listening, that’s enjoyment centered, I’m gonna go to the airport here in less than 30 minutes, I’m going to listen to some music on the way there because I’m about to teach all weekend, I need to down regulate, I don’t need to have something on that makes me think all the time. That’s appreciative listening. Okay. So again, make sure that you’ve downloaded the reflection sheet or what have you, these will be there. And if you’ve been at our apprenticeship, remember, these are a part of the slides. If you guys got the slides, you can always go back there, then. And this is something I put on social media recently, and I think will help you guys a lot. I know it helped me, it’s helpful to understand what type of listener you are, we’ve talked about what listening is. We’ve talked about different types of listening, that takes place, but now getting more centrally focused on you. Right? We all have tendencies just like when I coach athletes, right? There are there were athletes that are more analytical in nature, that are more visual, they need to see video breakdowns of themselves, right, or demonstrations and what have you. There are some athletes that are more kinesthetic, auditory, what have you. So think about what I’m about to tell you like this. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:11

There are different types of listeners. So when you’re trying to coach somebody, or persuade somebody or just have a conversation with a loved one, or what have you. And vice versa, you know, these can help you figure out well, what do I tend to skew towards? And what does that person I interact with skew towards, and these can be mixed and match with the stuff that you’ve learned from us on our archetype framework and everything else? So there are people oriented listeners, right? There are people that it’s like, you’re very focused on the feeling and needs of others. Hey, man, how you doing? Yeah. Tell me tell me more about that. How does that how does that make you feel? Family Good? What’s your like, the more they ask you about your personal life, or you or your state of being and those things, that’s generally a people oriented listener. Now remember, gray area and all this stuff, many of you still struggle with feeling like, you know that, that it’s got to be this or that this or that. We don’t live in a black and white world, right? You might be a people oriented listener, when you’re out on a date, asking questions as somebody that you’re you’re very much interested in are attracted to. And then you might be a different type of listener, you’re gonna shift at work if there’s an analytical situation. So I need to continue to say this, because people really struggle with that. Excuse me, sorry about that. 


Brett Bartholomew  27:28

Then there’s a content. Yeah, like people that are more content oriented listeners. These are people that are highly analytical, they’re focused on literal meanings. Well, what do you mean by that? What do you mean by the word? Assert? What do you mean by you feel like nobody’s listening to you? What do you mean by I have to do this? Before I do that? Right. You’re very analytical, you want to get to the details? Hey, Brett, what do you mean, by the difference of types of listening? And types of listeners? That’s content oriented? And you should think about that? What conversations have you had today? Where somebody has asked you more about you, personally? And what conversations have you had today, where somebody is just more focused on getting more analytical details out of you? Right, then there’s those that are task oriented, usually short tempered, these people just kind of not short tempered, I’m sorry. They’re usually a little bit they can come across as rushed. You know, my dad can be like this, he kind of just wants the base amount of information necessary to get the job done. He doesn’t want a lot of exposition, he doesn’t want a lot of context. Tell me what’s up. Tell me what’s going on. Let’s get this done. Give me the information necessary to do the job. Do you see how that can be so different? I’ll be it related to content oriented, content oriented listeners, highly analytical, they want more details, more details, more details, task oriented, they just, they give me enough to take care of what I gotta do. And I can be like this in my business, sometimes. You know, Liz, Liz is, uh, my wife, Liz, she’ll sometimes come down and give some details. And I might be in a rush. And I’m like, Hey, I care about this. But right now I just kind of need the high order facts, what do I need to know? Because I need to, I need to jump on this. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:16

Okay. And so then there are people that and time oriented. Now this is the worst I think of this is like, people on social media a lot. But it’s definitely not just social media. These are people sometimes that just aren’t interested in listening. The people that are most prone to jump to conclusions are time oriented listeners, everything’s, everything’s a rush. Everything’s a rush. You know, it’s similar to task oriented, but the difference here is they’re more likely to interrupt you, as opposed to just like disconnect. So task oriented might be Hey, Ali, I understand that we need to get this ready for the next coalition group. What are the next steps there? That’s task oriented? Okay, what are the next steps then if she gives me next steps, and there’s one I’m confused on And I’m gonna say, Well, why is that one necessary? That’s content oriented right now. Now I’m highly analytical. On the other hand, if we had that same conversation and a different universe, and I said, Ali, you got three seconds to tell me what we need. And I don’t care why, you know, we need to just tell me what we need. That’s, that’s an example of time oriented. And it’s not always bad, but there’s a time and place for it. 


Brett Bartholomew  30:20

I think where I struggle sometimes. And I you know, I always try to be honest with you guys. I don’t know if you give a shit about you know, my feelings about this. And I don’t want to assume that you do. But one area I’m really trying to work on is I can get really frustrated or short tempered when I get DMS on social media, when somebody like, they’ll they’ll just say, What are your thoughts on persuasion? They give me something broad. Or they’ll say, hey, what advice do you have for me as a new coach? Or they’ll just ask something broad and very, like, it’s clear that they just want this one size fits all brief answer. And I think why it’s frustrating for me, because I know some of you would say, hey, you need to have grace, you need to have this. Why it’s frustrating for me is it and many of you can relate to this, if you’re honest, for more than six years, since I’ve started out on my own, we put out 1000s of hours of free content, whether it’s the podcast, whether it’s, you know, free downloads at art of, whether it’s, I mean, shoot social media, whatever, but people just won’t do their homework, yet. They’re demanding a quick answer from me. And then if I send them a link, if they’re like, Oh, how do I reach out to a mentor? Well, we have that art of I’ll send it to them. And they’re like, Well, can you just tell me what it says? Those are time oriented listeners. They’re not, they’re not even focused on the task. They don’t even want to do it. They just want you it’s what Steve Martin said in one of his books. When people would ask him, he’s a famous comedian. What what advice you have for me to break through, he’s like, they didn’t really want the advice. They just wanted to know how I got an agent. And that’s where I struggle as I really struggle with time oriented listeners, because they just they want, what they want, the way they want it, how they want it when they want it. But they don’t realize it sometimes they’re asking a way deeper question. And if none of the examples I gave made sense, here’s another one, because I’m obsessed with trying to make sure this is helpful for you guys. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:12

I got like a four paragraph email from somebody the other day, and I talked about this on our newsletter, recently, where somebody is talking about issues they’re having in their business, they’re a coach, they’re trying to get more people to understand their product, whatever. And then at the end of it, it was like, you know, basically, I need help figuring out how to clarify my message, like, what do you got for me? And, and that can be so overwhelming, because it’s like, this is why we create courses. This is why we do this stuff, you know, but sometimes there’s there’s people that can think Well, you do that to make money, guys, you can do something to make money and help people, you know that there’s a reason like there’s gas stations and hotels like these are things that are needed. And believe me, don’t you think that if I could give you like a quick answer that solved all your problems? I would. But that’s not that’s not really what happens. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:57

So we’ve talked about types of listening, we’ve talked about types of listeners, I’m encouraging you so that you’re not passively going through this, you should be having a piece of paper or spreadsheet or what have you to think about what times of day, you might engage in more discriminative listening, give three examples. When recently, you’ve done more empathetic listening, when you’ve done more evaluative listening, and then also do the same thing of saying, hey, in this interaction was I’m more of a content oriented listener, a task oriented listener, or people oriented listener, why why was that appropriate? This person at work, I can’t get across to them Do they seem like more people oriented listener, task oriented listener, content oriented listener, that stuff, if you just take the time, it’s very basic, it goes back to that example I gave you early on about when I’m working with athletes, and I’m trying to figure out kind of their modal strengths, whether they’re more visual, auditory, whatever, I just need to pay attention to what they’re saying. If somebody is saying, Hey, Coach, how should this feel? Or how do I move in this situation? That’s clearly somebody that like their kinesthetic. And like when they’re asking how should this feel? They want me to speak in kinesthetic terms. If it’s somebody that’s saying, hey, this doesn’t make sense to me, how does this apply to blank? That skewing more analytical? If somebody says, Coach, can I see you do it? Can I watch you do it? They’re clearly more visual in that context. So you need to pay deeper attention. 


Brett Bartholomew  34:25

You need to listen to become a better listener. Imagine that. All right, shifting gears, almost done. So let’s say you’re like, Alright, I got this, Brett. But I also want to show that I’m engaged. What are some verbal indicators, and this is a part of our evaluation that I talked about where we can score you guys, and then you can watch yourself back on video. It’s immensely valuable. There are certain verbal indicators you can give to show that you’re engaged as a listener. There are what are called reinforcers where imagine you guys are saying something to me? And I say Yeah, very good. Exactly. Great. An example. This is excellent, because so the more you can kind of give reasons. Hey, very good, Liz that helps me learn blank or a Thanks, Steven. That makes a lot of sense because of this. Exactly. You’re getting what I said based on the types of communication, because you gave this example right? These are, these are verbal reinforcer. So give reasons for the response, if possible. If somebody says, Hey, did this help you? And you say, Yeah, you know, it’s yes, because of blank, blank, blank. So yes. Now, you don’t want to overdo this. And this is where we talked about communication being a skill. Because it’s hard to know if you’re overdoing it. And what’s overdoing it to one person isn’t to another. And that’s why we need to train it. 


Brett Bartholomew  35:43

You don’t want to be one of those people that if you guys are having a conversation with me, and obviously you can’t talk right now. So I’ll be silent in your place. And then I don’t you don’t want me to do this. Yep. Uh huh. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Love it. Yep. You would just want to slap the bejesus out of me. Right. So that’s, you don’t want to go too far down that rabbit hole. It’s a fine line. I don’t know what to tell you guys. Other than you need to train it. I’ll be a broken record sounding like I’m selling my workshops over and over. It just is what it is. Because this is where it helps to learn your blind spots. Another thing you could do is refer back to past statements, bring up past details, feelings and ideas. Use that to build on the current exchange. Hey, Vanessa, it sounds like if I heard you correctly, you’re saying that you’re frustrated? Because this person tends to always use legitimating tactics against you? Is that right? Or, hey, Regina, you said that you struggle, specifically with communication in the context of selling yourself, helping people learn why you’re the best coach they should train with, because you don’t want to come off as salesy and this and that, did I hear you? Right? Right. So a lot of it is summary. 


Brett Bartholomew  36:59

Another part obviously, is keeping interruptions to a minimum, keeping interruptions to a minimum, knowing how to follow. So ask open ended related questions using door opening statements. Hey, tell me more about this Ali, that interests me, please go on. And that’s best if you feel like the speaker could or wants to expand. It’s something that I have a lot of noise when I do these podcasts for you guys. It’s a fine line, because I’m very passionate about this stuff. And I probably shouldn’t worry about it, right? Because there’s folks and he’s the nicest guy in the world, Andrew Huberman. There’s folks like that that can go on for three hours. I know people listen to other podcasts that are two to three hours, we try to keep hours an hour or less. Yet, I’m always I’m always trying to find this dance between wanting to go more in depth for you guys, but also trying to keep it brief. So I don’t overwhelm you. And so when I have certain when people come to our workshops, I can say, Hey, do you want me to go more in depth here, and I can get that feedback immediately. That’s always helpful. And then just reflecting and summarizing, right? So the goal is to get them to say That’s right. Hey, Mom, it sounds like you’re really upset about these three things. And it makes you feel a little bit anxious when dad does that is, Am I hearing you correctly? I want her to say That’s right. That’s right. So there’s verbal indicators, nonverbal indicators, we’ll go through this a little bit more quickly. Eye contact, mostly directed, but don’t stare this one. You know, for every book written by a former FBI CIA person that talks about all the things that we’ve heard about body language, more specifically, kinesics. There’s a fine line guys, you don’t if I’m talking to you right now, one to one, you don’t want me looking at you directly in the eye all the time. And we’ve heard so much BS over the years of oh, if you look up into the right and down into the left, and you’re lying, or you’re thinking that that’s all that’s such crap. There’s, there’s so many more complex reasons for that. And it’s beyond the context of this show. But there are times where just averting your eyes for a moment is helpful. It makes you come across less intimidating, less confrontational. In some cultures, looking somebody directly in the eyes the entire time is, is not respectful, that is confrontational. So that is just something you want to be aware of facial expressions. There are people that have you know, resting be face, whatever you want to call it. I had to get used to this as a speaker because sometimes you’re looking at an audience and they can be very engaged. But you might catch somebody just in deep thought or spacing out and they could look like they want to choke you. And so you can’t read too much into that but you have to read when I listen intently, I can have a very stern serious face. So I have to make sure I’m conscious of smiling or grinning sometimes and showing different different facial expressions, your your posture, forward or sideways, lean all these pieces, head movements, all these things that I’m talking about. They just fit into one small category. 


Brett Bartholomew  39:51

These nonverbal indicators of body language, just kinesics there’s seven other categories. We could go into it again, not to be redundant on the pitch but That’s part of our evaluation. So I just want to keep things simple. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna read reflect on everything we’ve gone through so far. What is listening? The learn process of receiving, interpreting, recalling, evaluating and responding to verbal and nonverbal messages. We know we need it, we know that we forget a lot of what we hear, we forget a lot of what we hear, and we suck at listening because we don’t train it. It’s a trainable skill. There’s types of listening, that help us figure out, they’re more appropriate, based on what what was that noise? What am I trying to do? What’s the situation, there’s types of listeners, and none of them are static, they skew and they’re dependent on the situation. There’s verbal indicators you can give to show that you’re engaged. There’s nonverbal indicators. And for all of these things, we have drills that we work on at our apprenticeship. And in future episodes, we’ll talk about some of them, because I understand some of you because of COVID. And other things may not be able to travel. Now for me as I tried to leave you with just some simple information, and we might do a part two, depending on your feedback from this is instead of that whole kind of recalling or receiving, interpreting, recalling, evaluating and responding to messages, I tried to simplify that I think, Okay, I think of it like this simplified if we listen well. And then we’re able to respond based on that listening more effectively. I think of it as discovered, decode, decide, deliver discover is when I’m in taking information, I’m engaged with it comprehensive listening, evaluative listening, what have you, that helps me decode what you’re really saying versus what I think you were saying, right, I want to get to the details of it, then I can decide how to reply, based on what type of listener I think you are, your drives your desires, nature of the interaction, and then I can tailor my messaging better, I can deliver it more effectively. 


Brett Bartholomew  41:56

Now, there are a lot of serious things that you can do that with this medium, don’t come across it well, but we also use kind of non intimidating games, easy kind of exercises to do to help you with this kind of stuff. So if you want a you know, just a sampling of some exercises, that then they’re tough guys, you know, one thing that we do as a warm up at our apprenticeship is last letter first. And so I remember one time as a coach, I wanted to make things just a bit more challenging to me, and I didn’t let the athlete know that I was doing this, but I was like, Alright, I want to see how well I can listen today. So what I’m gonna do is every time I ask a question, whatever that person responds with, I’m gonna take the last letter of the final word they said, and I got to begin my next response with that. So for example, Henry, how do you feel today? sore? Well, the last letter there is E, right? Sore s. Oh, sorry. So I said everywhere. He said, Well, my shoulder. What’s the last letter? There are really? Have you tried this, right, we kept going. And he didn’t know I was doing this. Now. There’s, there’s a situation where eventually you’re going to get stuck. And you don’t want to look like a weirdo. But just by putting a little thing like that in there. You can work on your listening, it’s very basic. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:17

We do another just improv game, real simple, A to Z. We’ve done this when we’re out at a restaurant, we did this actually, after an apprenticeship in Cardiff out in Wales, that we did recently, where everybody around the table, this can be a fun night, everyone around the table anytime the service staff said something, you had to answer or respond with a different letter of the alphabet. So for example, because I know that that’s it’s hard to explain this without being in person. If somebody said, Hey, everybody, let’s say the waiter came over and said, or waitress. Hey, how’s everybody doing? And let’s imagine I’m the first person to start. So the first letter of the alphabet is a all good, how are you? I’m doing great. Hey, has anybody been here before? And so then the next person would have be and again, the goal is to keep it like casual real conversation. So, you know, the person next to me has been there been here twice. Love it. And they said, Great. Well, let me tell you about tonight specials. So then the next person was see they go, can I substitute the cream corn for this? That it gets really like? It starts off? Here’s the thing insecure people are going to be like, Oh, I’m not doing that. But okay, that’s your issue, because what’s going on there and why that works. That listening is because now everybody at the table. The waitstaff has no idea what we’re doing. But everybody at the table has to figure out alright, what letter Am I next? And also, I have to listen more closely to the service staff. Because I need to make sure how I respond with that letter still sounds like a natural organic response. So those are just two examples of something very basic. We almost see them as warm ups they had you know what will bleed these into negotiation things that we utilize and what have you because you have the apprenticeship there’s there’s people that will work on Hey, I want to negotiate a raise, I want to figure out how to get across my business partner. I have, like I said earlier, challenging personalities that I got to deal with his clients. And so we add these constraints to help people find lateral solutions. And those constraints like last letter, first A to Z, we have memorization exercises, we do think of that as overload. It’s no different for those of you that are strength coaches as to why we put weight on people’s backs, or we teach them to deadlift or clean, we utilize weight, and gravity and all these things is a form of overload to get our system to adapt. Well, that’s what abstract thinking does in the use of these improv games. It teaches you to think laterally and adapt. 


Brett Bartholomew  45:40

And it is amazing guys, we thankfully we don’t get many of them at our workshop, because people that are too cool for school are never going to go work on that stuff. And I shouldn’t thankfully, because they make it harder for the rest of us that care. But the point being is once you start doing it, and you get past the awkward phase, and we have over 100 different exercises in our in our database, you start realizing Holy crap, this is this is addictive. And now you can constantly work on your communication everywhere, whether you’re on the phone with customer service, whether you’re doing you know, I’ll do it with with podcasts sometimes, and guests that I interview, we have so many different ways that we can work on these things. So anyway, that is just a brief primer on listening. And I’d love to know what you guys think of this episode. Again, we didn’t want to overwhelm you, we just wanted to give you a little bit of insight as so just one small thing that we work on this is this is part of our what we call our observation category at our apprenticeship with our evaluation. So we have seven key areas that are broad, interpersonal skills focused. And then each of those has six or seven smaller components subcomponents, no different than a p&l statement,


Brett Bartholomew  46:51

hey, what were your profits and losses? Well, you’re gonna have your big categories, and then you’re gonna have your sub components. For those of you in strength and conditioning, again, you have your push, pull, squat, hinge, and then you have your sub components of those things. That’s all we’re doing. We’re just doing it for what we believe is the most valuable skill in the world. Communication and knowing how to listen, guys, that’s all I got for you don’t forget, all all month, our online courses are 30% off, just go to, Black Friday, 30 30% off all month long, but do it now. Do it now. Because you’re going to reach out at the end of November or December or whatever. And you’re gonna say, hey, what about that deal? Do it now you’re never gonna have more time and money and whatever, quit making excuses. There’s payment plans that literally make it about as much as a $3 cup of coffee a day. If you’re somebody that wants tactical hands on in person, coaching strategies, things that you can take and learn and, and go do your very interactive Please, please, please, guys, take accountability. Do not wait for us to come to every we’re not coming to every city in America. We’re not able to go everywhere in the world. We’ve been all over I was just in Cardiff and Wales in Wales. And then somebody says, When are you coming back to London? I have a little boy, I have a business. I have a family. I want to meet all of you. But you got to meet us halfway. I’d love to see you. I’d love to learn from you. And I’m thankful for you send this to somebody who needs it, who might value it or benefit from it. And until next time, we’ll talk to you soon.

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