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The Art of Better Listening I Stanford Slovin I Ep 178

Top Tips From Stanford Slovin.

1. Check-In:

“Check in. Which means that if all of a sudden you realize that you’re not listening, okay. Refocus in on the words being spoken on the actual words being spoken so that you can try to get yourself back on script of listening to what you are actually hearing from that person. Not just that the person is just talking.” 

2. Stop the Conversation to Clarify:

“Stop the conversation from them talking. You’re not interrupting, but just saying, Hey, you know, that’s an interesting thing that you just mentioned. I want to make sure that I didn’t miss that because already you realize that you’ve been drifting or you stopped listening and you may have missed, but hey, listen, this is a really important topic and this is a great project we’re working on. I don’t want to miss this. Can you just repeat a couple of the things? I just want to make sure that I have them down. I’m even want to write them down. So it stops you from the normal distraction. It gets you re-engaged. It lets them repeat.” 

3. Change the Demeanor of the Conversations:

“Change yourself around, change the demeanor of it. So whether it’s an active or whether it’s asking a question or whether it’s asking them to respond, but if you start realizing like, I can’t, I can’t focus anymore, you then take a pause for the conversation. Employment says, listen, this was really good. And you know what? This is a good start. And let me just make sure that I understand this part because I think this is a continuation. Let’s pick this up maybe later on today or tomorrow if that’s okay. And then that way you’re giving yourself a break from realizing, you know what? I’m just, I’m just not into it. I can’t focus on it or I’m just not getting what I need out of it.” 





listening, conversation, great, share, hear, work, person, listener, talking, important, realized, leaders, love, family, reflect, business owners, relationships, feel, book 


Stanford Slovin  00:00 

One reason why clients leave their advisors, it is because the client believes that the advisor is not listening to them. Good leaders are good listeners, but great leaders are amazing reflective leaders, and that is the difference of reflective listening. Here’s a golden ticket question, what is most important to you with regards to a relationship with new employee coming in, or a project you’re working on? Anything? 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:35 

Welcome to another episode of Better Business, Better Life. I’m your host, Debra Chantry Taylor, and I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs lead their ideal lives by creating better businesses. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:53 

I’m a certified EOS implementer, an FBA accredited family business advisor and a business owner myself with several business interests. I work with established business owners and their leadership teams to help them live their ideal entrepreneurial life using Eos, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. My guests come onto the show to authentically share the highs and lows of creating a successful business and how they’ve turned things around in their business and their life using EOS tools. Attraction or sometimes they can be experts that can actually offer help with business or life. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:29 

Today’s guest is definitely one of those. He is in a rock band. He has worked in the securities industry for over 30 years. He’s involved in charities focusing on mental health and children with disabilities, and today, he’s going to share with you secrets to improving both your professional and your personal life through better listening. Today’s guest is Stanford sloven He’s the author of better listening, the book which is available on Amazon and all other major Book Outlet places. So good morning, Stan. It’s great to have you on the show. Welcome  


Stanford Slovin  02:00 

Debra. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m so excited to for our conversation, and thanks for having 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:05

Look. I’m looking forward to it too. Now I appreciate that you’re celebrating over in the US. You’re the last person in the office today. Is that right? Yes,


Stanford Slovin  02:13 

Yes, we are very excited about our Memorial Day weekend. It gives everybody a chance to get off of work a little early, start their picnics with their families, and just a good, long, four day weekend for us here in the States.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:24 

Beautiful, beautiful. So tell me a little bit about your story. Tell us a little bit about you and what you’ve been up to and how you’ve got to where you are today. 


Stanford Slovin  02:32 

Well, I’m a Chicagoan, so from Chicago, Illinois, in the States, born and raised. In fact, I could not break the umbilical cord. I’ve been here for almost 60 years, and just basically it was raised in a suburb of Chicago. So really, just had a great opportunity to, you know, school here and grow through the University of Illinois, and also attended law school in Illinois, and at the end of the day, you know, kind of even raising my family. So I have two kids, and, like I mentioned before, I have two mini golden doodles, which is really fun and enjoyable. But, you know, I grew up in a in a just a great Midwestern area of the United States, so really, just opened my eyes to, like, just values and and just really good, you know, just great people, just a plethora of different types of cultures and styles and religions and everything, and it gave me a chance to just kind of grow up learning that one had to have an open mind, and two learned very early on that I had to be a better listener, because everybody wanted to tell their story. So just from a personal standpoint, it’s interesting. I’m a big Cubs fan, so I don’t know if you have baseball love out there, but we are the Chicago Cubs here in Chicago, and we are very proud of our baseball and love to also play in a band. So that’s kind of like my fun thing. I play in a rock and roll band. I know it doesn’t look like it. I don’t have that long hair and everything, but I do play classic rock from Rolling Stones, so from across the pond to the Doobie Brothers, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, and even things like Linda Ronstadt and Tom Petty. So I try to keep myself busy. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:08 

I actually mentioned that in the introduction. You didn’t get to hear that, but I want to introduce you. You’re in a rock band. It’s like from your photo. Yeah, you certainly wouldn’t pick you a rock band player. But so what do you do? What do you play? Do you sing? Do you have an instrument? 


Stanford Slovin  04:20 

So I’m a keyboardist and I’m a vocalist, so I play keyboards and vocal. My daughter thinks I’m the coolest father around. So that’s really kind of cool still, even. So she’s 19, so I get to do and we and we just travel around, really, the Chicagoland, Illinois. So we’re not national we haven’t made it yet. We have not warmed up for the Eagles yet, and when we have not been asked to run up for the Rolling Stones at Soldier Field this summer, but we’re making around some of the locals, and we usually have, like, 100 200 300 people at our events, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great, you know, it’s great adrenaline, you know, adrenaline. It’s just something that I think you know, as we get older, you got to find a passion. So some people work out, some people play in a rock and roll band, and that’s just a little bit. About me from a personal standpoint, my professional has really been kind of, you know, I’ve been in the wealth management, which is in it’s called financial services. So we’ve been just in a world where we’re, you know, helping people accomplish, like, their financial goals. So we’re helping them with money management. We’re helping them with retirement. We’re helping them with their family investments. So just 31 years of doing that with some of the largest companies, you know, in the country, and just really kind of building a practice. Just very humbled and very appreciative to have a big wealth management practice here in Chicago, in the States. But it allows me also to find out that, you know, it’s really all about the relationships, and that’s kind of where I kind of stemmed to getting to the writing the book, better listening. So that’s a little bit about me. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:47 

So, I’d love to hear a little bit about the book. So better listening. I think it’s probably something we all can do with some improvement on but it’s not, you know, it actually, it’s for all relationships in life, right? We have to get better at listening. And I think sometimes we forget that it’s not just your personal relationship, but your business relationships required, you know, be a better listener. So tell me about the book. 


Stanford Slovin  06:07 

Yeah. So you know, I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, so 15 years in the industry, I was at one of these conferences, and this, this gentleman on the stage looked at the 400 of the financial advisors and looked at us and said, You are all response mode advisors. You don’t listen to your customers. I was like, wait a minute, you know, I’ve been doing this, you know, kind of successful. I listen, you know, I’m supposed to give advice and all that, you know. And I realized, it hit me that we really were not hearing and listening to what was most important to our clients, to our relationships, in fact, we I was hearing myself, you know? I was realizing, oh my gosh, I’m not a good listener, you know, I it was very humbling. It was like, it was an eye opener, because clients would say, like, No, you’re not really hearing this, or you’re not really understanding, or, you know, you’re not really getting what we’re trying to say. And then it’s funny, because then I would get home and my wife would say, you know, you’re not know, you’re not getting this. You know you’re not just hearing this. You just don’t know what I’m feeling. And I realized that this was a universal issue, that people are in a response mode society. You know, they’re there. There’s no pause, there’s no reflection, there’s no true empathy today and with our world so crazed with culture changes, political changes, religious changes, societal changes, everybody is just cutting off each other. We’re just not letting others finish what they’re talking about. We’re actually thinking about what we want to say next, while the other person is still actually talking. And I realized I we’re just all hijacking conversations, and we’re not letting people empty their bucket. And that’s really where I realized, boy, this book is needed, you know, it’s needed for me. You know, it’s needed for not just people professionally, but it really also, I realized it was needed for people in their personal relationships as well, and that was the start of it. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  08:02 

Okay, great. And so when did the book launch? 


Stanford Slovin  08:06 

Came out at the end of September, early October. In fact, it’s amazing, because I have more than three buyers, more than just my family, bought the book. So it’s been doing great, and everything, the reviews have been great. In fact, I’ll share an interesting thing, and we’ll get into later. But when you’re an author of a new book, as you know this, right? You want to get good reviews, right? So I got a review about two, three months in. It was a CEO that wrote me a review and said, Stan, read the book. Was on the plane coming home. I’m a CEO. Great book. I’m listening good tips, but that’s not your review. When I got home, I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my daughter. She had a really tough day. She was telling me about, you know, bad day at work, couple things going on with her friends, and I was about to jump in and give her parental pontification, that was the Word, when I stopped and I paused. I remembered your book, you know, I reflected. I checked in with her. I asked her to clarify and help me get a better understanding what else was going on. Tell me more. Help me here, because this is not uncommon. A lot of people have tough days or things. She went on for 15 minutes. Debra from the review, as he’s talking, she goes on for 15 minutes, looks at me, gets up, gives me a hug and says, Thank you for finally listening to me dad. So that was the review of all reviews, and I realized that we all have these relationships, whether our spouse, our partner, our kids, our siblings, our parents, our colleagues at work were not letting them empty their pocket. And there’s some tips, and I’ll talk about, if you’d like, later in the in the talk, there’s tips that I incorporated that help a person push down, they push down the response mode, and by pushing the response mode later into the common. Conversation, it creates a more impactful dialog, a more meaningful relationship and conversation, and those that are talking appreciate you. And actually, you know what I found out, I appreciate when someone’s appreciating and it makes the firm more happier conversation. So that was kind of like my first thing when I wrote this.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:19 

That is such a beautiful view and such a beautiful story as well. So we’ll definitely come back to those tips. Back to those tips to pushing down the response mode. But what let’s start with, what do you think the three biggest mistakes are that people make when it comes to listening? Well, 


Stanford Slovin  10:31 

Well, I think the first mistake that we all have is we want to put on our super Cape power of solver. We want to be a solver. Okay? We want to give someone a response, especially this happens with leaders, especially business owners, and when they’re in situations of business or work or colleague or employee or any areas of their business, when they hear something at them, we respond, okay. We put on our cape. We want to solve the problem when, in fact, sometimes the person just wants to just vent and talk, and these business owners or these leaders, and that we hear this all the time in leadership conferences that they’re not allowing to really find out what that person really is talking because they’re hearing the initial and they think that they have to solve it right away. Great, great story, when you come home sometimes, right? And you come home to your spouse, okay, or whoever you know you’re living with, and all of a sudden you come home, it’s like, oh my god, I just had the worst day. And I gotta tell you this horrible thing that happened with my you know, this work thing. And you jump in and say, well, listen, let me tell you what you should do, you know. And at the end of the two minutes, they look at you like, wait time out. I didn’t want you to solve my fuss  


Well, I just wanted you to listen. I just wanted to vent. So one great tip we give leaders and especially business owners, that I think that this has been very helpful, is sometimes when you’re hearing someone sharing with you at work, for example, and you’re about to jump in and solve it, stop, you know, let them finish, and maybe even ask them a great question, listen, I could hear. I could continue to listen. If you want me to kind of hear what’s going on and kind of really dig in, and if you want me just to listen fine. Or do you want my observation? Would you like my feedback? Do you want me to maybe help give you a possible solution? How do you want the conversation to go and even though it sounds so basic, we don’t do that. And the and that might be one, one example, you know, of Well, that’s the one reason why we’re not, I think, good listeners. The second is, we’ve been like this since we’ve been born. Okay? We’ve come to the kitchen table around our family and they’re like, don’t talk until you’re talking spoken to, you know? Or you get to school and you flunk a test, and teach us well, that’s because you weren’t listening to directions, you know. So one of the other um, one of the other um pitfalls, I think, of of poor listening, is that we have too much distraction.  


Okay, we’re not, we’re not incorporating active listening, empathy and reflective listening, the three elements of total listening. So we’re missing some of those pieces because we’re so geared toward so one, as example, again, try not to be a super solver so quickly. Two, try to incorporate the three aspects of total listening, which then will slow down the process of response mode, and then it will let you incorporate to get a more meaningful dialog. And the third thing is our egos and truly our personalities. We are by nature. We don’t have it in us to be patient enough to let others talk. We’re not empathetic enough to let others really share how they’re feeling. You know, a lot of people, I’ll get this all the time, says, Stan, I’m not an empathetic person. I’m just not I don’t have empathy. I’m like, No, that’s not true. We all have empathy. We just have to remind ourselves that when people are talking to us, to incorporate empathy, because those people that are talking to us are trying to share and once you really listen to them, okay, and you share that empathy part, you’re actually valuing their talk. You’re valuing and showing that their opinion, their comment, their their narrative, is important, and it’s value, and from both of an employer standpoint and a personal standpoint, those are three areas, I think, where we have problems with listening. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  14:31 

We fall down. That’s cool. So let’s talk about total listening then. So you mentioned there’s three parts of total listening. Would you mind explaining those a little bit more detail?  


Stanford Slovin  14:40 

Okay, well, active you’re great. I mean, just, you know, the way that you’re interviewing, the way that you’re actually asking questions and listening, you know, it’s really just being in the present. So active listening, of great equivalences, just be in the present. Okay, when you’re talking to someone, try your best to minimize the distractions. We know what they are. It’s the tweets. And it’s the emails, it’s the text, it’s the computers, it’s the TV in the background, it’s the conversation. I mean, I can go on and on. This is a society of distractions, so one way to is to improve on your active listening, keep that eye contact, leaning in a little bit, nodding occasionally, maybe breaking up, and just making sure that you heard what the person is saying, you know, trying to, not, you know, not focus on other, where distractions, where you have to, and by the way, if you have to take a call, let the person know before sitting down. Hey, listen, I know we’re gonna be talking about this. I may have to take a text because I’m waiting for something important. I just hope that’s okay. Number one, it shows consideration, respect. And number two, it allows you to break from so that if there is a distraction, it doesn’t distract from the conversation, because expectations have been created in the beginning. So active listening is just your typical, and they’ve written 1000s of books on active listening, we just have to remember that the most important part is to limit your distractions. Yeah, 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:55 

so I want to explore that a little bit further, because I know that I’m very guilty of this, right? I get distracted by, I’m an entrepreneur. It’s a bright, shiny things. Oh, look, and anything like ADHD. So I sort of see things pop on my phone. One must go answer that. I’m learning more and more about how to, you know, be present. But there are times when your mind just kind of goes off and you’re not really paying attention. How do you pick up on that? What can you do to kind of re engage if you’re not paying much attention? 


Stanford Slovin  16:22 

Right, so you’re saying in the conversation, if you’re not, how do you get yourself back in, right, or get yourself refocused? That’s by the way, everyone is guilty of that, because our our brains are only geared toward a certain amount of time to be listening to someone. So this is the other one. When someone starts talking, you’re like, Oh my God, here we go again. An hour conversation. I can’t deal with this and you know from the beginning. So three easy, three easy tips, especially for business owners, okay? And also for leaders. Number one, check in, okay, which means that if all of a sudden you realize that you’re not listening, okay, refocus in on the words being spoken, on the actual words being spoken, so that you can try to get yourself back on script of listening to what you are actually hearing from that person, not just that the person is just talking. Number two, stop the conversation from them talking. You’re not interrupting, but just saying, hey, you know, that’s an interesting thing that you just mentioned. I want to make sure that I didn’t miss that, because already you realize that you’ve been drifting, or you stopped listening, and you may have missed but hey, listen, this is a really important topic, and this is a great project we’re working on. I don’t want to miss this. Can you just repeat a couple of the things? I just want to make sure that I have them down. I may even want to write them down so it stops you from the normal distraction. It gets you reengaged. It lets them repeat. So those are two, you know, really easy tips. And then the third one is, change yourself around. Change change the demeanor of it. So whether it’s at active or whether it’s asking a question, or whether it’s asking them to respond, but if you start realizing, like, I can’t, I can’t focus anymore, you then take a pause from the conversation and play with says, Listen, this was really good. And you know what, this is a good start. And let me just make sure that I understand this part, because I think this is a continuation. Let’s pick this up maybe later on, today or tomorrow, if that’s okay. And then that way you’re giving yourself a break from realizing, you know what, I’m just I’m just not into it. I can’t focus on it, or I’m just not getting what I need out of it.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:22 

Yeah, my brain hasn’t got the capacity to deal with it right now. Okay, so that’s great. So that’s the first part. That’s the active listening. What’s the next part of, yeah, of total listening? So 


Stanford Slovin  18:31 

I’ll skip to, I’ll skip to the third part, because I think that’s really the most important part, and that’s that is your reflective listening module. This, I think, will change your life immediately, everybody’s life. It changed mine. I have, I’ve done 10 years of just practice management on this, best practices on this, strategies, tips, techniques, and, by the way, if you get a chance, if anyone gets a chance, to read the book, I would love, love feedback, if you got something out of this part. So reflective, listening again, very simple steps, very quick steps. Number one, reflect. Reflect means that, hey, it sounds like that you’re telling me that this is going on, or the feeling that I’m getting is that there is this, or, you know, it seems to me that, so there’s the reflection. This is very different than parroting. Parroting, like a parrot, is not repeating back exactly what you just heard.  


Reflecting is thinking about what you’re hearing and reflecting to make sure that the person that’s talking to you right is actually telling you that. And they’ll tell you, Well, no, that’s not what I mean. I really meant that. I think that this project is so over my head that I’m need some help. Okay, well then they’ll tell you, and you’ve reflected we are then. This is like, this is like, cardinal sin, okay. This is like, this is, this is where everyone goes wrong. We are so ready to respond after reflecting, because we think we have solved clarity, okay, we’ve gotten it down. This is the, this is probably, I think, a cool differentiator of a good. Listener to a great listener. You know, I went when I wrote the book, I believe that everybody was a good listener. By the way, if I said everyone was a bad listener, no one would buy the book. Just FYI, okay, but, but everyone’s a good listener. The thing is, we could all be better. So the second step, the second tip to reflective listening, is called clarification.  


Okay, so it sounds so again, it seems like that the issue is this, or I feel that I’m hearing that the issue is this. Tell me more. Help me understand that. Take me through that. You know, this is really an important thing, you know? What? Give me a little bit more clarity on what you mean by that. What will happen then is they will go from a surface response, and you could try this out. You could try this out in a personal relationship or a professional. If you hear an objection, something challenging, or just an issue, and you reflect, and the person says, yeah, that’s that’s what I’m going through. Take the clarification step next. So tell me more about that, because I want to, I want to make sure I’m understanding what that’s really important. How does that work? Or where do you see that? They will take you into their deeper bucket, and they will share with you the actual reason that’s keeping them up at night. They will share with you what the real, real deep things that they’re feeling.  


Because their clarification now has moved them from a surface response to now clarifying now, at that point, we really want to respond, because now we are really ready. This is where we add empathy, and empathy is the part that is the easiest, but the hardest to practice. It’s getting the person to know that what they’re sharing their feelings, what’s most important to them, what is really deep. We get it, and we have to acknowledge that. You know, this is really interesting. I find this to be very common. You’re not alone on this. A lot of people are going through this when they’re in a new job, when they’re entering a new university, when they’re taking on a new project, when they’re in a new leadership role, when they’re buying a company, and now they’re the owner of the company. You know, all of these things on your plate. I hear this all the time, and this is in you are not alone, so there’s that empathy, and I hear what you’re saying, and I know that it’s important, and then you check in.  


But in addition to that, what else that’s the check in, this will give the person one last chance to share with you not just one of their most important things that’s on their mind, but maybe the second and third most important thing, and once you get through that, you have now pushed your responsibility says, You know what? Let me share a couple things that I have found when I’ve heard this kind of a situation. Or, Hey, let me help you from a best practice. So that’s the reflective process, and that is a differentiator in communication that any, if you ever read the book Good to Great, you know, no man, you know it talks about good leaders. Good leaders are they’re pretty good, they’re good, they’re good listeners. But great leaders are amazing reflective leaders. And that is where we, I think, get the difference of reflective listening is the second element, 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:01 

yeah, it is really interesting, because, you know, if you start to jump in with a solution, it does get people’s backs up. But also, if you use the word, should, I think that’s probably the worst thing you can ever say, isn’t it, you should do this, as opposed to, hey, in my in my experience, or, you know, other clients that I’ve worked with have seen this. I just think there’s a different way approaching it, because nobody really likes to be told what they should do, and sometimes they’re not. They’re not looking for answers, as you said, they’re just looking to to offload and vent and have somebody listen to them.  


Stanford Slovin  23:29 

Do you see that in, like, in your clientele or in your consulting? Do you see that a lot of times, especially with, like, younger leaders or just maybe more inexperienced where they’re like, they’re barking more, or they have their agenda that they have to get there.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:42 

And it depends also, with a lot of some of family business advisor as well. And I know that a lot of the family business advice, I come from a coaching background, so for me, I’m all about asking questions. I’m always about trying to dig deeper. But for a lot of those people, they’re actually consultants. And of course, consultants are paid to tell you what to do, which means that in all the conversations they have, they tend to want to jump straight to a solution and tell you how to solve it. So it’s really interesting just to to, I think, you know, basic coaching skills, basic listening skills, can help anybody in their role, and particularly as leaders, because then you get a chance to, yeah, really get to understand your people. You’re not there to you don’t have to win the badge for the person who can answer the most questions. 


Stanford Slovin  24:18 

No, absolutely. Andy Stanley, just a great, a great, a great leader himself said, like leaders who refuse to listen are surrounded by people with nothing helpful to say no. And it’s funny because the book, the premise of the book is that we are we’re responding to we’re listening to respond, versus listening to understand. If there was one takeaway I would share with all of the listeners today, especially all the leaders and business owners, if we could just understand and grasp that one, and that is we really currently are. We’re listening to respond, versus listening to understand. If we could change that, if we could start listening to others to understand. Versus listening to respond, it will change the whole dynamics of not only the conversation, but you may learn more. You may find out you know, some of the things that you thought you knew but you didn’t know because you gave that other person or that conversation a chance to develop, to mature, you know, to strengthen and at the end of the day, that helps you, start seeing a business productivity, you know, profitability, retention, you know, all of the things that business owners want to do. They, you know, they, they ask all the time, especially in our world. Oh my gosh, we are the worst listeners, wealth managers, okay, financial advisors, worthless. And so really, though that’s our, that’s our survey group in the States every year comes out. The number one reason why clients leave their advisors number one is not performance. It is because the client believes that the advisor is not listening to that.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  25:57 

Wow. Yeah, that is, that’s huge, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s interesting. I was just thinking while you were saying that I I’ve got a pen in my hand. I’ve been writing things down. That is part of my way of making sure that I’m listening as well. Is actually taking notes when I’m talking to people, because it actually it gives me a Well, first of all, I learned so much more of these things. I love taking notes I can refer back to later, but it also just forces me to listen to the person, as opposed to get distracted by other things. And I think with technology, I’ve got a physical, you know, got a notepad that I’m actually writing notes on. I think with technology, we’ve tended to move away from that. And I think there’s a real, there’s real benefit in actually having a notepad where you’re writing notes down when you’re listening to someone. What do you think about that, you know? 


Stanford Slovin  26:36 

I’m a traditionalist, okay, and that I’m probably, I’m probably aging myself on there, you know, I love the notepad, but I think that it leads to one of the other, you know, you you said, you know, what are the three areas and everything? One of the other areas is revisiting and refining open ended questions. I think that we’ve all been trained, especially good business owners, have all been trained to ask open ended questions, okay, as opposed to close, you know, the, you know, what? What does that look like? You know, how does that, you know, how does that work? You know, all the open ended, you know, how does, how does the next 20 years of this business look? Or, what are you trying to do? The top three things to ensure that the legacy of your business will be just not turning the lights on, but for the next generations to have. What are some of those things? And I have a notepad, and I am have a pencil or pen, and I am just writing the first interesting thing. Here’s a great I learned this a long time ago, a golden ticket question. Here’s a golden ticket question, what is most important to you with regards to a relationship with a fill in the blank, a wealth manager, a lawyer, an accountant, a real estate a realtor. What’s most important? In fact, here I’ll even share if I said to you, what Debra what’s most important to you with regards to a relationship when you have someone on your podcast, what’s most important to you in that dialog? What would they be? What would be like one or two things. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:02 

So I guess I would want them to obviously be prepared to share a lot of information, and we’re willing to help. I would like them to have actively engage in a conversation, as opposed to just talking at you. I get some guests who come on and they want to just talk and talk and talk. I’d like to be involved in this conversation too, if you don’t mind. And I guess sharing the same kind of passion for me about being able to share their knowledge and expertise to help the listeners. 


Stanford Slovin  28:27 

Okay, and interesting enough. I had no idea about those three important things. I would have never known that those were your most important things. And in fact, when I wrote down to be prepared, you know you want your listen. You want your participants to be prepared. You want to have an active conversation actively, and you want to be able to share some of those, those best practices, the three areas I’m writing that down, and those are the most important today that I’ve learned from you. If I just responded back from that, I would lose the next part, and this would be where the golden ticket question comes in, what’s most important to you with regards to a relationship with a new employee coming in, or a project you’re working on, anything when they give you that first answer and you write it down, which, by the way, I love the fact that you’re writing down okay, because I think that’s really but it shows them that you’re actually listening to What’s the most important thing to them, and not you. So many times we have like this, aha, yeah, that’s interesting, okay, which is fine, but writing down what someone has told you is the most important thing to them, and then saying,  


You know what, when you said, you know, prepared for the show or actively commercial, you know? How does that look? What’s what? Can you tell me more about that? Because it’s such a crucial part of the interview, and if I allowed you to go on and continue, then I’m finding out not only what’s important, but now I’m getting really deep into how that works for you. What is important to you, and that, I think, is a great question to incorporate. Incorporate, for any of your business owners or any of your leaders to really incorporate, somewhere in their early conversation, the question, well, this is all great, and we covered a lot today, but let me ask you this, what’s most important to you with regards to a relationship with working with me on this project? And then let them tell you and write it down and dig deeper, and then from there, create your proposal or your follow up with those three answers, because it will be the cornerstone and infrastructure to a great relationship. I believe 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:35 

that’s gold, and it really is a golden ticket. And I know, I know I use a similar kind of methodology when I’m actually looking to work with a client. First of all, I’m listening, because I really want to understand if we have got a match and if we can do it, but then I’m listening to what’s really important to them. And I used to, I used to write proposals. I don’t anymore. I used to write proposals, and they were literally just repeating back exactly what they had told me. I didn’t have to add anything to it. You’ve said that you would like this, and if we you know and you’d like this. And this is the reasons why. Just put it into a thing like, that’s brilliant. It’s like, I haven’t done anything like. 


Stanford Slovin  31:05 

Debra. Listen to me. You listen to me.  


Debra Chantry-Taylor  31:10 

But I do want to one of the things I do want to explore. So I’m just thinking. So in in EOS, we have this thing called IDs, and we’re trying to solve a really complex problem at what IDs is, where we identify what the issues, discuss it and solve it. It’s designed to try and stop teams from jumping straight to the side. Because, you know, as you said, when a team has got an issue that comes up, they want to just jump in and solve it and make everything right. But really often, the surface level issue is not the real issue. We have to dig really deep to find out what the real issue is. And so the identify part, I think, is the most important part, I’ll asking all of those questions, who and why, and when did this start happening, and what does that mean for us? But I just realizing now there’s a way to get even deeper as thinking about the emotional element and the people elements of what is important, the why is it important? Is just as important as the asking why it’s happening? If that makes sense. 


Stanford Slovin  31:59 

Yeah, no. The why. The why is the empathy? The why is the empathy? I mean, in the United States, when we watch sports, we always watch these sports announcers doing these quick interviews with coaches and players. And I always realized that, you know, when they were interviewing, they were limited to time, so they had an agenda. They had to get through their three questions, like, how do you think the game’s going? What do you think you’re going to do in the next half? You know, how does this and what was happening is they were getting a quick answer from the most talented players on the field that were in control of the game, that knew more about it than anyone else, and they would not let them not only identify more of the deeper and define what was going On, but also give a better insight to the audience, because the interviewer was on their agenda. So I think going back to IDF, it really goes back to the point of that that’s a great process, but just pause for a second, take a deep breath, and if you think that you’ve identified, then reflect and clarify and make sure, and if you’ve defined it, get get it, get it a clarification. Get a meeting of the minds, because what you’re defining is what you think it is, not necessarily what they’re sharing, so that you can then, I think, have a better defining, you know, defining element or moment in that the last one. Talk to me about the last one. How does that one work? 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  33:27 

The identifiers is just trying to find the real problem. The discuss is to discuss all the possible solutions. So again, trying to get the clients to stop thinking about the logical, easy option, but what other options are there so you make the right decision. So discussing all the possible options. And the S is for solve, so that that’s the action point. And really that’s that that’s to me, to me, that’s the tiniest part of the whole process. That’s once you’ve had all the discussion, you’ve had, you’ve identified the real issue, had the discussions, talked about the possible solutions, the solve is an action point. You know, what do we need to do next? What are the next steps we need to take? But of course, as humans, people want to jump straight to the solve, which is a solution, or they want to spend a lot of time discussing but they haven’t really got to the bottom of what the issue was.  


Stanford Slovin  34:07 

Yeah, no, no, I think that. I think this. This goes back to the discussion part. It’s interesting because you’re saying the discussion part is really the most important part, and yet we don’t spend enough time on that. We go to the solving part, because we have to, like, share our expertise and tell everybody how great that we know what’s going on, you know. And I’m joking, obviously I’m joking, but I think that, you know, this is, it’s a great eye opener where the better listening techniques that we talked about could help. Maybe it could help in that discussion, in the identifying and the discussion part, I think that it really would elongate more. And again, that would be the goal. That would be a great goal is to try to extend those more. And then again, like you said, the solving just comes naturally. Then it becomes almost obvious, because now you have a much better understanding. You’ve discussed it more. You also allowed others to really share their expertise or their best practices or their experiences. Is, you know, and also their challenges, you know, that’s another great question that we always, we always forget about is, like, you know, you under you identify and you and you discuss it. But we forget to say, like, well, then what happens? What could go wrong? What do you see are some of the things that can go wrong? Or what have you experienced where it does not go you know, well, or there’s been some challenges or obstacles or or bubbles, you know, in the road, I like to hear that. Well, you know, could be just no cost, or could be labor, or it could be just regulation. Well, tell me about that, because I know those are big areas, but it sounds like you have maybe had experience in those three years. What do you think of those three are going to be our biggest challenge? And all of a sudden you think, you know, you probably have 90% of knowledge. It’s that 10% piece. I love this. Owners and leaders. Leaders say this all the time. We think that we know 90% of everything. It’s that 10% that differentiates us from getting the contract and not getting the contract, from getting the deal and not getting the deal, because that’s the competitive edge. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:59 

Yeah, absolutely. It’s probably similar to what we used to do as part of Entrepreneurs Organization. And in our forum, we would talk about the point of getting together with a peer group was to actually get to the 5% you never really get to with anybody else. And that was really about going deep, sharing experiences. You know, we were taught very we were actually taught active listening, and so we could get to the real understanding what was going on for them, and then sharing from your experiences, as opposed to theory. Because I think also a lot of people like I’ve read a book, I want to tell you about what I read in the book, and it’s like, yep, that’s great. Books are great. They’re gonna be wrong. Love books, but, but at the end of the day, I can’t read a book and then suddenly become a brain surgeon. You’ve got to actually have some experience of doing it. And so sharing experiences just has a lot more meaning for people. Because you can say, in my experience, when we did this, this is what happened. You’re not saying you should, you ought to, or this is what the book said you should do. It’s more about sharing those real life things. 


Stanford Slovin  36:53 

Yeah, you know, we were talking before that. You know, not only is it professionally, but it also in relationships. I’ll tell you, I think that we’re seeing this really have a tough effect. You know, covid, obviously national covid, you know, the world covid thing, getting back to normality and new norm, just both work and pressure, has put really pressure on businesses, families, you know, emotional. There’s so many aspects that we don’t even know about that we’ll study in cases 2030, years from now. But I will tell you the most common basic element of improving and listening, and that is trying also in the most positive way. I say this is to be a little bit more respectful and considerate in your conversations. A simple example is, I was at dinner about a month ago with like, four or five couples, and I’m sitting and one of the couples. Okay, the wife is telling a story. It’s great story, you know, about where they went in this trip and everything. And the husband looks at her and goes, no, no, we didn’t really go. Wasn’t countryside, it was a little bit more, or, you know, urban. It was more getting to the city. And she looked at him, she goes, Okay, well, we enjoyed this trip. We were going into the urban anyways, we stopped, and we had a great little place. Was a cute little restaurant. Goes, No, it wasn’t cute. First, I was a big place. She finally looked at him. She goes, Do you want to tell the story? Like, do you want to tell this story? And that happens all the time that we don’t realize that we’re looking for the fault. This is another one I think that owners of businesses have to be really careful on and leaders, we say 1000 things in a conversation, but our ears are so sensitized that if something is just off keel or not to the exact we look for the fault, and we’re looking to correct people all the time, and we’re looking to tell to explain, no, no, that’s not right. I’m not talking about fundamental, big, big comments. I’m talking about minor things that really doesn’t have to thwart the big picture of the conversation. And I always say to people, it’s like, Listen, you have to realize, you have to realize that not every single thing is perfect, but you have to be careful on criticizing or making a person feel bad, or eventually they’ll go silent because they don’t like to be put down.  


They don’t like to be stopped, they don’t like to be told. You know, that you know. What are you saying? You know? And so really uncomfortable. So the dinner party, I was in the car coming home, and I realized I’m like, You know what? That is not going to be me. I’m not going to do that. You know. The other one is the trip. I see this all the time. A person comes home from a trip from Europe and starts telling a group of people that they loved Spain, and someone jumps in and says, Oh, my God, we were also Madrid, and we went to Barcelona. I love the topics. It’s amazing. Well, you realize the person didn’t even have a chance to share the trip because you had to get in and tell them that you went to that same place, or you were at that restaurant, or, Oh, I drive that car, you know. And this is a natural thing where, when we’re in conversations with groups of friends and family, just pause, okay, we don’t have to compete to talk all the time and to be the talker of the conversation. Sometimes it’s almost better to let other people because, number one, you’ll make other people feel good that they can share the. Number two, anything you say, you know, it’s a great line. Larry King said this. Larry King, who was the, you know, the great folks, right? He had a great thing. He says, I remind myself every day that nothing I say today will teach me anything, so I won’t learn by talking. So I might as well listen more. And I think that that’s a great thing when you’re, you know, in friends and family and and social settings. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  40:25 

So it is interesting. So why do we do that as humans? Because, you know, you do. You see it all the time. Somebody starts talking. Everybody else wants to tell them about what, where they’ve been and what they’ve done. Is that an inherent thing that is in human nature. Do you think, or is it something that’s been taught through the ages? I just wonder where that comes from. 


Stanford Slovin  40:41 

You know, I always say, I, you know, I don’t, I don’t know. You know, I can’t say I know the exact answer. I will say that, you know, a question that comes up all the time is, they’ll say, is better listening a learned trait, or do we get that actually, you know, from birth, is, is it in us? Is it just part of our demeanor, our personality, our makeup, and I think it’s a little bit of both. I think it is a little bit of both. There are certain personalities, and we know this a type very strong, and they need their opinion heard, and they’re the talker. They’re always talking, you know. And then you have the other one, where you’ve learned to use some of these techniques to pause, to listen, to reflect, to empathize, you know? So I think that it’s a combination of both. I think the reason why, and I don’t not scientific, but just more of some best practice experience, I think it’s because we’re used to a society that cuts each other off all the time. When you’re in a conversation with friends, okay, you’ll notice that the level of volume goes higher and higher and higher, and everyone is like, cutting off each other and responding and like, There’s no rhyme or reason. And we’re so used to competing for air time, okay, that we’re used to cutting people off. It’s acceptable. It’s part of society. No one calls us on it, unless it’s called on us, and then it’s usually someone’s hurt, okay, and someone has been really affected, and someone has been really That’s That’s why employees leave now again, another number one reason why they don’t feel valued, they don’t feel heard, they don’t feel that their opinion really matters. They don’t feel that they’re being listened to, and they’re not really given the chance to share with the team, with the company, with the group, great leaders of small businesses. In fact, if you if all, all the small business owners, and then say small they’re all getting bigger and bigger and more successful and successful. As they get bigger and bigger and more successful, they should be listening more. They’re thinking that they’re getting bigger and successful because, oh, it’s because of me, you know, I did it, you know, look what I did. Look like me. You know, it’s not, it’s the team around them. It’s the environment you’re working in. It’s the clients and the customers and relationships you’ve developed. It’s, it’s all the vendors that you’ve that you work well with, that that like working with you again, a great piece likability. You know, good leaders are just good leaders. Great leaders have likability, okay? And likability is someone likes to come into work and be around you, someone wants to work hard for you, you know. So those are some of the reasons why? Why does this happen? Because it’s allowed to happen. It’s a societal thing, and we want to start changing that by slowing down the conversations, pausing and letting others have a chance to empty their buckets. Why? Why do you think? Why do you think I’m just curious? 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  43:36 

Oh, why do I think? Yeah, I do think that I can only reflect on my own experiences, but I guess that growing up, yeah, in order to be seen and to be heard, or do you feel like you were part of the community, you did have to put your views out there, and so it was almost like it’s a competition. We’re competitive. We’re competitive by nature. And I’m quite a strong, competitive person anyway, but yeah, I don’t know. I wonder if it’s just maybe people haven’t been heard particularly much, and they feel like they need to speak out to be heard more. I don’t know.  


Stanford Slovin  44:09 

I love that you’re competitive one I didn’t even think about that. That’s that, no, that’s a good one, because I think you’re right. We are competitive, you know, especially in conversations where news comes up or or opinions come up. You know, who’s, I don’t know who’s the smartest. Here’s one interesting thing. It’s in the book as well. And I think it’s also in our world. And I strongly believe this, a person says to me, you know, if I’m across the table, I want to tell that person what I think, how I feel, and what they should there’s this should again, what they should be listening to, right? You have a 99% chance of not converting that person to believing what you think, what you feel, your position. They’re not going to change it. Okay? So either the conversation is going to go derailing, okay, or it’s going to end quickly and like, let’s move on, because we’re not going to agree. The funny part is. It on the reverse side. If they said and they wanted you to change your opinion, you are not changing it most, most percentage wise. So in that case, why get into that kind of a rhetoric on a constant basis? I want to be invited back to the Thanksgiving table, right? I want to be there for Christmas. I want to be invited to the family events, okay? But if there’s that friction and you’re trying to really, you know, bombard and to change into force, percentages are not there. So it’s really better to open up the dialog, give the person a chance to share their belief. Okay, which is fine, doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or disagree with it, and let them have a chance, and maybe you share yours. And at the end of the day, it’s like, listen, we may not agree, but you know what, at least we share what we thought a complicated world, tough issue, and whatever will happen will but I appreciated the time, and I really think, and I thank you also for at least sharing how you feel. Much better approach than trying to change a person’s opinion, which is very, very small percentage of happening. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  46:01 

Fair enough. I’ve got one last question for you around a different sort of personality. There are certain personality types that just love to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, and they can sit there and talk to you all day. So obviously we want to listen and we want to understand what they’re feeling and what their views are. There comes a point where we’re busy people and we have to get on with other things. How does, how does one still be a good listener and be empathetic and be prepared to but at the same time be conscious of the fact that there’s other things to do.  


Stanford Slovin  46:32 

That’s chapter 13, if you want to buy. Yeah, no, that that actually, and that happens the the talker, talker, as my daughter says, Dad, for God’s sake, get to the point, okay. You know, it happens both in professional and personal, but it have to be, but it has to be dealt with differently. And this is a very, very it’s a sensitive area, because we know what’s going on. We were in a conversation that’s never ending, okay, and we are also losing our focus, but we also want to be considerate and respectful, and we also want to try to figure out how to move on or stop it. So a couple things I mentioned a little bit earlier, in the earlier comment, in the in the personal relationship, you have to remember that you’re dealing with family, friend or a personal relationship, so it’s a different set of concerns. Even those same, same principle, okay, elongated, won’t stop talking. You have to find a break, okay? And then when, even, even if you create the break, and that’s the one thing you have to do, is you have to create a break.  


So create that break in where it says, Oh, wait, hold on. One second. Hold on. You just mentioned something important that’s really interesting. You said that the other employees are not really helping you finish this project. Okay? And by the way, that’s important, and I gotta tell you, I want to take that down. In fact, you also covered a couple other things, and we’ll get to that. But that one’s an important one. I’m going to identify that one, and I want to continue this conversation. I have a couple other things I’m doing, but a few things that are in taking is this and this is that, right? And then that’s the check in. So you get to check in on kind of like what was said. You You created the break, you gave the you gave the respect to the person by acknowledging that they said is important or noted, noted. I hear the complaint. I hear that you don’t like the lunchroom, okay? And you want more food choices, okay? And you’ve gone on now for 30 minutes, I wouldn’t say the 30 minute one, but at the end of the day, you’re looking and saying, Listen, this is a big concern, because a lot of people, you know, want different choices, and this is what I’m hearing. So let me do this. Let me work on that. I have a couple other things I need to okay, but that’s an important one. And I also heard you also mentioned that you know you want easier access in, you know, the hours of easier access into that room. Just making this up, so there you’ve kind of refresh it. You stopped him, you broke you acknowledged, you complimented, and then you’re done, and you’re done. And that way no hard feelings, no like what you don’t want to hear the rest of my three hours, or what you know.  



Debra Chantry-Taylor  49:03 

So they still feel like they’ve been heard, and you’ve got a better time to come to reconvene if there’s something important that needs to correct in that. 


Stanford Slovin  49:07 

The second one is the person that knows they’re going into a conversation with a person that won’t stop talking. Okay? So now you have like, that prejudge of like, okay, I just lost you in the first 14 seconds. Okay? Because I know this is gonna be really long, and I know like that. So a great, great way of going into it is give an expectation and give a clarification to that person. And when you’re sitting down, they come into the rooms like, Hey, you got a quick minute? First of all, it’s never a quick minute, okay? They come in. You could say, of course, I do. But let me just tell you, I do have to hop on a call in about five or 10 minutes. So, yeah, sit down. Please sit down. I only have five minutes. What’s going on? You’ve given them mentally, mentally a person that’s used to talking a long time now, a time frame, okay, you’ve given them parameters. You’ve given them or if you’re going to get into a conversation, you. That person is a long, a long winded person, and you want them to talk to you? Hey, I want a briefing of this, of this report. I want a briefing of this project. I want a briefing of this, you know, of this contract we’re going over. But here’s the thing, I only have 10 minutes, okay, because I have a couple things I have to get to that are important. So listen, in the next 10 minutes I need. Can you just break it down for me, what you’ll do is you’ll force them with expectation levels early on to understand that they’re not getting into a long conversation and they only have 10 minutes to say what they need to say. So those are two those are two ways. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  50:32 

Yeah, so setting some boundaries and just saying, yeah, these are kind of the outcomes we want to get. We’ve got a limited time frame setting some boundaries around that. So they’re actually, they’re mentally prepared that that’s what they’ve got to speak in. Yeah, 


Stanford Slovin  50:43 

Debra, what happens if you’re listening to a person for like, a few months and you have no idea what they just said because you weren’t listening at that so what a great way of doing that one. And again, it’s in the book and everything, but a great way. And that one is like, it’s like, oh my gosh, you just covered so much. Okay, let me just get this right, because I want to make sure that I heard this. If you just broke it down into just three takeaways, just the last hour of our conversation. If you could help me just with the three main takeaways, your main takeaways? What would they be? I just want to make sure that I want to make sure that I heard everything. And just help me in a very simplistic you will be amazed how fast that they can do that, and now you don’t feel so guilty that you didn’t hear anything at all in the hour. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  51:22 

Oh, I love it. I love it. Hey, I could talk to you all day. I have no doubt. But we do have to wrap up the thing, because I do have an appointment I have to go to as well. But this has been really, really fascinating. I want to get hold of a copy of that book. I’m going straight to chapter 13 to find about these people who talk a lot. But if it, if we want to get hold of the book, where would they actually find it?  


Stanford Slovin  51:43 

Oh first of all, it’s, it’s just, it’s easy, it’s better listening. It’s really simple. They can go on Amazon or Apple, or any Barnes and Noble, but Amazon’s the simple. if they just type in better listening, they’ll see by Stanford sloven And they’ll get it. They could do Kindle, if they do want to get information, or if they have a group that they want to talk to, they can, they can visit the website better listening, you know, so that’s kind of an easy one, and my email. But most importantly, if they do have a chance to read, like I said before, if they get a good nugget, or they took something, or they get a great experience, I would love to hear feedback, because I’m constantly learning, and I’m trying to always also be a better listener as well. I want to say thank you so much for having me. This is not only a pleasure, a great way to end our week and start a holiday, but I really enjoyed talking with you. It was so much fun. 


Debra Chantry-Taylor  52:31 

Same here. I really enjoyed it too. So thank you so much for giving me your time and being the last person in the office on that weekend. Go and enjoy the weekend, and we look forward to talking again soon. Sounds good. Thank you. Thank you. Take care. You. 



Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Certified EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

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