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A Letter from Rick

Listening is …
the heart and soul of leadership;
the ultimate leadership competence;
the lifeblood of relationship;
the essence of respect; and
the spirit of life.

I have spent the past 30 years studying, practicing, teaching, researching, and writing about LISTENING and its direct connection to LEADERSHIP. I have realized one main thing: IF YOU LISTEN BETTER, YOU WILL LEAD BETTER. Why? Because listening is at the core of all human behavior and especially at the root of effective leadership. Listening is the thing we do the most of in our life, except breathing.

ARE YOU ONE OF THEM? It’s estimated that the majority of adults do not have any formal listening education. Yet, the average person misunderstands, ignores or forgets at least 75% of what they listen to. ‘Listening’ is definitely not the same thing as ‘hearing’. The costs of poor listening are too high to ignore, including loss of relationships, opportunities, trust, respect, credibility, money, and even loss of life, just to name a few. People lose when they don’t listen!

This website contains both free and affordable resources for you to increase your LISTENING LEADERSHIP performance. It consists of the Listening Seeds blog, the Listening Pays book, articles, assessments, one-on-one listening and leadership coaching, courses, seminars, podcasts, speeches, and retreats. I have also created the Listening Pays Facilitators Certification Program for qualified professionals in which you will be equipped by me to deliver the Listening Pays Workshop to your organization.

Join me on the journey. I encourage you to invest your time, effort, and energy in your listening leadership performance. It is a lifelong process and the results will prove invaluable to you. It has for me. LISTENING PAYS!

Rick Bommelje, Ed.D., CLP
Lifelong Listening Student


By on September 29, 2017

J.W. Marriott, Jr. is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc., the largest lodging company in the world.  In this excerpt,  he captures the essence of listening. 

When was the last time you sat down with another human being and listened — truly listened — to what he or she had to say? A two-minute chat in the cafeteria doesn’t count. Nor do 10 late-night minutes spent racing through the family business before you and your spouse both conk out. I’m talking about a good old-fashioned “heart-to-heart.”

A luxury, you say? An absolute necessity, I say. Especially for leaders. And especially today. In our fast-paced age, the art of good listening is probably the most important skill a manager can master.

My father, J. Willard Marriott, kept his executive staff waiting on many occasions while he sat on a hotel lobby sofa counseling a housekeeper or cook about a family or work problem. Far from being a waste of time, he considered such chats an investment in his company’s future. He knew that a troubled employee couldn’t deliver top-notch customer service. Simply by taking time to listen, Dad found himself surrounded by employees willing to put 110% effort on the job. The pay-off was tremendous: happier employees, satisfied customers, and a successful company.

In this hurry-up world, it can be tempting to cut short conversations, or use e-mail and voice-mail to avoid interacting with real people. My advice would be: don’t do it. You risk too much by failing to take the time to connect with those upon whose shoulders ultimately your business succeeds or fails. The next time someone stops you in the hall with a worried expression and asks: “Do you have a minute?” say yes, find a sofa, and then give liberally of your time.  Chances are you’ll be glad you did.

Source:  J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr.

CALL FOR ACTION: Give the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted in: Listening Seeds


By on August 24, 2017

Jack Lowe Jr. is the former CEO of Dallas-based TDIndustries, one of America’s premier contracting and facility service companies. Jack understands the value of listening commitment. Rated by FORTUNE magazine as one of the TOP 100 Best Companies to Work


By on July 28, 2017

When you want to hear from others (and you should because it adds to the pool of meaning), the best way to get at the truth is by making it safe for them to express the stories that are moving


By on June 24, 2017

Impressive listening skills have been identified as one common characteristic of credible leaders. A willingness to listen carefully to constituents and, if necessary, to hear the bad news keeps leaders from being isolated from critical feedback. When they can get


By on May 28, 2017

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives