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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 March 27, 2017

N. Williams has demonstrated what it takes to be a Listening Leader with his following story:

“This week it struck me how guilty I am of getting wrapped up in the noise and chaos of over communication and allowing this to get us off course. I was about to go into a meeting, my mind was already planning what I would be doing after the meeting, and as I entered the room I was still speaking on a cellphone and essentially was not being “in the moment”. As the meeting began it became apparent that I was not the only one. The other attendees were either late, typing frantically on blackberries, or had to leave the room to take or make cell phone calls. The meeting continued in this light and it was clear that the participants were distracted, disengaged and not in the right place to discuss what was essentially a subject and decision we would have lived with for a long time to come.

I took a deep breath, waited for everyone to “become present” and suggested that we adjourn to review 3 key points that had somehow surfaced during the chaos and reconvene at a time where everyone could bring something to the table uninterrupted. When I was asked why, I explained my observations and then listened. At first people disagreed, feeling that another meeting would be a waste of time, but then someone else also had the courage to point out that this meeting was in fact a waste of time. The other leader pointed out that no one was listening to each other, and this was not the right time or place to make a decision that would have a big impact on many of our team members. It was interesting to make a recommendation and to see the reactions that followed.

Time is a precious resource and only through listening to each other would it be maximized. After some more dialogue we reconvened and made a commitment to regroup once we each had made the time to recap the pertinent information and at a time without interruption. This flies in the face of the compulsion to multi-task, but in my mind was essential to have meaningful dialogue. I hope when this happens we will all come with a mindset to listen actively.”

LISTENING PAYS LESSON: Sometimes to move forward you have to have the courage to slow down or even stop.



By on February 27, 2017

Peter Drucker, the Father of Modern Management, identified the eight practices of effective executives, threw in a bonus practice: “This one is so important that I will elevate it to a rule: Listen first, speak last.” The essence of leadership


By on January 18, 2017

Leigh Perkins, former CEO of Orvis Co., a sporting goods mail order company, listened his way to success. Early in his career, as a sales professional, Perkins learned the key to good salesmanship isn’t demonstrating the virtues of a product,


By on December 29, 2016

COMPARING: Comparing makes it hard to listening because you are always trying to assess who is smarter, more competent, more emotionally healthy – you or the other. MIND READING: The mind reader doesn’t pay much attention to what people say.


By on November 24, 2016

A man attended a meeting where the guest lecturer was extremely long-winded. When the listener could stand it no longer, he got up and slipped out a side door. In the corridor he met a friend who asked, “Has he