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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 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 for in America”. TDIndustries has consistently been in the top ten since 1998. When asked, “Who is the very best listener you have ever known?” Jack quickly responded, “My Dad, Jack Lowe Sr., was the founder of our company and was the best listener I’ve ever known. He wanted to listen. After I got to TD and worked with him and saw him work in the community, I noticed it even more. People would tell me, “Your dad is a great listener”. He was very focused on who he was listening to. He took notes. He had an unbelievable interest in others and what they thought.

One thing he did occasionally that let you know how good a listener he was and how much he wanted to hear you was, if someone wanted to speak to him and he was busy he would say, “I can’t do it right now. Let’s set a date for another time and find a time when I can listen to you.” The message was, “I don’t want to act like I’m listening to you and not listen to you.” I’ve seen a lot of people inclined to think, “Well, I can dispatch this listening experience quickly and move on.” With this attitude, they are not listening. If you don’t value listening, you will not understand the importance of it. Because what you put value on you’ll work at harder and be more successful at. So just to emphasize how important it is, make time and don’t rush you listening.

One technique, I use particularly when people are pretty worked up (i.e. a disgruntled partner or someone who has a real passion about something) is to take a lot of notes. It says, “I’m paying attention here” and it does help me focus and pay attention to problems. If I’m writing it down, it helps me focus and not be distracted. It also slows others down and makes them think more carefully about what they are saying because they want me to get it right, especially if I’m, committing it to paper. They’re more careful and thoughtful in their communications, if I’m writing it down.”

Listening Pays Lesson: Intentionally listen with commitment and you will add value to yourself and your relationships.


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


By on April 27, 2017

One of our very able leaders recently was made the head of a large, important, and difficult to administer public institution. After a short time he realized he was not happy with the way things were going. His approach to