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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 November 28, 2017

What does it mean to practice listening greatness? There are three main factors:

First and foremost, great listeners choose to improve their listening attitudes and refine specific listening skills. They consistently and systematically focus on the multiple intents, thoughts, desires, and concerns of others. They project energy in the commitment to listen fully to others. With appropriate humility and a perceptive plan, they listen to the needs and dreams of selected speakers. They control their environments and adapt to the source of each message. They are other-centered and as a result serve as “great listener” role models to those they lead and serve.

Second, great listeners invest significant time, energy, and effort in developing other great listeners. To paraphrase Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The salvation of mankind lies only in making ‘great listening’ the concern of all.”

Third, listening greatness expands when leaders at all levels and in all arenas make a concentrated effort to promote listening greatness beyond their circle of influence. Listening greatness will only be compounded when great listeners teach other great listeners how to teach others the pathway to listening greatness. The need to develop “Listening Organizations” is great and opportunities are endless.

All truly great listeners appreciate the simple truth that the trail to listening greatness is neither easy nor simple. It challenges the best as the trail travels through the forests of speakers, many of whom have little to say and/or do not say it well. True listening greatness is insured when great listeners travel together.

The commitment to strive for listening greatness is a noble and unending goal. When achieved, everyone wins.LISTENING PAYS!

Posted in: Listening Seeds


By on October 25, 2017

Listening Leaders confront conflicts by consciously cultivating courage. In environments of unending conflict, effective listeners meet the harshness of words and actions of others with courageous acts and actions of listening. Although most leaders remember the old adage: “Sticks and


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



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