Power Listening: 4 Steps to Conversation Success

I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions. ~ Lee Iacocca, former CEO Ford Motor Co.

Listening may be the most important, yet least developed, skill for personal and professional success, especially in today’s fast-paced business climate. (photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net)

Good listening skills can help you:

  • Secure a promotion or great assignment
  • Facilitate the right alliances
  • Foster sales and team alignment
  • Create healthy personal relationships
  • Find out what you don’t know
  • Make the right decisions
  • Develop innovative ideas

Many people take listening skills for granted, focusing instead on how to articulate their own views more effectively. This approach is misguided.

Power listening—the art of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity—is the key to building a knowledge base that generates fresh insights.

In Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012), Bernard T. Ferrari suggests four steps that form a good listening foundation:

1.  Show respect
2.  Keep quiet
3.  Challenge assumptions
4.  Maintain focus

This sounds simple and straight forward, for sure. But most of us fail to complete all four steps adequately to achieve “power listening.”

This 750- word article recommends power listening skills by practicing four foundational steps for successful conversations, in order to create better relationships and improve decision-making and innovative thinking.


This is a brief synopsis of a 750-word article and Article Nuggets,* suitable for coach newsletters and blog posts. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The full article talks about four basic requirements of power listening:

  • Show respect
  • Keep quiet
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Maintain focus


If you are a Content for Coaches client and your account is current, no need to order. Send me an email to confirm that you wish to use this article and/or Article Nuggets for your next newsletter.

All others please use the order links below.

Order Links to purchase this article:

1.  Power Listening  – 750-word Article with Full Reprint Rights, $57 –



2.  Power Listening  – 3 Article Nuggets* with Full Reprint Rights$64 –



*Article Nuggets: The same article broken up into 3 blog-style sections suitable for a series of blog posts or shorter newsletter articles, with links and personal pronoun “I.”

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