Three C's of Listening Well

Dr. Becky Lang

April 29, 2020

The Three C’s of Listening Well


I attended a webinar by Drs. Joel Porter and Steven Rollnick titled, Listening During Times of Uncertainty. The following is a summary of key contributions by Dr. Rollnick that may be helpful for us during these days.


There is a difference between hearing and listening.

Listening is not just being warm and friendly.


Listening is first feeling empathy.  The ability to stand in someone else’s shoes.

Secondly, listening is making a verbal statement, a statement outloud, so the other person knows you are “standing in their shoes.” Your verbal statement makes an empathic connection.


A verbal statement is not, “I understand.”  It is a listening statement of something the person said or of what is going on with that person.  A reflection.

" Right now, you have many things going on."


The mindset of listening well:

Need to let go of:

         Clutter of the mind – filled with our agenda & diagnoses

         Cleverness - the need to come up with something unique

          Complexity – filled with many options & possibilities


To get into this state of the mind, get into:

          Calm - breathe

          Curiosity - genuine curiosity of what is going on with others

           Compassion- concern for the sufferings of others


Using this Listening Mindset can assist in reducing stress, wasted energy and misunderstandings.  

Remembering the three C’s of Listening Well: calm, curiosity and compassion.


The less time we have with another person, the more important that we have a mindset of listening.                                                   Dr. Steven Rollnick




Which C is the one you are focusing on today?


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