So the four villains of listening are the Dramatic, the Interrupting, the Lost and the Shrewd. When you're dealing with complex collaborative, constrained, or conflict situations, listening is one of the most important superpowers you have as an entrepreneur. Oscar Trimboli is on a quest to create 100 million Deep Listeners in the world. He is an author, Host of the Apple Award winning podcast—Deep Listening and a sought-after keynote speaker. He is passionate about using the gift of listening to bring positive change in homes, workplaces and the world.
Through his work with chairs, boards of directors and executive teams in local, regional and global organisations, Oscar has experienced firsthand the transformational impact leaders and organisations can have when they listen.
Take his Listen Quiz here
I did and I suffer the traits of the Shrewd and Dramatic Villains.
If you're in Italy, it's Trimboli and if you're speaking, it's Trimboli so if you want to speak Italian or English, it's completely up to you. I answer to both, but there is a long story about. The head of the mafia in Australia in the 1980s was a very famous Trimboli.Jim_James:
well Oscar you are in Sydney, not Italy. So what we'll do is we'll avoid all mafia and, and not be too afraid, but we are going to talk with you today about deep listening and you're an expert on deep listening and, you know, be really great for you to share with us how listening impacts entrepreneurs.Oscar Trimboli:
Thanks, Jim, for many of us, we've never been taught how to listen. We know maths, we know wine, we know red wines. We know fruity wines. We know cheese that's soft and hard, but we have no language around listening. So for me, what I'm trying to do is honour a conversat ion I had with the vice-president who once took me aside at the end of a meeting. And I thought it was going to get fired. Jim. She said to me, you need to stay behind at the end of this meeting. And I thought, what have I done wrong? She took me aside and said, if you could code the way you listen, you could change the world. And it never really made any sense because all I was doing in that moment was cheering that I wasn't sacked, but as a marketing director of Microsoft at the time, I pondered the question is a possible to code how people listen, because we can do it for maths. We can do it for English. We can do it for chemistry. We have the periodic table of elements and setting up this assessment tool that you've taken. The time to answer 20 questions is a way of coding, how to listen longer term. I'd love there to be automated tools that are applications or an ad in inside of zoom that could tell you your. listen ratio. As a simple example, we imagine a percentage bar going across the top of the screen. And listening is crucial because the more senior you are in the organization, the more listening you do during your day, the more sales you do during the day, the more listening you should be. Unfortunately, that's not the case. And when you're dealing with complex collaborative, constrained, or conflict situations, listening is one of the most important superpowers you have as an entrepreneur because you can't bring people along in the journey with you. It's a big difference between hearing what somebody says and listening. And the difference between hearing and listening is the action you take. So a lot of employees get frustrated with business owners who keep telling the business owner the same thing and the business owner doesn't do anything with it. Listening is when you act on it.Jim_James:
So do you want, to just take us through the, the four different kinds of listening? You've got Oscar again, I'm not going to tell you which one I am. I'm going to try and choose the best one, but I'm sure you'll, you'll, you'll be able to see my results, but takes through the four different types, Oscar.Oscar Trimboli:
And so the history of this assessment, we have done a lot of work with, Behavioral scientists, market research companies, and some computer software people two and a half years with some academics to not only create a quiz, but to prove it's valid across English speaking cultures. And one thing that's really important to know, Jim is that listening is situational, it's relational and it's contextual. So you'll listen differently. In many different situations. You'll listen differently to a police officer than you will to a school principal. You'll listen differently to an actor than you will to an accountant, for example. So the four villains of listening came out of this research and they are the dramatic. The interrupting, the lost and the shrewd. Let's spend a bit of time with each of them. if you're a lost listener, don't worry. You've just forgotten everything I just said, because you're drifting off somewhere else. you might be thinking about something I said earlier on. The loss listener is just completely lost in their devices or something in the conversation creates a trigger for them to think about a holiday that they wish they had. Or maybe they're thinking about lunch, but they're completely lost, but equally something the speaker might say about the issue might lose. As well. So the loss listener, roughly 22% of people in the 11,000 people have taken the quiz so far. The next one is the dramatic listener. Dramatic listener loves listening to your story. They engage with you really well, and what they try and do too much of this connect with. So if you say to them, oh my God, I'm really struggling with this staff member. They'll say, oh, you think you've got a problem with this staff member wait till I tell you about mine, or if you think you've got an awful customer, wait til I tell you about mine, or if you think your bank manager is a pain, wait till I tell you about mine, they love the spotlight being back on them and what they love is connection, but they don't understand the difference between empathy and sympathy. The next villain is the interrupting, listening villian this is the most overt listening villain they are the quiz show contestant, that presses, the buzzer, anticipates the question and the answer, but gets it wrong they value time. So productivity really matters to them. They have a mindset that I've heard that before. So let me just jump in and let's get to it quicker. So their intention isn't wrong, but they're. Impatient. And then the final listener, which I'm going to speculate, Jim people from your profession tend to over-index on the shrewd, the listening villain. These people are problem solving machines. Although they'll give you great face. They'll go. wow. Yeah. Tell me, Fascinating. And you'll feel like. From an outsider's perspective, they're really engaged in listening. But if you had closed captioning to see what was going on in their mind, they would be saying something like this, by the way, I'm a shrewd listener at work and I'm a lost listener at home. and when you do the quiz, you'll get a primary and you'll get a secondary. And most likely the primary is who you are at work. And the secondary is who you are at home. Now. I always say labels are really good on food jars and pharmaceutical products. Not people we are labeling your behavior, not you. So the shrewd listening villain, their closed captioning. Oh, my God. I studied this long. I'm such an expert in this field and you've got such a basic problem. I'm going to think about 3, 4, 5, 6 problems you haven't ever thought about that you need to know about and what the speaker senses. they can see the cogs going on in your wheel, turning over, going through the issues and their mindset is stop trying to fix. And just listen to what I've got to say. So they're the four villains of listening, dramatic interrupting, lost and shrewd, or the deals of listening. That means something different in the United States. So I apologize. One of the great things about or listening is all of us think we're above average, 74.9% either rate ourselves as well about average or. A long way above average. quarters of us think that we are above average listeners and that's our first villian is self awareness. And we have five levels of listening when we take people through the foundational set of listening. And the first level is knowing what your barriers are. Most of us aren't even aware what gets in our way, because we were taught to focus on the speaker when it comes to listening. Absolutely the wrong place to start your listening now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying don't listen to the speaker. I'm just saying, don't start there. You need to start by listening to yourself and Jim, here's the, I'd say the dirty little secret of listening until, you know, your villains. You can't introduce yourself to your superheroes, and for each villain, we have the alternate superhero. And if you take some time with the quiz and sign up for the 90 day challenge, which you may or may not have done, which is at the bottom of your five-page report, you'll start to discover which one of those superheroes can emerge for you. As you explore the world of listening. Now, Jim, one of the things I would say. If you're an entrepreneur listening to this right now, can I give you a little neuroscience hack that most people don't know?Jim_James:
Yes, please do that. Yeah.Oscar Trimboli:
Three numbers. You need to know 1 25, 400 and 900. I speak at 125 words a minute. You can probably speak at 200 words per minute, if you're an auctioneer. So if you're auctioning cattle or you're a horse race caller, you can speak at about 200 words per minute, we know you can listen at up to 400. We know that blind people can listen to audio books at three times speed and have complete comprehension. So there is a disconnect between the speed at which you listen and speed at which they talk. So genetically in neurologically you will get distracted and don't think Oscar teach me how to stop being distracted, this is not about mindfulness. If you'll be distracted, ironically, that will help you reset your attention much quicker. You can only listen continuously for 12. seconds, that's right. You can only listen continuously for 12 seconds. Now, the last number I gave you was 900. That's how many words on average somebody can think at? And here is the ninja move for the entrepreneur. if the prospect you are talking to the customer, the investor, the supplier is thinking at least 900 words per minute. If I can only speak at 125, that means you are listening to 11%. Of what they're thinking about. Get a unfair advantage and learn these three simple questions. If you can learn these three questions, you'll get the next 125 words out. And often that will be the difference between you knowing their problem and you knowing their customer's problems. And when you know their customer's problems as an entrepreneur, you've got a customer for life. So those three questions you want to get really good at are really simple questions. Please don't use these questions in sequence all it will signal is, paying attention. Q uestion number one is, tell me more question number two and what else now? That can be shortened to just. But do it in a respectful way now, when you do this, sometimes you'll notice that they take a breath in their shoulders, go back. Their spine is erect, and then they'll breathe out. And they'll say these phrases, they wil use the words "actually also tell me if you've heard this one Jim. Actually, Jim, now that I think about it a little longer, I think it's more important that we talk about this.Jim_James:
Yes, absolutely. You uncovered the problem behind the problem. Don't you Oscar then.Oscar Trimboli:
Yeah. And so question number one. Tell me more question number two. And what else? And question number three, listen to this one carefully. It's the shortest, it's the most powerful, done well, it's really skillful and yet done poorly. It can intimidate by the way Jim, that Ting means to listen in Mandarin, And ting not pronounce correctly also means to stop. Doesn't it.Jim_James:
Yes, it does. Yeah. Well, it's in different tones. There are four tonesOscar Trimboli:
So when it comes to listening in China, listening is six dimensional. It's about seeing sensing, feeling respecting and being present and focused. That's what ting means. Now, one of these critical skills the east teaches us in ancient cultures, Polynesian, inuit, aboriginal cultures, Maori cultures, Eastern cultures, like Korea, Japan, and China use this really well. This phrase is really used often. Here it comes. Yeah. Don't worry. Nothing went wrong with any of the recording. There's no coincidence that silent and listen, have exactly the same letters, and if you can just practice that. You will listen and hear things that other people will never get told because you took the time to listen to, what's not said, and you will uncover much, much, much more than the next person who merely engages in a dialogue with the very first thing people say, tell me more and what else? And just pause in the west. Jim, we've got this weird relationship. We call it the pregnant pause. The awkward silence a deafening silence. And yet in the east, it's a sign of wisdom, respect, seniority, and authority. It's not uncommon for there to be long pauses in eastern meeting places. Are there.Jim_James:
No. And of course that's why also in Asia, they like to drink tea, which is a long form. Whereas we have a cup of coffee, an espresso, and in China we have a, a tea that actually washed the leaves four or five times before the pot is even finished. Oscar. That's very, very powerful. So we've got one. Tell me more too. And what else? And three. The silence. If you start the conversation with silence, they might think you're being a bit intimidating. Mighten they.Oscar Trimboli:
Yeah. And that's the warning or the little caution at the beginning. The last one needs to be used skillfully when you're in some kind of relationship and trust been developed, but what my clients tell me, particularly those who are entrepreneurs, they often say, oh, I haven't got time for that. All this listening stuff takes time. And I said, so does launching the wrong product? So does losing a great staff member. So does winning a customer. Well, you heard the wrong thing. All of these are really unprofitable ways to spend our day. It's also not a great use of our time and money. So although it takes just a little bit longer at the beginning, what you do is you start to listen to what they're thinking. And what they mean rather than merely what they say, let your competitors listen to what they say. And if you listen to what they mean, you'll have the customer, an investor, a supplier and employee for lifeJim_James:
oscar that is such a, an academically rigorous explanation. It's fantastic. And Bulletproof, you've obviously been working on this for many, many years. Can we just switch gears just slightly on to you and how you are sharing your message? How does Oscar Trimboli Trimboli, get noticed, share with us your entrepreneurial aspects. Cause that's also inspirational.Oscar Trimboli:
I'll tell you about my failures first. I think that's when you meet a real entrepreneur where they're going to tell you about their failures first up. So I'll want to zoom you into an industry conference. I was attending It was, seven and a half years ago. And next to me was a good friend of mine now, Dermot, originally from Ireland. and we were in, in this workshop and I just said, we were asked. share a problem that we're working on. So I was blogging two and a half years straight, very regularly on the topic of listening and nobody not a single person was engaging with what I was doing. I said, Dermot. You're wise, man, and I'm not going to do his accent any credit, but he basically said "you ijeet if you're talking about listening, you do a podcast, you don't do a blog." You know, if people are interested about listening, they probably want to listen to it. So I started that another spectacular failure until I discovered this wonderful book by, two authors, Dan Gregory, Kieran Flanagan, called "Scared, stupid, and simple." And they basically hypothesise that you can do all the ambitious, inspirational and aspirational work. You want the most people. Relate to their weaknesses more than they relate to their strengths, thus, the villains of listening. So, although initially I was writing about the aspirational listening superheroes. Nobody could relate to them because they were these artificial gods of listening that nobody really related to. But no, I have not met a single soul on this planet that couldn't relate to the four villains of listening. I think the thing I do well is publish. Now, does that mean publish a book? No. It just means share your ideas with somebody else. So publishing could be webinars. So I run a community of practice where people on my use letter lists come in once a month and it's completely free. And I use that as a way to test ideas, new ones and old ones get feedback from those people. But they also share with me. The current contemporary problems they're dealing with in their workplaces. And if I listen carefully, they give me a gold they give me lots of great opportunity for me to think about, one of the things that emerged was this, the, the deep listening, playing cards came out of a conversation where people said "Oscar,, why don't you put all those tips? You talk about into a set of playing cards?". So I Did, and then somebody else said, Hey Oscar, why don't you make. A jigsaw puzzle, and make it into a game. So we did. And then why don't we make a assessment quiz? So we did. Why don't you write a book? So we did, now did I listen the first time in each of those cases? No, absolutely not. I've got my own villains to deal with. I think the thing I've done well, we're nearly a hundred episodes on the podcast we won an award from apple a couple of years ago for the category we're in, because it was such a different take on the communication topic to talk about listening, to interview expert listeners, to deconstruct what good listening is and how to make that commercial. A lot of the client work that came about only last week, in North Dakota and Atlanta ,all of those came about from interviews that I'd done two years ago and four years ago, these people had heard me and continued to follow me. And they we're ready to buy this year. I didn't know anything about them. Some of them were on my newsletter list, someone on. But again, publishing just going through the process of speaking to people out a loud, because someone will connect with that. And so put yourself in a situation where, an audience is present. in the old days I used to speak at public events, and now. Up at midnight and 2:00 AM on the east coast of the USA, or doing evening sessions and Hamburg or Munich or London, or even in Copenhagen. so many opportunities have come about through COVID to extend the work I do around the world. So I think to answer your question, lots of mistakes, Jim, but I made them. And I've got the ideas out this so I can get the feedback. So I think the key to my success much like my marathon running is persistence and some kind of plan,Jim_James:
Oscar that's fantastic. And, uh, I've taken the test and I will tell you, the it's very elegant, which platform do you use by the way to create your online scoring?Oscar Trimboli:
we actually work with a third party software organization called evaluation solutions who do assessment tools for people all around the world. And that integrates with our, CRM system, which we use Infusionsoft. And, it's a really good tool. The quiz gives us a rich information about people who take the quiz, that we then connect them into a 90 day challenge. So once they've taken the quiz, we stay in touch with them about a third of our audience opt in for that Jim and then about 20% of those people go through all 13 weeks. But very quickly, we get to notice patterns in behavior. which newsletter copy. They connect with them, which newsletter copy. They don't in those 13 weeks and the 13 week challenge that people are doing now, it's completely different to 13 week challenge. We did two and a half years ago when we started this off.Jim_James:
Oscar, we could talk for much longer or rather I could listen to you talking. And I haven't even said, tell me more and what else? And I haven't done the silence. I will just tell you that I was a Shrewd Listener, or I am in this situation apparently or today. And a dramatic villain is my sub villain. So I think I definitely need some superheroes for that Oscar Trimboli joining us from Sydney, the listening man. Thank you so much for joining me and sharing all your wisdom today on the.Oscar Trimboli:
Jim, thanks for listening.Jim_James:
It's been my pleasure. I've listened and learned. Thanks so much to everyone as well for listening to Oscar Trimboli from, Sydney. And I will, of course put all of his contact details in the show notes so that you can take the test and sign up for his 90 day course. In the meantime, until we meet again, I wish you the best of health that you are safe and that you are listening to what's going on around you.