Photo by James Hammond on Unsplash

(1) Listen Intently.

(2) Listen to the Facts.

(3) Listen to Understand.

(4) Listen to the Meaning.

(5) Listen Without Distractions.

(6) Listen to Observe their Feelings.

(7) Listen for the Details through the Conveyance of the Information.

(8) Listen to Answer the What?, Why?, When? Who?, Where?, and Why?

(9) Listen to Visualize the Circumstances of the Person Describing the Problem.

Listen to Your Remote Co-Worker with Empathy. The relevance of connecting emotionally with your remote co-worker on the other end of the video conference or F2F encounter is surrendered through the stimulating interaction of discourse.  You’re observing their facial expressions, hand gestures, the semi-smile or frown slipping between the double indented creases at the corner slits of their lips. You’re monitoring their tone…soft … mellow or … loud and angry throughout the delivery of their monologue as they stand before you in 2D video conferencing form or real-time. You initially and genuinely question their presentation in the appearance of their approach, the speed of their dialogue or dialect, the calm unwavering or fidgety hand motions and then you ask yourself.


“What is the state of their mind? Are they upset with me or their current work or love-life situation? Are they stressed? Do they need an intervention, an enema or a de-stressing cinema experience? You’re trying to mentally establish for yourself their  mental, emotional, physical presence being extended into the communication. You have given them at minimal at least one minute of space to freely explain with respect  their dilemma.


Now that you have listened to them and let them know by your paraphrasing their comments during breaks throughout the conversation you can move forward in validating their experience by asking them the following questions below.

(1) “What do you think is the solution?”

(2) “What steps would you create to meet the goal of a solution?”

(3) “What solution outcomes can occur with compromise?”

Remember, this listening endeavor is never one-sided, so feel free to…

  1. Establish Caveats or Boundaries that Allow You to Respectfully Rebuttal.
  2.  Create a Communication Plan of Action for Yourself.
  3. Sign a Social Contract on the length of Your Deliberation if  Possible.
  4. Decide on Your Compromises and “Work-A-Rounds”.

Before you both enter into this expressive discourse of opinions, facts and feelings, establish how long you’ll both need to exchange and respond on the subject matter.  Be aware that authentic communication can created awkwardness or heartfelt inaccuracies from both perspectives that cannot be supported by facts, upheld by delayed future caveats or managed by uncompromising concessions. Realize that differences cannot be buried away because of the nature of the problem especially, if created out of controversial circumstances. Although you may not be able to provide complete closure  it is important that you both walk away with some form of genuine triumph. You may believe their issue is trivial while they believe it is a tragedy. However, if they felt respected because you sacrificed time from your busy schedule to acknowledge them by listening to them, then that is indeed a triumph for both of you.

Everyone wants to be heard!  By listening to others yo have empowered them through the intentionality of productive results. Most importantly, you have positioned yourself to be a future recipient of the listening generosity you have provided.