Leaders and Listening by Carol McCall

Carol McCallCarol McCall says ‘leaders don’t need followers, leaders need leaders. And it’s all in your listening! What projects are you currently working on, Carol? I am currently working with 18 coaches in training, in Tel Aviv, Israel. I have calls with them throughout the week, starting at 2:30 am my time, working to bring this work worldwide, particularly to the Middle East. Specifically, to establish a ‘listening’ for peace in the Middle East. I’m much honored to be a part of that and to be able to work with 18 very powerful people who really see that vision and realize that listening, and this kind of work, is pivotal to the possibility of peace in the Middle East. That’s one of my projects.  NULL How did that come about? I have been part of, and working with, the network marketing industry since 1990. In working with various people in that industry, people have talked about my work and what I do. They have requested I come in and do workshops for their organizations. In this particular case, there was a network marketing organization that I was working with, and one of the top leaders there said, “You need to contact Carol McCall; if you can’t get her to come to Israel at least attend her course!” I have 10 coaches-in-training in London, England. We have been together for the last three or four years. The woman from the network marketing company was their Events Coordinator and she came to the course I was holding in London. She was so empowered by that course that she went back to Israel and said, “We’ve got to have her over here!” She proceeded to do some awesome marketing and promotion. In our first course we had 50 people come, out of that group we had approximately 10 people who said, “Look, I see the vision, we see that this is possible here in Israel.” and they signed up for the Coach Training. Since then we have had several courses there, with the largest group being 160 people. Now it’s a once or twice a year event. People come to our courses and some of them join our training course. They are looking to do this work in an effort to truly promote peace in the Middle East. That’s how it got started… she came, she saw… and she brought it to Israel My purpose and mission is to have 200 million masterful listeners by the year 2020, so I have a lot to do by 2020. That is what I consider ‘critical mass’ and once we hit that, it’s my theory that real listening will be a given, that people will be saying, thinking and feeling, “Of course we listen!”. Whereas today people have an awareness level closer to “Yes, I know I need to improve my listening. I know I have to practice and I’m not doing it yet.”

So my purpose is to have 200 million masterful listeners because I know, when people listen and truly hear other people, things shift.

I just did two workshops, back to back, here in the States where we had 70 women in one and 50 in the other. I just spoke to a husband yesterday, whose wife attended and he said, “I don’t know what you did to her but whatever it was I’m sending her back to everything! She listens to me very differently.” Let me point out here, it wasn’t that she was listening to him differently, she was listening to herself very differently. Out of that, out of truly listening to ourselves, we can extend that listening to other people.

How we listen to ourselves is how we listen to others, anyway.

What I do is make people aware of their automatic listening for themselves. And since this is your automatic listening for you, it’s automatically how you are listening to somebody else. And you can change that! You can change that within 72 hours. Of course, then you have to practice it. And it is a real shift. Can you give us an example of how we listen for ourselves? Okay, you might be listening to yourself in a variety of ways. One way might be with the stance of ‘Yeah, well, I already know that.’ It’s a common listening for yourself that shows up as, ‘I’ve been there, done that’

If you have that listening for yourself, then you have limited yourself.

Just because you did something once and discovered it didn’t work the way you wanted, doesn’t mean it won’t work if you try it again. And you’ve already placed a self-limiting cap on whatever it is you might want to achieve. Instead of deciding that you tried it that way once and it didn’t work, therefore it will never work, why not try it again in a different venue, do it again in a different setting, do it again in a different form, and see if it works? Most of us just blow it off with, ‘been there, done that!’ and I say, “No, you haven’t. You’ve been there and you experienced it and something happened, but you didn’t take it on again. You didn’t see your potential in it. You didn’t see your capability in it.” When someone gives you some information and it’s coming from their experience and your listening for yourself is, “yes, I’ve been there and done that”, realize that you are doing that to them too. You are cutting off support that could be coming from someone else for you. Also, it diminishes their ability to contribute to you. When I am giving a workshop, this is not coming at people in lecture form. We do exercises, real physical exercises that people go through to experience their listening and then get feedback on it. It’s based on the number/infinity sign 8 — what goes out comes back.

Very often, when we are in communication with someone, if they don’t tell us what they are doing with it, there is an aspect to us that naturally starts to occur. I call it ‘MSU’… we Make Stuff Up!

If I don’t know what you did with what I did and said, I’m going to ‘make up’ what you did with what I did and said. In fact, I’m even going to finish your sentence for you because I’ve already made up what you did with what I said. However, until you tell me what you did with what I said, I’m in a state called angst. It’s a low-level angst but it creates toxins in the body. At the end of the day I have a LOT of toxicity in my body because I’ve been going around all day finishing everybody’s sentences, having NO idea what they did with mine. If we were raised as children to ‘hurryupandfinishwhatyouhavetosay’, we will have a pretty fast clip to our speech ‘becausewewanttohurryupbeforesomeoneshutsusoff’ — versus, slowing down and listening to what someone is saying… including myself! We are choosing our words very carefully to deliver the message. In a training setting, a ‘listening’ setting, I will ask people how they are hearing me, because feedback is very important. And it’s a simple thing to ask, “What did you just hear?” Some people will respond by claiming they heard what I said and then speak back to me what they believe I said. If that IS what I said, then I delivered my message and, generally speaking, what they say is not what I said, they were making things up about what I said. An example of that, and I use this in the course all of the time, is this: My mother always used to ask me, “Carol, what did you do to your hair?” She said this to me for 40 years. I always heard it as a negative criticism; I couldn’t hear it any other way. On my 40th birthday, I had my hair fixed a certain way, and my mom said, “Carol, what did you do to your hair?” I finally got the gall to say, “Mom, you’ve been asking me that ever since I’ve been here. What do you mean when you ask me what I did to my hair?” She responded by saying, “You are so creative! I’ve loved the different hairstyles you wear. I’ve always enjoyed how you fix your hair. I just want to know what you did.” Well, I had been making up, all my life, that my mother was critical of my hair… because I was critical of my hair! I fix my hair different ways for several reasons. One, to hide the fact that I have very fine hair, two, it was never long enough and three,
I don’t think it ever looked good! So this question, ‘what did you do to your hair’, went through this filter called, I don’t like my hair, it looks rotten no matter what I do. Her question fit right into that slot and that’s how I heard it for years.

I heard it as a criticism because I was already criticizing me. This highlights the reality that whatever I’m doing to me, I’m going to do to you. So let’s turn it around. Let’s have what’s called ’empowered listening’.



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