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Be the trampoline

“I’ve found that whenever you ask a question, the first response you get is usually not the answer—it’s just the first response.”

This quote from The Culture Code resonated with me:

The most effective listeners behave like trampolines. They aren’t passive sponges. They are active responders, absorbing what the other person gives, supporting them, and adding energy to help the conversation gain velocity and altitude.

Also like trampolines, effective listeners gain amplitude through repetition. When asking questions, they rarely stop at the first response. Rather, they find different ways to explore an area of tension, in order to reveal the truths and connections that will enable cooperation.

“I’ve found that whenever you ask a question, the first response you get is usually not the answer—it’s just the first response,” Roshi Givechi says. “So I try to find ways to slowly surface things, to bring out what ought to be shared so that people can build from it. You have to find a lot of ways to ask the same question, and approach the same question from a lot of different angles. Then you have to build questions from that response, to explore more.”

Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code

“Be the trampoline” is such a simple, powerful mantra to keep in mind for active listening.