"The gifts we treasure most over the years
are often small and simple.

In easy times and tough times, what seems to matter most
is the way we show those nearest to us that we have been listening to their needs, to their joys and to their challenges."

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers!)

Hi Kathleen,

Hope that this finds you well and that your Well of Resilience is filled!

I was looking for a quote from Carl Rogers, the Coaching and Counselling guru and found this lovely quote from the 'real' Mr Rogers! I think I was paying more attention to Superheroes than Mr Rogers when I was a child, but discovering his wisdom at any stage is wonderful. His positive outlook on life is lasting and timeless 😊.

I haven't written a newsletter in months! I guess I got de-railed a bit with lockdown, etc but I am glad to be here today - healthy and happy! Hoping this finds you that way too 🙏.

This Newsletter focuses on Listening - the challenges to 'doing it' and the benefits for us and others in practicing it. Listening is definitely an important Resilience Tool.

All the best!

Kathleen Fanning



We all know what it feels like when we 'pour our hearts out' and it seems to skim over the other persons head - and not go any where near their heart.

But to be fair, listening is incredibly hard to do - and we get no real training for it.

🍁 In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (surprisingly dated 1957, yet so applicable today!) the authors, Nichols and Stevens say: "immediately after the average person has listened to someone talk, he remembers only about half of what he has heard—no matter how carefully he thought he was listening."

🍂 One of the challenges they outline include the aptly named 'Disenchanted Listening' - when we start out concentrating but the topic or delivery causes us to drift off 😔.

🍁 Another is a simple, neurological fact -our brain is operating much, much faster than the other person's speech so we tend to move ahead to plan our response - even as we 'listen'! Not to mention our drifting off because we 'judge' the speaker in some way 😠.

🍂 Despite the many challenges to listening well, it is key to work and personal relationships - and it contributes to our level of Resilience. As a Coach I see, hear and feel the impact in my clients when they have been really listened to - sometimes for the first time.

🍁 I'm grateful that my coaching work provides me with an opportunity to create a safe place for my clients allowing me to be fully present to them in deep listening mode. In this space anything can and does happen!

🍂 My challenge to you is to practice your listening and see what happens - you may be pleasantly surprised!


In this month's Listening Challenge I'd ask those of you with children to try all of these out - and for the rest of us - give no 7 a try. It's good to do with children and just as important for us to do with adults too.

  1. Get their full attention
    • Encourage your child to look at you when they listen.

  2. Make reading an interactive activity
    • While reading aloud, stop before turning the page and ask, “What do you think will happen next?”

  3. Play listening games
    • Games like Simon Says help your child build listening comprehension skills in a fun and rewarding way.
    • (Or) ask your child to find objects around the house by giving them two‑part verbal instructions, then gradually progress to three‑part, four‑part, and so on.

  4. Play “story chain”. This is a fun activity that the whole family can play together.
    1. Have one person start an original story by saying one line (e.g. “Once upon a time, there was a bear who lived in a cave”).
    2. Then go around in a circle so that each person contributes a sentence to the story.

  5. Place an emphasis on common speech signals
    • Help your child listen out for important cues by placing an emphasis on common speech signals when you talk.
    • These could include words like ‘now’, ‘next’ and ‘finally’.

  6. Help your child to build their vocabulary

  7. Be a good listener too
    • Avoid interrupting your child when they are talking and show them that you're listening to what they have to say. 

Courtesy of www.readingeggs.co.uk.


Here are some resources to help you improve your listening skills

1. Active Listening Tips Click here to download

2. Excellent article from Forbes: 10 Steps to Effective Listening Click here to read

3. And, if you haven't accessed it yet...

You'll find more helpful tips and tools here in my free guide: 4 Steps to Building your Resilience  



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Kathleen Fanning
Kathleen Fanning Coaching