The Motivation Language of “Listening Leadership”

people_talking_over_coffeeCommunication has only two movements, sending and receiving.  When we’re communicating to motivate others, we talk. We have something to say so we’re the sender.  When we’re not speaking, we’re listening to what others are saying.  So we’re the receiver.

Not ListeningQuestion…  Does silence assure we have a listener?  How many times have we spoken to deaf ears? And don’t we often check out and not hear what others are saying?  Sending is easy, being or getting a receiver is the real challenge!

Communication is talking and listening that results in the message being sent is actually HEARD!  It is an interactive exchange of words, body language and feelings that produce understanding, agreement and trust.  Talk all you want but without a receiver there is NO communication or any effective, sustaining motivation.

Mobiize#1 ConnectSo if your intention is communication that motivates others, then master the art of Listening Leadership.  That means you’ll need to make your MOVVE.  The first letter of MOVVE stands for Mobilize. To spark attention, interest and listeners, you use the 5 Stages of Elite Motivation which begins with Connect.

feelingsSo to motivate others you first want to Connect and Mobilize them with what fuels all thoughts, attitudes and behaviors – FEELINGS!

when dealing with people...Since MOVVE is the application of Emotional Motivation, you won’t have a problem because you’ll be using emotionally intelligent communication practices to arouse cooperative attitudes and actions.

StartYou begin by simply stating your goal. For instance, a sender might say, “I want to get all of us on the same page” or “I want to discuss what happened yesterday” or “I’d like to introduce you to our new product line that will increase your profits.”  You then ask, “What are your thoughts?” OR “Is this something that might interest you?”

shaking handsSo whether you’re a manager, parent or in sales, you first Connect with others by stating your intentions. Next, after inviting their response, you switch your communication role from Sage (sender) to Send-Say (receiver). Send-Say is a word that affirms the way you “send” empowers others to “say” – to share.  Hence Send-Say, is a receiver that encourages a sender to speak.  By actively listening to what others say, you’ll be able to assess and Connect with what will Mobilize their interest, cooperation and support.

Organize#2 ChallengeThe “O” in MOVVE represents Organize and applies the next stage of the 5 Stages which is Challenge.  So in your Send-Say role you continue, “Ok, some of the opportunities and obstacles facing us are…?”  This is where you listen to their responses.  You follow each answer with more Send-Say fill-in-the-blanks techniques, “And…?”    “And…?”    “Other concerns might be…?”  

This Send-Say fill-in-the-blank technique is spoken with a curiosity and phrased with words that trail off at the end.  This purposely incomplete phrasing urges the other person to fill in that missing blank. “Other road blocks would be…?”  A Send-Say receiver gets all their cards on the table.

If you instead stay a Sage and ask questions as usual, you will get the usual results.  No Listening Leadership here.  Switching from Sage to Send-Say gives you a tremendous advantage!  First, you won’t come off as the authority who’s in charge with everyone else feeling subordinate.  Why?  Because a Send-Say doesn’t lead with questions. They follow the thread of talk spoken by the sender.

people listeningThis empowers senders to offer more depth because what they’re saying is appreciated and encouraged.  Remember, it is the receiver who facilitates communication and maintains motivation.  So using Listening Leadership is a brilliant speaking strategy.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90You’ll hear their questions, agreements and disagreements.  A Send-Say doesn’t automatically answer questions. Rather they respectfully invite more depth and detail.  Answering questions quickly might trigger reasons for them to disconnect and check out.  Dealing with agreements or disagreements is  simple for a Send-Say. Whether you agree or disagree, a Send-Say will respond with, “Ok, so what that means to you is…?

By getting them to dig deeper, they’ll provide valuable participation that often reveals hidden agendas and feelings.  Opening the door for them to share what they’re pondering and sensing increases their involvement and interest.  This allows you to Organize a cooperative collaboration of mutual interests.

Visualize#3 Co-CreateThe stage is now set for Visualize, the first “V” in MOVVE and Co-Create, the next stage of the 5 Stages.

You continue in your Listening Leadership voice by talking as a Send-Say.    “Ok some of the ways we could improve things would be…?”  You forge a  focus for them to see how creative and collaborative efforts could change things for the better.  This leads them to explore and share how they could resolve their challenges and turn them into win-win opportunities.  People Co-Create solutions when you listen to their ideas first.  “So what you see yourself doing would be…?”  “And…?”   “And…?” 

want visionIt’s said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  So getting others to Visualize themselves participating with future attitudes and behaviors solidifies their partnership and pursuit of a common goal.

If you feel you haven’t heard all the challenges addressed OR if they need some more information, you can switch back to Sage by requesting permission to provide missing insights.  “Say, I have something to contribute that might help.  Do you mind if I share it now?”

Verbalize#4 CelebrateThe second “V” in MOVVE is Verbalize which you have been respectfully role modeling and is essential now for emphasizing the importance of Celebrate, a vital emotional motivation of the 5 Stages.

“Motivation determines what you do and Attitude determines how well you do it” were words spoken by Lou Holtz that epitomize the essence of Verbalize and CelebrateWhen we’re attempting to motivate someone, what we say and how we say it needs to be heard in their language of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)

So as a Send-Say, you’ll lead them to realize all the rewards there are in accomplishing their goals and overcoming any roadblocks. Remember feelings drive attitudes and actions so the stronger the emotion, the stronger the motivation to improve!

Me-Me-MeA great MOVVE approach for stirring passions is M.E.  The “M” stands for “Meaning” which gets them to voice the impact and rewards of their actions.  The “E” is all about them recognizing the “Emotions” they’ll be feeling as a result of those actions.  So getting them to Verbalize the outcome of their efforts is done as a Send-Say who revs their passions to Celebrate their future.

WIIFM 2WIIFM is fully realized by them because you are the leader who listened to them discover it.  Instead of you providing predictions, you get them to use their imagination. This sparks their feelings and cascades them into passionate energies that will drive productive attitudes and behaviors.

So your Send-Say voice says, “Ok, getting through all this and succeeding in our plan, what that would mean to you would be…?”  “And…?”  “And…?”  “So when we do succeed you’ll be feeling…?”   “And…?”   “And…?”

When they share what success means to them and how they’d be feeling, it is time to employ the Send-Say technique of Rephrase to amp their energy and dedication!  A rephrase is a simple short responsive embellishment of what they say.  “YES!”

Energize#5 CommitNow you are set to catapult their spirits into the last stage of the 5 Stages, Commit and the finale letter of MOVVE – Energize!  Here is where you build on the erupting energies they are feeling and lead them to MOVVE their passion into action!

A great coach, Vince Lombardi, emphasized that “Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work!”       

In your Listening Leadership Send-Say role: “So since we all realize what we can all gain, then to get this rolling some of the first things we need to do are…?”   “And…?”    “And…?”

movve logoThey are now teamed in the pursuit of goals with their attitude and actions geared for achievement.

These results are empowered through the art of Listening Leadership.  It is this MOVVE procedure of Elite Motivation that emphasizes the difference between sender and receiver.  Recognizing that it is the receiver who facilitates communication means you’ll be rallying cooperative teamwork and accomplishments using the 5 Stages of Elite Motivation with the Send-Say language of attitude and action.

Listening Leadership is a skill you learn when you’re On The MOVVE with Elite Motivation!

My first book, Elite Motivation, can be found on Kindle and Amazon.  Follow this link to find out about it:

My Guidebook, which offers a graphic filled step-by-step format can also be found on Amazon and Kindle.  Here’s the link:  MOVVE – The Five Keys of Elite Motivation

Contact Jamie Cox M.Ed., (509) 396-4307, email: or at our website:  Discover MOVVE™ our procedural application of Elite Motivation that walks the talk of messages, information and knowledge.

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One Response to “The Motivation Language of “Listening Leadership””

  1. That’s a really good article-really informative & helpful-now i can look up AEC & 5c’s and remind myself what they are so i can use them when i need to-i’ll see you guys next week-

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