Storytelling at Work
July 26, 2019
Why Do People Want to Listen?


Everyone I know wants to be listened to when they speak. And everyone SAYS that listening is an important thing to do and there is way too little of it going on these days. As a facilitator of Wisdom Circles, I am very interested in this topic -- especially since there is no storytelling without story listening.

And so... I polled a whole bunch of people and asked them what motivates them to listen to another person. 79 people responded. On a scale of 1-5 (with "5" being the highest rating), here are their reasons for listening:


4.51 -- Reduce misunderstanding
4.44 -- Improve my personal relationships
4.41 -- See through other's eyes
4.40 -- Get to the heart of the matter
4.39 -- Tune into what people are really saying
4.31 -- Deepen my connection to others
4.31 -- Feel more empathy for others
4.25 -- Understand people better
4.22 -- Help people feel better about themselves
4.19 -- Experience more empathy with others
4.17 -- Solve problems faster
4.16 -- Learn about new things
4.14 -- Improve my ability to collaborate
4.09 -- Gain peoples' trust


4.00 -- Get different perspectives
3.89 -- Connect to the world around me
3.85 -- Spark new ideas and possibilities
3.82 -- Become a better person
3.80 -- Improve the quality of my life
3.79 -- Inspire people to tell their stories
3.64 -- Increase the likelihood of people listening to me
3.60 -- Improve my business relationships
2.97 -- Improve my social life

How about you? Why do you listen? And what, if anything, can you do to become a better listener?

Want to take the poll?

Idea Champions is in the process of creating a new workshop on listening. The content and design of the workshop will be very much informed by the above results and our own fascination for the topic. If you want to be informed when our workshop is ready, email with the words LISTENING WORKSHOP in the subject heading.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at July 26, 2019 10:35 AM

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Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.