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Mastering Engaging Conversations: Why Learning How to Be a Good Listener Matters with Tim Cosby

how to be a good listener Tim Cosby

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Q&A

Want To Improve Your Comunication and Leadership Skills? 

Many people are taught that to be a leader means knowing and doing everything. But this could not be further from the truth. A good leader has conversations from a place of humility. They understand the importance of meeting people where they are at. A leader knows how to be a good listener to those they lead so that they’re allowed to grow and thrive. 

In this episode, Tim Cosby discusses how you can get into this mindset and why it matters. We learn about his coaching approach for leaders in any field. In particular, we find out why good relationships are cultivated by having engaging conversations. Through this, we open channels and opportunities for growth to both parties. Tim also shares his valuable insights on the areas of faith, business, and coaching. 

If you are a key decision-maker in your organization who wants to learn how to communicate better, then this episode is for you!

About Tim

Tim Cosby coach, business owner, and entrepreneur who also used to work as a pastor for several years. He’s highly knowledgeable in organizational culture and is an expert in employee retention. In fact, he is the CEO and President of Real Retention Training and Consulting Firm, which works with leaders to help them retain their best talent and improve organizational culture. 

To know more about Tim and his work, you can connect with him through his company website.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover how proper coaching could transform your leadership and/or discipleship.
  2. Find out the power of learning how to be a good listener and asking good questions.
  3. Learn from Tim Cosby’s experiences and insights regarding the faith with business.



Episode Highlights: Being A Good Listener

[02:30] What Tim Does

  • Tim coaches people to master engaging conversations. 
  • Tim was also a pastor for several years. 
  • Right now he focuses on helping people grow and improve themselves. 

[03:29] Mastering Engaging Conversation

  • We have so many ways to communicate, and yet somehow, it’s something not many of us are good at. 
  • To improve the culture within an organization, you have to improve the relationships involved.  
  • Meanwhile, to improve relationships, conversations have to be better. 
  • Thus, Tim teaches coaches, professionals, and clients to make conversations that engage people. 

[05:04] Are We Good Communicators? 

  • In general, Tim says that we are bad at communicating. 
  • Sometimes, people come into conversations with their own agenda; we don’t always listen very well. 
  • We’re not really taught how to communicate properly. 

 [07:57] Challenges to Communicating Well

  • One of the biggest challenges is the mindset. 
  • We have to let go of the belief that we know everything or are more competent than those we communicate with. 
  • To have better conversations, a paradigm shift must happen. We should learn how to be a good listener.
  • Another challenge is learning how to ask good questions to keep a conversation engaging. 
  • Learning how to be a good listener helps you formulate good questions. 

[10:07] Preparing For a Conversation

  • In reality, we don’t take time to prepare before having conversations. 
  • An engaging conversation involves making the other party feel valued and listened to. 
  • Part of learning how to be a good listener is understanding that not listening is an act of war.

[11:59] Having Engaging Conversations as a Christian 

  • Jesus is a good example for those who want to learn how to be a good listener.
  • Tim discovered that Jesus always asked questions instead of giving advice to the people that approached him. 
  • Tim reveals that Jesus asks at least a hundred questions in the Gospels. 

[16:16] What We Need to Get Better At

  • Tim says we need to learn how to be a good listener. 
  • We should also learn to ask open-ended questions better. This skill would be immensely helpful to leaders. 
  • Too often, we focus on our own advice. We come into a lot of conversations thinking of what we already know. 
  • Sometimes our minds also default to problem-solving. 
  • But instead, we should take time to pause and learn how to be a good listener. This process includes asking apt questions. 

[21:43] Humility

  • Using the coaching approach in leadership is all about learning to be a servant. 
  • Coaching was a humbling experience for Tim. Throughout his life, Tim was taught that being a leader means you need to be an expert. 
  • But he later realized through his coaching experience that this was not the case. As a coach, you need to learn how to be a good listener.
  • Tim’s job is to guide the client by listening to them and to the Holy Spirit. And humility is in the heart of this.

[28:25] Coach, Client, Holy Spirit

  • Tim is a member of the Christian Coaches Network International.
  • Secular coaching includes only the coach and the client. It holds the belief that the client has everything in them they need to solve their problems.
  • Although Tim believes that people have the potential to better themselves, they don’t have everything in them to do so. Hence, Christian coaching involves the Holy Spirit. 

[31:52] Merging Faith and Business 

  • Tim makes it clear to his individual clients that he is a follower of Christ and his coaching approach is rooted in this. 
  • While this is his lens on life, he does not force it on anyone. 
  • In the business setting, Tim listens and also comes into the experience as a follower of Christ. 
  • Tim believes that business is ministry and this space is his mission.  

[35:17] Knowing that You’re Not in Charge

  • The Scripture teaches us that God is Emmanuel – “He is with us”. 
  • When Tim is coaching, he has a continual conversation with God. It’s a two-way conversation where he talks and listens to God. 
  • He acts as a conduit between the client and God. Tim does not take credit for what he brings forth to his clients. 

[40:16] Coaching as Modern-Day Discipleship

  • Coaching is a good operating system for making disciples of people.
  • We need to learn how to be a good listener, ask better questions, and allow ourselves to be where God wants us to go.
  • Meet people where they are not where you think they should be. 
  • Tune in to the full episode to hear Tim share a story of a pastor who learned how to be a good listener.

[46:06] Learning How to Be a Good Listener and Asking Good Questions

  • Tim has learned through the years of coaching that he does not have all the solutions for people. This belief has taken a lot of weight off his shoulders. 
  • He believes a lot of pastors should be taught how to be a good listener and how to ask good questions. 
  • This process is also an effective way to develop good leaders.  

[50:41] Coaching

  • The concept of “coach” came from a little town in Hungary called Koch in 1585. 
  • It emerged from the idea of a carriage meeting people where they were and deliver them to where they wanted to go. 
  • In the 1900s, it started to be associated more with athletic coaching.
  • For Tim, coaching helps people change without telling them what to do. 
  • As a leader, you may have to give people direction. But sometimes you just have to listen, ask good questions, engage, and empower people.

[54:12] Challenges to Tim’s Calling

  • For Tim, an obstacle for coaches to help people reach their potential is the fast-paced lifestyle. People are in a hurry most of the time. 
  • It’s not very often that we see leaders who truly listen. People don’t always have a reference of what a good leader is. 
  • People need to experience being heard and listened to. 

[58:53] What Discourages and Encourages Tim

  • A discouraging thing for Tim is CEOs who don’t value the approach he is championing. 
  • On the other hand, it’s encouraging for Tim to see other leaders who value and invest in his coaching approach. 
  • After all, Tim’s coaching is a way of teaching people how to be with other people. 
  • Tim invites key decision-makers of organizations to reach out to him as he believes that what he has to offer could truly help them. 

[01:03:54] Seek, Go, or Create

  • As a business owner for the past 11 years, ‘Create’ currently resonates the most with Tim.
  • He believes that God is the creator and leaders are co-creators.

5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode On Listening And Being A Good Listener

[10:59] “Not listening is an act of war. So think about that one, and then think what’s going on in our culture, think what’s going on in most of the relationships and conversations that we have.”

[19:53] “I think we’re really bad at not listening to the other person. And then that mindset that just thinks, ‘You know what, I’ve got their answer. I know what they should do. And if they just do what I tell them, everything’s gonna be good.’”

[25:12] “My job is to listen to you well, and to listen to the Holy Spirit well, so that I can help you hear what He’s saying to you. Because at the end of the day, I got nothing for you. Right? My job is to, in a sense, kind of hand you off to the Holy Spirit and say, ‘God, what do you want to do here?’”

[41:16] “If we knew how to listen better, and ask better questions, and meet people where they are not where we think they should be, and help them to go where God wants them to go, not where we think they should go, then I think that that would be a really great way to make disciples.”

[52:16] “Coaching helps people to change without telling them what to do.” 

[52:33] “You could lead all the way across the spectrum where there are times where you need to give direction, and that’s fine. But there are times when you need to empower people, and you need to learn how to ask good questions, and listen, and get them engaged, and empower them.”

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