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Empathy-Based Listening at Accelerent/BCG Breakfast; 7th Annual AZ Employee Benefits Benchmarking | Benefit Commerce Group

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Want to know the number one tool for building trust and positive relationships—in all areas of your life?

Eric Maddox says it is “empathy-based listening.”  And he knows a lot about listening and achieving goals. 

He collected the intelligence which directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein, and he is the author of Mission: Black List: #1 The Inside Story of the Search for Saddam Hussein—As Told by the Soldier Who Masterminded His Capture.

As our featured speaker at the February 7th Accelerent/Benefit Commerce Group Breakfast Event, Maddox had a lot to teach the audience.

While he employed his empathy model methodology initially in the Army, the principles also are applicable in business and life in general.  As his website says, “speaking with dozens of informants, breaking through their fears and crusts without the use of force, Maddox got on the inside and provided special forces with the short window and exact location for Hussein’s capture.”

His experience and training help businesses transform results, one listening conversation at a time.

Leadership, customer loyalty, sales growth, innovation, influence, connection and engagement all demand trust.  Maddox says his empathy-based listening builds that trust.

Benefit Commerce Group is proud to be the Title Sponsor of the Phoenix division of Accelerent.  Accelerent is a business development organization that works to bring companies together to build strategic business relationships.

As Title Sponsor, Benefit Commerce Group promotes Accelerent within the local business community, assists in identifying and recruiting other partners and facilitates introductions to business leaders.

Employer Needs & Employee Benefits Benchmarking

In opening remarks at the event, BCG’s Managing Partner & Principal, Scott Wood, greeted the nearly 400 attendees at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix.  He discussed the costs and focus that employers now face, related to employee benefits:

  • Health benefits costs are rising at twice the rate of wage increases, 3X the rate of general inflation
  • On average, 10 years of family income growth lost by increases in healthcare costs

In a full employment economy, companies are focused on attracting and retaining quality employees, but they still need to control health plan costs.

One important tool in controlling costs is to know how your benefits compare to other employers, and that’s where our 7th Annual Arizona Employee Benefits Benchmarking Survey comes in.  The results of the survey, which will be presented on June 3rd will show employers:

  • How they stack up to competition
  • Whether they are employing the best strategies to compete
    1. Employers can participate in the survey by going to www.AZBenefitsBenchmarking.com.

      EARLY BIRD INCENTIVE!  $25 gift card for surveys completed by March 6th.

      More about Empathy-Based Listening…

      Eric Maddox has a tremendous story about exactly how he was able to get enemy prisoners to give up information that ultimately led to the capture of Saddam Hussein.  It’s a story of building trust, identifying what was important to the people he was interrogating and stringing one clue to another to get to the right people who had the information he needed. 

      Unlike many who went before him, Maddox did not conduct his operations through fear and intimidation. Instead, he LISTENED, really listened and quickly learned what was important to the people he questioned. In the end, the person who was trusted to keep Hussein’s location secret gave it up in 90 minutes with Maddox.

      Great, great story, but how does this relate to what you do in business? 

      It’s the listening, really listening to the other person.  As Maddox explained, we only listen to 25% of what we hear.  Why?  Because we can listen 5X faster than a person can talk.  So, our minds stop listening and fill up the time with other things. 

      There are about 6 things that distract us from listening, and if you can pay attention to and eliminate your distractions, you will be a better listener and more successful in connecting with people.  Here are the 6 distractions Maddox outlined:

      1. Miscellaneous “stuff,” that doesn’t have anything to do with the subject at hand. “My shoes don’t fit” and other immediate things that are grabbing your attention.
      2. Significant things in your world that deter you from listening.
      3. Terms or acronyms can derail you.  If you don’t know what it is, you’re not going to listen as well.
      4. Biases that we have toward the other individual.  These can be positive or negative, preconceived notions through which we filter what they’re saying.
      5. Thinking about our goal and agenda during a conversation.   
      6. Thinking about what you’re going to say next during a conversation.
  • So, if you are able to get these distractions out of your own head, what do you fill in with, since your brain is still wanting to be occupied?

    It’s simple:  Think about what the other person’s 6 distractions are.  When you figure that out while you are really listening, then you’ll know what is important to that person and how you can build a connection and trust by empathizing with their thoughts, needs and distractions. 

    For more information on Maddox and his ideas, go to https://ericmaddox.com/.

    The next Accelerent/Benefit Commerce Group Breakfast Event will be Friday, April 17th.

    • Hank Haney
    • American professional golf instructor best known for coaching Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara, and host of The Haney Project, the Golf Channels #1 show.

    NOTE:  These Accelerent/Benefit Commerce Group events are held on an invitation-only basis.

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