Cover art for podcast Deep Listening - Impact beyond words - Oscar Trimboli

Deep Listening - Impact beyond words - Oscar Trimboli

139 EpisodesProduced by Oscar TrimboliWebsite

The world is a noisy place where you fight to be heard every day. Despite the fact that we have been taught at home and at school how to speak, none of us has had any training in how to listen. Multiple academic studies have shown that between 50% and 55% of your working day is spent listening, yet … read more


How to listen like a High Court Judge with Justice Michael Kirby

The Honourable Michael Kirby is an international jurist, educator and former judge on the High Court of Australia. He has undertaken many international activities for the United Nations, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. His recent international activities have included chairing the UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea). He is an Honorary Professor at 12 Australian and overseas universities and has been awarded prizes such as the Australian Human Rights Medal.

Very few people have formal training in listening, despite its importance. Michael Kirby is no exception, speaking with Oscar for the podcast is the very first time he has ever discussed the role of listening in his work as a judge on the High Court of Australia.

Michael Kirby begins by speaking about the value of his early family conversations and the gifts of communication that. he gained at that young age. His mother specifically modeled good listening skills. His father read to him often, he remembers specifically Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with moral lessons such as not being greedy or too big for your boots. Michael Kirby inherited his father’s storytelling voice from eagerly listening to him.

Success in student politics at university was due in part to Michael Kirby’s ability to listen to others’ concerns and desires and to act on them. He gained their respect and support by listening intently in order to respond. He posits that perhaps politics is left wanting because people are not listening.

Michael Kirby devised a form of note taking in tree diagrams, with the major and minor points displayed hierarchically. In this way, the whole picture can be gleaned from a glance, and the context isn’t overlooked. He makes clear that context is crucial for meaning. A day in the courts for a judge requires sustained attention to detail. Concentration is key for the whole day, listening and processing the case.

Tune in to Learn
  • Why to start your day early, before distractions begin
  • Why being 'present' isn't enough to listen well
  • How to focus the mind to listen for long periods of time
  • How to make decisions after listening
  • About Michael Kirby's work with the United Nations and North Korean refugees

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