To inspire global unity through improved communication and collaboration in the workplace.
To change the way the world listens, one person and team at a time.
We believe that listening is at the heart of discovering what you need to be at your best and at the heart of understanding what you need when you are at your worst.
Change disrupts our system.
It evokes emotions and we are each human and so it will impact us each in different ways. Knowing yourself well enough to be able to ask others for what you need is therefore vital to working, learning and living at your best both independently and collaboratively with others.
Honest, Helpful and Fun
It is important to us that we make the learning fun and that we create the conditions for helpful and honest conversations. The purpose for chatting is to be curious about similarties and differences and to discover the power of diverse pairs and groups.
The Founders Story
Step by Step Listening was founded by Sheryl in 2008, because she was determined to share the lessons she had learned that transformed how she made sense of her world. At first she really did think that all that was needed to improve relationships was better listening skills.
As a motivational speaker and coach she spent much of her time empowering others to take motivated action. But when it came to her own life she was blind to her own wisdom and guidance and therefore failed to take her own advice. She was saying one thing to her clients and doing another thing in her own life. She was making it easy for her clients to understand what support they needed and empowering them to have the confidence to ask, but was failing to do the same. She thought she had to keep the brave face. That she had to stay strong. That others depended on her to be at our best and that it could impact her business if she let anyone know how much she was struggling.
Her coping strategy was to do more of what she loved, which was her work. Work consumed her thoughts and her time. Work gave her a sense of purpose and a sense of achievement. She felt like she was making a difference. Whilst at home managing a teen through the transition stage from child to adult was less rewarding and more challenging. There were no visible rewards despite all the effort. Home and family relationships were strained and even when things were improving she failed to notice the small signs of progress. She found herself lacking the patience and tolerance she was able to display at work and was desperate to be that calm loving parent at home.
Eventually her relationship with her own teenage daughter broke down and her daughter had no other way to express her emotions other than self-harming and anger. After a rather calm conversation her daughter left home deciding that she would rather be homeless than live at home.
Sheryl was heartbroken and it felt like her world was falling apart. The more she failed at home the harder it became to feel successful at work.
She found herself repeating the patterns and behaviour she knew didn't work. To make matters worse she was observing herself and criticising herself more because she knew that her clients had followed her advice and been successful but it wasn't working for her.
By now Sheryl had created the 3 core programmes:
7 Day Make it happen motivator - 7 Steps to clarity and confidence to take motivated action
Do, Delegate or Ditch - Taking the drama out of decison making and planning
Motivate, Manage or Mentor - Changing the way you listen to, invite and receive feedback
But she had missed one thing out. Her clients had her and the Step by Step Listening community but she had no one she felt she could talk to. (Or so she thought) She felt shame that she could not do this for herself, by herself and worried her business would fall apart if she admitted her failings. Despite knowing how powerful it was for her clients to be heard without judgement she deprived herself of the same space and privilage.
Sheryl lost sight of her own needs. As she wept on the bedroom floor saying to her husband; "How come I can help all my clients make better decisions and have better relationships but I can't do that for our own daughter?" That is when he asked her what she would tell her clients to do. The truth is that she knew what to do; but she didn't hvae the support. She didn't have was someone like her that would listen and reflect back her words so that she could listen to herself.
She didn't have someone that would smile and reassure her that she was okay and that was all part of the process. She didn't have someone that made her feel less alone or someone that could see her strengths even when she lost sight of them.
Her husband was and always is supportive but he was not at the time someone that said very much. He saw a confident and capable wife and assumed she did not need words of reassurance and encouragement. He admired her patience and did not recognise the areas she deemed not to be working.
That day she reached out and asked her team, her husband and her mentor to take her through her own programmes.
That day she start
Step by step they took her through her own programme giving her the space and time to think; reflect and make good decisions.
It took nearly 3 years to rebuild the relationship with her daughter; they went from being able to spend 10 minutes to 10 days without arguing and step by step they learned to understand what they each needed to work, learn and live together. Now they are great friends and Sheryl says her daughter is one of her best mentors, teachers and coaches.
It takes courage to admit we need help and even more so if the thing we now need help with is the thing we usually help others with.
Worse still is when we know we need help but don't know what kind of help and so don't know where to start to get the help.
Work and home are our foundations for life and most of us can cope if one is not working but both at the same time can be the tipping point. Having a gret support network outside of both home and work can provide you with a life long stabiliser. A space you can show up in and talk about whatever it is you need to be the best version of you. It is not compartmentalised into work or home. Personal and business are not separate because it is about you and what you need to work, learn and live your best life.
Today Sheryl and her collaborative partners work with entrepeneurs who recognise the importance of collaboration and communication skills to manage and create change at home and in the workplace. They know that telling people what they want is not enough and they have to listen to bridge the gap between what they say and what others hear.
Change is uncomfortable and yet it is possible when you create the right peer support. A team and family that are resourced and supported through change will be more prodcutive and effective. Giving space and time for living life to the full.
Everyone matters and everyone has their part to play.
You matter and you are on purpose and you add value.
Are you listening for the difference you make?
Are you listening for the difference others make?
When you know how to listen for strengths and solutions amidst all the chaos and noise then you can connect in way that allows everyone to show up and do their best work and live their best life.
It is our aspiration you wil create peer support networks that encourage, educate and empower listening skills that transform the way we each create and manage change in our lives.