Communication: The Deep Listening Solution

Deep Listening“We don’t communicate” is the most common concern that couples bring to me. The truth is: You cannot not communicate. Everything we do or don’t do communicates something. What they mean, of course, is, “We don’t communicate well, positively or effectively.” Too often people are taught only surface communication skills (ie., “I” statements) that don’t ever seem to actually work nor do they get to the CORE of the issue. This communication training by-passes the typical cliched communication skills by focusing on THE communication skill that is rarely taught: Deep listening.

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See what past participants have to say about this workshop…

DATE: TBAThis training will cover the following:

  • Men and Women’s Communication Differences as Unique Cultures to Be Honored
  • The Deep Listening Validation Chain
  • The Science of Crappy Communication: How to Use Your and Your Partner’s Neurobiology to Get Past the Roadblocks of Communication
  • Turning Off the Amygdala: How to Take Your Partner to Safety
  • The Trust Equation
  • The Intimacy Equation
  • The “Our Way” Plan
  • Topics covered subject to change based on time and audience needs.


Schedule this seminar for your event: 801.787.8014 or

“Thank you so much for your time and effort on our behalf. Your message was both informative and inspirational. Many took notes, made comments and were grateful for the practical application of truth. We appreciate the years you have taken to acquire your knowledge and your generosity in sharing it. Please know of our sincere gratitude.”

—The Stonewood Third Ward

Evaluation Results

I don’t filter my evaluation results I give them here as straight as I get them. I figure if you’re making the important decision to select the right speaker for your group is it better to just get filtered positive only testimonials about a potential speaker or to know how people respond to the speaker including both those who loved it and didn’t? So if someone thought I stunk you’ll hear it here first. Obviously, I don’t try to make everyone happy. Part of my utility is to get people out of their comfort zones. If the majority love an approach I use in a seminar I’ll continue those items that resonate with most. If the majority hate an approach I’ll drop it. If one or two people don’t like what the majority love, then I don’t give much heed to those critiques, of course. However, I appreciate all feedback, which is one of the reasons my evaluation results are consistently high: My audiences teach me what they like and what works best for them and I listen.

My evaluation form contains the following items:

  • 1-10 Rating: “Please rate your overall experience of this presentation”
Horrid/Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good/Excellent
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • The Good: “What was brilliant, superb, exhilarating, life-altering, or opened the heavens for you? In short, what did you like about the presentation?
  • One Thing: “What’s one thing that you plan on using and/or implementing into your life from this presentation?” This tells me out of everything what was the one thing that had the most meaningful impact.
  • The Bad: “What stunk, turned your stomach, gave you a headache, made  you dizzy, or gave you gas? In short, what didn’t you like that could be improved and/or what would you like to see covered that wasn’t? (Go ahead, I can take it!)”
  • Requested eZine: This is actually also an evaluation measure: You’d think that someone who would give a lower rating didn’t like the presentation. However, while it may not have been the favorite for that person, they got enough out of it that they would like to receive emails containing articles, tips, strategies and events on these topics from me.


Event: Utah Home Education Association Conference
Date: 6.14.13
Attendance: 40-50 approx.
Number of Evals Returned: 18
Average Rating for this Event: 9.4/10

Rating The Good One Thing Different The Bad eZine?
10 Simple—We make it way too hard. Funny, because it’s so true! Listenging to my husband. Not getting defensive. Open. Loving. The thought that I have to be patient and actually listen! ;-) Y
10 I LOVE this strategy! My husband and I have been going to marriage counseling for several months and learned ‘I messages’, the ‘closet’, etc, but I didn’t feel able to share what I needed to with ‘I messages.’ It wasn’t until he seemed willing to listen while we were visiting friends (where there was less stress because of their presence) that I felt safer and listened to—just like you said. Try to take time to listen. All great! Y
10 The amygdala concept (neurobiology) of threat chemicals and how it over-rides reason and triggers emotion. I wantt to start practicing my listening skills. Nothing. Just wished we had more time! Wished you had more books/website stuff, etc—keep things coming! NOTE from Jonathan: TONS of stuff on this website already and books are coming! Y
10 I liked how the presentation got me thinking about what I could do better in listening to my spouse and loved ones. I plan on using The DEEP Listening Validation Chain. I wish we had more time to talk and ask questions. Y
10 Nothing bad Y
10 Safety/security Continue to work on my anger Y
10 Thank you! This will bless my life. Deep listening. Y
10 Time outs are not to punish but to clear out my ability to listening. Listening and checking understanding. Now I have to work on it. ;-) Y
10 Common sense approach. Great explanations of how the brain works and differences between men and women. Simple steps that I can actually use. Validation Chain. Wish I had more time to listen to your full presentation. Y
10 You kept our attention. You had ideas we could use today and every day. Validation Chain. Pay attention to my wife’s Relationship Radar. I want a weekend class! ‘What are the best ways to fix a marriage if you have no money for counseling and have to do it yourself?’ NOTE by Jonathan: There are many ways to afford counseling even when it seems like one can’t. See my FAQ on this. Y
10 The upbeat, easy to understand topics and personality of the presenter. The Validation Chain. Y
9 Loved the chain reaction explanation and insight. Love the apprecation focus. Examples were important to my udnerstanding. Only facing the reality of the mistakes I am making :-) Y
9 I felt like it was very helpful to our real lives. Realizing that my husband and children and I might communicate differently. Try to listen better. Too short! Very good presentation! Y
9 It helped me understand communication more. Listening instead of arguing. Y
9 You are easy to listen to, funny, interesting. Nothing bad. Suggestion: There is a perfect YouTube video that goes along with this topic. It’s called It’s Not About the Nail. It’s hilarious and might be a fun addition. Y
9 It’s nice to finally understand that I have been seeking safety and security even more than love and appreciation. I will learn why my husband repeats himself. Is it to process or because he doesn’t feel understood? I have trouble when people move around alot. It’s hard to focus. NOTE by Jonathan: Yeah, I tend to move around the room a lot and interact with the audience. I can’t stand behind a lecturn. Y
8 Accept my partner where he is. Good reminders on a simple, yet complex, topic. Praise my husband and strive to understand him so communication happens and we both feel safe and loved. Y
7 Love the stuff about how the brain works and causes emotional fight or flight response. Time-out and listenting in open manner with body. Need more about listening to kids, not hubby! NOTE by Jonathan: Well… this particular class was specifically titled ‘Marriage Communication: The DEEP Listening Solution.’ The good news is that the DEEP Listening approach works well in ALL relationships: spouse children parents co-workers friends. It’s all relationships.” Y

Event: Dimple Dell Ward
Date: 3.31.13
Attendance: 80 approx.
Number of Evals Returned: 25
Average Rating for this Event: 9.4/10

Rating The Good One Thing Different The Bad eZine?
10 Plain, understandable. Stopping what I’m doing, turning to the other person, eye to eye contact Wanted more, more, more! Y
10 He gave me a lot of advice and perspective on how to maintain and grow my relationship. All listening tactics I loved it. Only advice is touching on the different ways we can portray anger.
10 The importance of listening. Be a better listener. Y
10 I loved the emphasis on clarifying. Trying to listen the way Heavenly Father listens–PATIENTLY. Nothing was bad at all. But i don’t fight with words. If I fight it is often with silence. Anger is always noisy. (JS NOTE: Great point!). Y
10 Been to many events—this was the best! Clear, relatable, specific, excellent, detailed practical info. I’m going to LISTEN and agree to disagree. Absolutely nothing! Wish we’d had more time for you! Y
10 I really wish that I had known this many years ago. It has taken me 25 years to figure this out with my husband and kids. I need to work on it, but thank you for the reminder that I am on the path. Turning my body towards person I’m listening to. Y
10 Understanding the importance of a 10 second pause before taking your turn to speak. Stop, look and listen. Y
10 We love you and appreciate you very much in our lives. You did wonderful! Y
10 You made something that is normally so complex and difficult so very simple. Tie-ins (applications) to scriptures. Christ is the Master Listener. I am in charge of me. I can choose to listen deeply. Y
10 Everything. We really needed the steps you gave us. All of it. I am putting it on our bulletin board to remind us. Nothing. I wish there was lots more time. Y
10 It was real. Appreciation –> Love –> Safe/Secure. Y
10 Work on these skills Clarify, clarify, clarify. More time. Y
10 Lots of examples. Explained concepts very well. Inspired change for the better. Working on being a better listener. Nothing. Honest. It was great.
10 Great communication hints and techniques. Not enough time Y
9 We need to have him come again when he can speak for 2-3 hours! Y
9 This is exactly what I needed to hear. Y
9 You seem real. (JS NOTE: Thanks! I’m a real boy!” ;-)” I want to use it as a FHE with teenagers. Y
9 Improve my listening skills. Try not to fix.”" Y
9 The best one I’ve ever been to! Seriously amazing. Y
9 Learning the proper ways to really listen to and understand someone. Communicating better with my family is very important and this will help me learn to listen better. Practicing deep listening so that I can better communicate with my family. Nothing Y
9 It’s always good to hear someone verbalize the steops that you inately know yet have a hard time applying them in your life. I need to be a better listener like my wife. Y
9 The simplicity of it. Acceptance of our inabilities/insecurities. Being a better, more patient listener. The only bad thing was simply the time given for you to instruct was too short. Y
8 Nice style of presentation. Simple is not easy.”" Time crunch. Please come back! Y
8 Practical advice 3 Cs of Communication Y
7 The Validation Chain Listening and better communication by connecting and focusing. Y

Event: Sunset Heights 6th Ward Fireside
Date: 5.5.11
Attendance: Count not made. 30-40 approx.
Number of Evals Returned: 21
Average Rating for this Event: 9.3/10

Rating The Good
One Thing
The Bad
Requested eZine?
10 Your direct, humorous approach was refreshing! To listen more and fully. Not enough time. [Jonathan's note: That's a "complaint" I'm always glad to hear—that people want to hear more! :-)] Y
10 Lots of information that you can apply in real life. Validation Chain Wished we had more time. Y
10 Good information. I liked the Listen > Understanding > Appreciation > Love > Safety chain. Didn’t like the word “Shut up” part of “Shut up and listen.” N
10 I liked the “ah-ha!” self-awareness that sometimes my getting angry is really me trying to get listened to. Think more about the ways I can listen better. N/A Y
10 The simple explanation of the neuroscience behind your approach. The body language. Wish it was a little longer. Would like to hear even more abou the science. Fascinating. N
10 I really like “The Validation Chain” and the role that anger plays in the process. Turn towards, focus and listen Nothing Y
10 The discussion or the fact that men and women communicate as differently as one culture does from another. We can’t change that, but we can work with it in a way that is respectful and honors those differences. The listening pattern you taught. Excellent with the objective of taking one’s partner to safety. Y
9 Presented well. What you said makes a lot of sense. What you said causes self-analysis. Be quiet. Listen better. Think before speaking. The mic was muffled. You talked a bit fast. Y
9 Very good! Y
9 This is very helpful for me. THe part I like best is how to listen to the other person and how to “shut up” the noise in our heads  and quiet the reactions in our bodies that prevent us from listening Listening skill. Listen and try to understand vs. fix. Y
9 Clear and interesting. Listen/understand my daughter. Y
9 Y
9 Simple topics explained well. Very engaging topic. Very good skills to discuss. I thought examples were very relevant. Turn to my wife when she wants to talk. Turn off the TV and computer. Too short, not your fault, just due to time constraints. N
10 Thank you for your time. I enjoyed your humor—it made it easier to understand the difficult and complex topic of deep listening and true understanding. This information is very relevant to me and is small bit of advice with a big impact that I hope will help my husband and I communicate on a deeper level. Use the Validation Chain. I only wish there was more time. Y
9 Validation Chain Opportunity for dialogue practice with participants may  have enhanced the experience. Y
8 Thanks for coming! Y
8 Great principles presented in a logical, memorable way. Try to remember to send willing to listen signals earlier. More audience interaction. N
8 Validation Chain. Listening and understanding. Learn to listen like God. Validation Chain Y
10 We liked how the principles of communication presented were simple enough to understand and weren’t overwhelming—something we could really implement. The presentation was fun, engaging and humorous. Using the Validation Chain Y
10 I most liked the stories, examples and humor. I plan on paying more attention to what kind of listener I am.
8 Good principles were taught and useful. Practice the Validation Chain you taught us. The mic at times. Thanks!

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