The Subtle Art and Silent Skill of Listening Without Judgment

Explore the bias battle we have to overcome in order to be present.

Tom Barrett
5 min readOct 5, 2021


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Image by nini kvaratskhelia

No one will take a risk if they feel like they will be kicked in the teeth for landing on their face when trying something new.

Curiosity Coach

One of the highlights of running my own business has been to work in Shanghai with Dr Neil Hopkin.

A few years ago, I established a partnership with the British International School in Shanghai (BISS), supported their emerging STEM and Design Thinking curriculum programmes, and facilitated strategy development with the leadership team.

Neil was the Principal, and I learned first hand about the model of coaching he and his team were establishing. In the article below, he explains the drivers for the model and the mechanics of making it happen.

Neil values curiosity and embodies it too. This was a critical starting point for the BISS coaching model, to encourage teachers to be curious about their practice, and in some cases, re-discover that curiosity.

“We’re looking for people to make that international statement of learning: aahh,” Hopkin said. If coaching can help stimulate curiosity in teachers to continue improving and trying new things, then it has done its job in his mind.

There is not much published about the coaching models designed by Dr Neil Hopkin, so I was delighted to discover this article. Some good challenges to consider.

Practised Non-Judgementalism

Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply ~ Stephen Covey



Tom Barrett

Re-discover the curiosity you had when you were 6. Learning, Leadership, Innovation. Join Medium to support my writing << Affiliate link