102: Listening x Creativity: Kati Mason, TV Producer


Why is it important to dive into this world of listening as it relates to creativity? I believe there are lots of reasons!

  1. Listening plugs you into life, into the here and now. Listening to the ambient sounds of the world around us (whether human, animal or machine), our senses become heightened and we can’t help but exist in the present moment. There is no other option.

  2. Listening is the ultimate rapport-builder. It’s the fastest way to strengthen any personal or professional relationship. When someone feels truly listened to they open up, connect and allow you into their world. I believe that deeply listening to others is the single most valuable action we can take to improve ourselves, our communities and, by extension, our world.

  3. Attentive listening changes the quality of the conversation. There is a difference between hearing someone and listening to someone. When we pair verbal cues (such as summarizing and paraphrasing what was said for clarification) with nonverbal cues (like leaning forward and nodding our head in agreement), we show the speaker we’re attentive and, ultimately, that we care.

  4. Active listening allows you to differentiate yourself in teams. When you become a better listener in a world that can’t stop talking, others will take notice. I can assure you that volume and quantity of speaking is not causally related with the quality of ideas generated. Focus on listening in a team environment and I guarantee that you will pick up on things that others miss, which may just be the key to solving whatever problem your team has set out to fix.

  5. Listening helps us better communicate > grow > innovate. When we take in new information through listening to others, we ourselves, become better communicators. We learn to pick up on the specific nuanced emotions that lie under someone’s words. This helps us communicate better with others, ultimately helping us grow, which can enable new insights and spark innovation.

  6. It’s a skill we use every day but rarely focus on improving. There are a lot of self-help books and books about communication in the world (goodness knows that I probably own half of them!), but I see an unbalanced offering; the scales tipped in favour of improving our outputs, versus how to improve our inputs. After all, listening is half of the equation and some would argue that it’s actually 2/3 of the equation… after all, we have one mouth in two ears.

  7. Attention is the currency of the future. Time is the most valuable thing we have in our lives. We are inundated with mountains of text based, video-based and audio-based information on a daily basis. We pay for services like social media through our time and attention. (Their monetization structure works only if people’s eyeballs are locked on their screens.) Giving someone your full attention and listening to what they have to say is one of the most valuable gifts you can give.

  8. There are an overwhelming number of upsides to improving our listening skills (and very, very few downsides). Even if there wasn’t this laundry list of reasons why listening matters, we have very little to lose by improving your listening skills and a whole lot to potentially gain.


In today’s episode you’ll hear from Kati Mason, who is the senior producer of CBC Morning Live, the morning show on CBC News Network. She’s been in that role for three years - and lead the team through multiple “historic” events such as a pandemic, three federal elections, the death of a monarch, two Olympic Games and a war.


Kati’s been waking up dark and early for the morning show for 8 years, but has also had the opportunity to work with the online/social teams, the breaking news desk and the National.


She’s also a very important friend to me. We were attached at the hip throughout middle school and she was the maid of honour at my wedding. But Kati’s also a fierce news maven whose work as senior producer on CBC Morning Live has led to award nominations two years in a row.


Who is Kati Mason in a nutshell?





Listening Invitation:


Friends are the best, aren’t they? Here’s today’s invitation to practice your listening skills (and in this case, also connect with an old friend!).


Call a friend who you haven’t talked to in a while to ask: “What are your top 3 highlights since we last talked?” Listen way more than you talk. Ask follow up questions. Keep the conversation focused on them.


This is one of my favourite conversation starters if I haven’t talked to someone in a while. It helps me get a good understanding of positive or exciting things happening in their life right now and it usually helps us pick back up right from where we left off, however long it’s been. While I know that life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, by starting a conversation on this note, it brings a great energy. You can get into the heavier stuff later in the conversation.


So, what are you waiting for? Go call a friend. Use your texting machine. Like it’s the year 1999.



About Our Guest:


Kati Mason is the senior producer of CBC Morning Live, the morning show on CBC News Network. She’s been in that role for three years - and lead the team through multiple “historic” events such as a pandemic, three federal elections, the death of a monarch, two Olympic Games and a war.


Kati’s been waking up dark and early for the morning show for 8 years, but has also had the opportunity to work with the online/social teams, the breaking news desk and the National.


Kati is a limited sports fan (Jays only), dedicated viewer to all things related to the MCU and usually aces the Classics category in Jeopardy.




Music (public domain viaFree Music Archive): Chad Crouch - Drawing Mazes


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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