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Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

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Overview

One person talks; the other listens. It's so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 100,000 readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. ...
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The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

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Overview

One person talks; the other listens. It's so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 100,000 readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. Experienced therapist Mike Nichols provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques, and practical exercises for becoming a better listener-and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.

How communication breaks down/how hidden assumptions prejudice listening/how to defuse emotional reactivity/etc.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What is true listening and why, the author asks, has it become a near-rarity in modern life? Nichols (Family Healing) shows how to utilize this ``art by which we use empathy to reach the space across us'' to improve and repair relationships with spouses, lovers, relatives, children, friends and colleagues, and even how to boost one's own ``listenability.'' He also explains what listening isn't, explaining why people don't listen and listing obstacles to listening (especially defensiveness owing to emotional overreaction). Humor, true-life examples and simple exercises make this a practical and even entertaining self-help guide, although Nichols can be a bit long-winded and preachy. (Mar.)
Booknews
Nichols (psychology, College of William and Mary) provides a thoughtful guide to the art of listening, addressing the reasons why we so often fail to listen attentively to others, as well as providing strategies for getting oneself heard. Clear examples demonstrate techniques for better communication in both personal and professional relationships. Lacks an index and a bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"This book is worthy of reading and rereading, if only to remind yourself of its simple message to stop what you're doing and listen to the important people in your life. It has spoken to me at different times, helping me to improve relationships with my spouse, child, and friends."--Doug O., Walnut Creek, California
 

"Lily Tomlin once advised that we 'listen with an intensity that most people save for talking.' The Lost Art of Listening tells us how. This is a very special book that distills years of clinical wisdom into practical advice about improving our most important relationships and, ultimately, who we are. Through the lens of the importance to us all of being heard, Dr. Nichols tells us how genuine listening can prevent broken connections and dried up relationships. Following his own advice, he presents clear, familiar, and relevant examples of real-life family problems and frustrations, in a way that leaves us open to accepting and using his messages. He stresses the need to avoid letting anger, anxiety, and fear of being hurt impede our ability to listen, and tells stories that show us how to manage everything from criticism to reticence and intrusiveness. Simultaneously, he provides clues for improving self esteem and decreasing emotional reactivity. This is more than a good book; it is a vital manual for any of us who would either like to feel good about our relationships or avoid dying before the end of our lives."--Carol M. Anderson, MSW, PhD, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
"A beautifully written, articulate guide to listening, this book is an antidote to the sense of diminishment experienced by so many as our culture short-circuits our need for interchange with others. Using personal stories from his life and the lives of patients, Dr. Nichols offers clarification of the listening process between friends, with family, in work situations, and in intimate relationships. The Lost Art of Listening is a pleasure to read and a valuable tool for therapists."--Marion F. Solomon, PhD, author of Narcissism and Intimacy

"Dr. Nichols writes as if he is speaking directly to us--and he speaks in a way that makes us not only able, but eager, to listen. What happens between him and his readers embodies key elements of what he wants us to learn about listening. Along the way, we learn about much more."--Thelma Jean Goodrich, PhD, Family Institute of Westchester

"I use this book in teaching first-semester graduate students counseling micro-skills. The students endorse it as the best of the texts I use. The Lost Art of Listening uses pragmatic examples from real life to illustrate active listening. This approach makes the material come alive for students who are just learning active listening, and is a great refresher for those who are already familiar with it. In addition, I often recommend the book to couples I see in my private practice."--Iverson M. Eicken, PhD, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton

Contemporary Psychology

"Powerful and informative."--Contemporary Psychology
counsellingresource.com

"I think readers from every walk of life--lay readers and mental health professionals alike--will find something to like here, something that really will turn on a lightbulb or two, something that can help us all get along a bit better and listen a bit more artfully."--counsellingresource.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572301313
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/3/1996
  • Series: Family Therapy Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 251
  • Sales rank: 682,476
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael P. Nichols, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, is the author of Stop Arguing with Your Kids, among numerous other books. He is a well-known therapist and a popular speaker.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Did You Hear What I Said?: Why Listening is So Important 9
Ch. 2 Thanks for Listening: How Listening Shapes Us and Connects Us to Each Other 23
Ch. 3 Why Don't People Listen?: How Communication Breaks Down 37
Ch. 4 When Is It My Turn?: The Heart of Listening: The Struggle to Suspend Our Own Needs 61
Ch. 5 You Hear Only What You Want to Hear: How Hidden Assumptions Prejudice Listening 75
Ch. 6 Why Do You Always Overreact?!: How Emotionality Makes Us Defensive 88
Ch. 7 Take Your Time - I'm Listening: How To Let Go of Your Own Needs and Listen 109
Ch. 8 I Never Knew You Felt That Way: Empathy Begins with Openness 125
Ch. 9 I Can See This Is Really Upsetting You: How to Defuse Emotional Reactivity 147
Ch. 10 We Never Seem to Talk Anymore: Listening Between Intimate Partners 175
Ch. 11 Nobody Around Here Ever Listens to Me!: How to Listen and Be Heard Within the Family 196
Ch. 12 I Knew You'd Understand: Being Able to Hear Friends and Colleagues 224
Epilogue 246
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Customer Reviews

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