How Listening Well Builds Stronger Communication and Deeper Connections
No relationship is perfectbut it can be better. The secret to stronger relationships isn't to become more charming or funny or to solve the world's problems or to just try harder. All you have to do is listen. It's that simple.
Yet our noisy culture hasn't equipped us to do this. With warmth and a touch of humor, personal coach and expert communicator Becky Harling shares simple, practical listening tools that will help you become a person others are drawn to and want to spend time with, as well as how to:
· be fully present
· offer understanding instead of advice
· ask great questions
· create a sense of safety and trust
· manage your body language
· and more!
When you learn to listen well, your marriage will grow stronger, your parenting will flourish, your friendships will thrive, and your influence at work will increase. You will be amazed at how one simple act can transform the hearts of othersas well as your own.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Becky Harling (www.beckyharling.com) is a certified speaker, leadership coach, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team. She is also the founder of Moms Unleashed and the author of The 30-Day Praise Challenge. Becky and her husband, Steve, make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Table of Contents
1 I Dare You to Ask! 13
2 Raise Your Self-Awareness 26
3 Honor Another's Story 41
4 Silence Your Inner Fixer 55
5 Ask Great Questions 71
6 Offer Empathy, Validate Feelings 89
7 Watch Your Nonverbals-They're Speaking Loudly 105
8 Seek to Understand During Conflict 120
9 Let Go of Distractions 137
10 Be Available 153
About the Author 174
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What is the secret to an especially good relationship with anyone? According to Becky Harling in her recently released book, How to Listen so People Will Talk, it is to listen well. She says it really is just that simple. How to Listen so People Will Talk is a short book with a lot of good information in it. Harling shares stories from her life and from the Bible to help Christians better understand how to listen and communicate with friends and family--and anyone else they come in contact with. Each chapter shares good solid information on building your listening skills. Then at the end of each chapter is a set of exercises to help you apply that information to your own life called Exercises to Strengthen Your Listening Ear. The exercises are broken down into smaller bite-sized chunks called Listening to God, Listening to Your Heart and Listening to Others. I found How to Listen so People Will Talk to be quite helpful in building relationship communication skills. I would encourage everyone and anyone to read this book--and to do the exercises. I think reading the book slowly and doing the exercises are the key to building up a better listening skill set. This is a book that I will keep in my library to refer to again. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
In this world, we need to learn to listen to people more than we talk. The importance of this is so that not only do relationships flourish, but also that others feel heard and in some way are validated. Becky Harling does a phenomenal job with her book How to Listen so People will Talk. In her thirty some odd years as a certified speaker and coach, she has learned how to draw people out so they feel comfortable enough to talk. It seems in our daily lives we impact others in how we relate. Do we do it in the fashion of having an empathic ear? We can either draw people close with the love of God, or we can push them away with how we communicate. And yet communicating isn't simply talking a great deal. "The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding" (Proverbs 17:27, Holman Christian Standard). When I received this book from Bethany House for my honest feedback, I didn’t know what to think of Becky Harling’s book. Yet, she has a depth of understanding and shows how we can get ourselves to be more like Jesus, not only in how we listen but how we use our exchanges and body language to one another. She uses the Bible in a way that shows and proves that listening well is far better than talking. “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19, New American Standard). Becky gives a ton of examples of how we can put into practice God’s word so we can listen better to those who are in our lives as well as be better in God’s kingdom in helping our spiritual brothers and sisters.
This book contained good pointers and ideas for how to listen so people will be more willing to talk to you. It was clear and concise (not too long of a read either!–I just got behind this time ). I liked how much Becky used scripture in this book. She pretty much used scripture to support her every point which is the way I think it should be. Chapter five, on asking good questions was probably my favorite chapter because it gave good, constructive ideas throughout. Loved that she used Jesus as the prime foundation and example for our conversations. 1 Peter 2:21 English Standard Version (ESV) 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. I thought the point she made about gossip was good. I liked how she said that identifying with someone’s feeling on a subject (or validating them) is good (I wouldn’t agree it’s good all the time however.) but not sinful actions. We should not support sinful feelings or actions. If we need to rebuke sinful feelings I believe that we should back it up with scripture. I disagreed very heartily when she said that the feeling of anger isn’t sin. There IS such a thing as righteous anger—but it is VERY seldom that a person’s feeling of anger is actually righteous. And the reason I don’t believe the feeling of anger isn’t a sin is mainly because of this verse… ““You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” ~Matthew 5:21-22 , bolding added. Another thing I disliked was how she came from a much more feelings oriented and psychiatrist perspective. Those two things caused me to drop a star because I felt that they were important enough to drop my rating. Note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions here expressed are my own.
Most of this is common sense, we just usually make the choice to check our email while our best friend is on the phone crying her eyes out about something her husband said to her. But to make the choice to fully hear her- Harling has some great- and practical- tips and advice to help listen to her. Not tell her how to handle that husband of hers, but truly, genuinely listen. Your friend probably just wants to vent about it and will then feel better about it, not have your advice, so sit back and pay attention. Harling brings some wonderful Scripture into play: Proverbs 4:1 " Pay attention and gain understanding."; James 1:9 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak." There are several more used, but God is telling us to close our mouths and open our ears. Get advice on handling conflicts, encouraging your children, listening to someone who is depressed, and learn how and why we need to validate others. And let's not forget what our face is saying, does it match what I am feeling, saying or doing? Plus, learn the 5 B's of availability. In a time when so many people seem to be so self involved, this is a great way to learn how to be a better friend.
I received a copy of HOW TO LISTEN SO PEOPLE WILL TALK: BUILD STRONGER COMMUNICATION AND DEEPER CONNECTIONS by Becky Harling from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. This is a bit of a self-help book. I was excited to be offered the chance to review this because I need help with listening, and listening is important to my job – I’m a trainer. I do enjoy listening to people, but before reading this, I tended to interject with my own stories. I also tend to give unsolicited advice. I don’t think I do it because I believe I know best. I like to learn and I like to share what I learn. After reading this, I’m going to take away many of her tips, and I will be ruminating about what she was talking about in other areas. This is written by a Christian author, but it is not tailored just for Christians. I believe anyone could find relevant information and help within these pages. She does, however, reference the Bible quite frequently. The book is uplifting, insightful, and designed to encourage you to be your best, not to put you down. I read a lot of Christian self-help books, and this was the first one about listening.
One of the first things that caught my attention while reading How to Listen so People will Talk is the friendly, non-judgmental, conversational tone. It is as if a friend is sitting across the table and talking to you about issues they’re facing. Although I’m an introvert, I’m also a talker. Talkers often have so many things rolling around in their heads that they tend to interrupt or not offer their undivided attention while others are speaking to them. I, for one, could be a better listener, and could abstain from interjecting my opinions, experiences, or advice unless they’re warranted. I love how this book gives advice with information in the Bible as a foundation. Specifically the book of Proverbs. Listening is an important gift—for the one talking to you, as well as yourself. You can’t learn and grow if you don’t listen to what God, or others, are telling you. I also love how this book is organized. Each chapter is titled, has a related quote, and ends with an exercise section, prompting you to listen to God, listen to your heart, listen to others, and other goodies. If you want to improve your listening and communication skills, I’m almost certain this book will inspire, encourage, and coach you. I received a complimentary copy of How to Listen so People will Talk from Bethany House.
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] Those who know me are quite aware of the fact that I frequently lament how awkward my communications are and how silence and difficulty in having people communicate with me has long marked my own interactions with other people . Both my awkwardness and my awareness of it tend to lead me to read many books on communication . There are likely many such people, and this book seems to assume that there is a wide audience of people who wishes to communicate better, something that seems like a pretty fair guess as far as I am concerned. Many people are focused on talking so that people will listen, but this book offers the reverse advise, how to listen so that people will talk. Indeed, this is very necessary advice, as there are many of us--myself included--that are rather insistent on sharing our own stories but not a lot of people that really get enjoyment in listening to what others have to say in the midst of busy days or when we were are tired or impatient, which is often quite often. So, on a mere conceptual alone this book has a lot to offer to its readers. In terms of its organization and structure, this short book (it was just over 100 pages in my e-book version) is divided into ten chapters. These chapters deal with such matters as asking people how well we listen to them, raising our self-awareness of how we act in conversations, honoring the stories of others, silencing our inner fixer, asking great questions to draw the other person out, offering empathy and validating the feelings of others, making sure our nonverbal communication lines up with our verbal statements, seeking to understand during conflict, letting go of distractions so that we can be fully present during conversations, and being available for other people. Each of the chapters includes, at its end, a series of exercises designed to help readers listen to God, listen to ourselves, and listen to others. While nothing in this book would seem particularly earth-shattering in terms of insight, the practices discussed here certainly do cut against the grain of modern existence and require observation, consideration, and self-reflection to adopt. Although most of this book seems somewhat self-explanatory, there is a great deal of insight to be found in it. So long as someone is aware that they struggle with communication and longs to make it better, something can be done. It is pretty likely that this book, with its encouragement to be more self-aware but also more concerned with other people, will do good in helping its readers to become better and more patient listeners and the sort of people others will feel safe communicating with. There are so many people who feel burdened with stories that it would be good for there to be more people who are capable of easing that burden by being good listeners. Of course, if one wishes for a better world it is worthwhile to help the world in that regard by becoming a good listener. Someone who heeds the advice and suggestions and insight of this book will certainly be a far better listener, and that is a very good thing. This book is a useful book dealing with a common but often unrecognized problem between people.  See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/06/07/awkward-dinner-conversations/ https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/05/20/so-awkward-together/ https://edgeinduc