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Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication Paperback – June 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"While all of us want to be good listeners, in Are You Really Listening?, Drs. Donoghue and Siegel offer a valuable road map to the art of listening. The authors remind us with all-too-recognizable examples of the ways that we don't listen. They have created a simple step-by-step guide on how to be better listeners. I found Are you Really Listening? refreshing, eye-opening, and immensely helpful for my daily life. I trust that you will too." --Joan Lunden, Author and former television co-host of Good Morning America

"This is one 'self-help' book that delivers on its promise. It is a concise, insightful, and instructive tool. It is the sort of book that you want to give to everyone you know." --Hope Renn, CNM, MSN and Cheri Van Hoover, CNM, MS, Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health

About the Author

Paul J Donoghue and Mary E Siegel are psychologists in private practice in Stamford, Connecticut. They are also consultants to corporations and organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sorin Books; 1st edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893732886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893732889
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Richard R. Mckeon on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Paul Donoghue and Mary Siegel have written a masterful book which in a very concrete and understandable way educates the reader in the fine art of communication. As a priest, this book is an invaluable resource, as it helps me to be sure that I am communicating clearly and also listening to what is being said to me. By indentifying the many ways that we can slip into old communication patterns, without being aware of it, the authors ensure that anyone reading this book will come away with a new understanding of how to be heard and to listen. It is a gift to anyone for whom clear communications is important in a professional capacity, and perhaps even more, it is a huge help for all personal relationships as well. By simply reading this very clear and concise book, so much pain and misunderstanding could be avoided. We will be using this book in our parish study groups, and have recommended that all the leadership in our parish read it to help make their efforts more effective and meaningful. I recommend this book as a superb tool to everyone, but especially for anyone who has ever had the experience of not being fully heard or understood.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Chris on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I felt I needed to develop better active listening skills. This book does teach that - but it spends the first 11 chapters describing why listening is important (and giving examples where listening was needed or helped). Why would you be reading a whole book on the topic unless you already believed listening was important.

Start at chapter 12, where this book then outlines the basic steps to Active Listening in the remaining 4 chapters:
- Listen
- Paraphrase what you have (this demonstrates you are understanding it to the other person)
- Don't react at first - just make sure you're understanding

They dedicate a great deal after chapter 12 to discussing why listening is important as well - so really the first 11 chapters are unnecessary. If I could I would give the first 11 chapters a 1-star review because a lot of what they say is obvious, and the chapters have no advice (other than "listen"). I would then give chapters 12-15 5 stars because they teaches the techniques of active listening very well.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. P. Balistreri on August 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyably readable, both practical and profound, this book hits all the right notes. As a clinical psychologist I found it so helpful, both in anchoring my approach to clients and in my being able to recommend it to them to help improve, often to rescue, their most important relationships.

In a compact presentation, with a wide array of engaging stories, the authors engender the necessary self-awareness of nonlistening behaviors, practiced with automatic ease even by those who see themselves as good listeners. This discussion lays the groundwork for the presentation of clear steps to skillful listening. In perhaps the greatest service, the authors suffuse this book with the essential spirit and meaning of listening--a vital human act of connecting with another person--for the sake of effectiveness, and for the sake of love.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Driscoll on August 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I work across the U.S., consulting with mathematics teachers and school administrators on how to improve the teaching of mathematics through attending to how students learn mathematics. Listening to students and, equally important, teachers listening to each other are essential in this endeavor. This book fills a long-standing, critical need in my work, by delineating a framework, highlighting the obstacles to "really listening," and providing guidance on how to listen more effectively.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By L. Tanguay on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book had some really good ideas and brought up some very good points, but the execution of the book was fairly poor. The example conversations we not convincing and were said in such a manner that I don't think would have helped the given situation. For example, the chapter on paraphrasing had the following solution to a child's opening statement:

Child: "Camp stinks this year. It's not like last year. The counselors don't care. Some of the kids are really mean."

Father: "You sound disappointed that camp is different this year and not as nice as last year, as if you were hoping that you would be as close to the counselors as you were to Brianna last summer? And it sounds like as if you felt hurt by some of the kids?"

Perhaps this conversation is an exaggeration to get the point across, but if I were a kid and I heard this, I think I would have been put off by this. Paraphrasing is defintiely a good idea, but the way the authors presented it was poor.

As for the general content of the book, it was mostly about what *not* to do. Basically, the idea of what exactly you *should* do was left open-ended. Example conversations reflected this, most of them were things you shouldn't say, not what you should. This isn't particularly useful for someone who learns by example, but I do have to admit that I have a much clearer idea of how to be a better listener.

Minus half a star - Poor conversations
Minus star and a half - Focused too much on what one shouldn't do.

Otherwise it was fabulous!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By George on August 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I feel like I've been waiting forever to find a book that would neatly describe how to listen better. There are so many "self-help" books out there, but nearly all of them are ineffectual. Are You Really Listening, however, is extremely useful. I have found it so helpful in my life, because the authors wrote it using an honest and clear voice that is shared between them.

Moreover, I found the brief case illustrations to illuminate wonderfully the messages and lessons that these two experts prescribe.

Buy this book.
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