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The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction Paperback – February 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608268
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Shafir, chief of speech pathology at Massachusetts's Lahey Clinic with over 25 years of clinical experience helping patients learn to speak, has written a real "heads-up" book for this age of soundbytes, multitasking, and hidden agendas. Communication is an interactive process dependent on both speaking and listening. Too often, the listening part is given short shrift, and we are left wondering why we feel "empty." Defining listening as "the willingness to see a situation through the eyes of the speaker," Shafir goes beyond the mechanics of good listening behavior to an approach requiring relaxation, focus, and a desire to learn from the speakers' perspective. In a friendly and informal tone, she discusses specific exercises, activities, and strategies to improve awareness, provides illustrations, and gives examples from her clinical experiences. While the book has relevance to anyone who spends time talking with others, counselors and those in the helping professions will find its solid and practical advice especially useful.DDenise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll., Greensburg, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

...Don't just "read" this remarkable book, use it as a guide and practice its teachings in your everyday life. -- Jane McLaughlin-Dobisz, Zen Master and editor of The Whole World is a

Shafir takes us to the heart of relationships and shows us the power of authentic listening-not only to others, but to our own inner self. -- Robert Gerzon, psychotherapist and author of Finding Serenity

The Zen of Listening awakens us to the potential for intimacy, compassion, and growth inherent in all of our most important relationships. -- Douglas Stone, co-author of the best-selling Difficult --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is a thoughtful and insightful book clearly written by an expert.
David W. McIlhenny
There was some useful stuff in here but I could have condensed it by about 80%.
P. F. Molloy
This book will help anyone who seeks to improve his/her listening skills.
Andy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Fred on January 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book because I wanted to be a better listener, I am not a practicer of Zen, nor do I meditate. The book was very enjoyable, and it did a great job of teaching bigger picture items with regards to leading a life in which you focus on listening and also teaching simple mechanics of how to be a better listener. Unlike many of the modern blended self-help / spirituality books that are available, the author does a very good job of making crisply clear points and avoiding repetition.
The chapters focus on several clear areas, such as listening to yourself as you speak, focusing on listening to others, listening in difficult situations, speaking in a way which encourages listening and methods to increase the out put of your listening through better memory. I found the chapters that dealt with techniques on how to focus better on what others are saying to be very benneficial. The chapter on how to speak in a way to encourage listening was very helpful. There might be better individual books on all of those subjects, however, it is difficult to imagine an author doing a better job of blending the topics together and presenting them in such a well written manner. Her style is very clear, to the point that the words are as insightful as the message that she is telling us, almost as if she is sitting nearby as you read, calmly explaining the book to you.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David W. McIlhenny on November 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a thoughtful and insightful book clearly written by an expert. Ever since I read it, I have been listening ten times better and not having to work at it. You get the feeling Ms. Shafir practices what she preaches, always a nice vibration to get from an author. And she's good explainer -- I found the concepts of "mindful listening" and getting into the "movie" of the person you're listening to neatly built a bridge from abstract concept to useful idea. The author not only shows us the "what" but also the all-important "why" -- the story on page 41 of the woman who regains her hearing after years of deafness tells it better than any preaching could. While the title of the book is somewhat esoteric, I clearly saw the relationship between Zen and listening. When you come right down to it, they both work best if you can "just let it happen." Which is harder to do than it sounds -- that's why we need this book.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Andy on October 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book! It investigates important aspects of communication seemingly neglected today, utilizing different yet practical approaches to improve one's ability to listen. Rebecca Shafir appies her experiences with the hearing impaired to promote better listening by all. She seeks to differentiate between listening and truly hearing what is being said. In an age where the extorvert is valued and constant dialogue is promoted, Ms. Shafir explores a different approach, guiding the reader into a paradigm shift when examining attitudes and approaches toward overall communication. This is a must read for people who are considering a career in communications or related fields. This book will help anyone who seeks to improve his/her listening skills.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bob Burg on May 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a great read, including lots of highlighting and note taking. Listening is a very important skill, yet it seems to be very undervalued by the general public. The author makes us aware of just how important listening is in every aspect of our lives; from school to business to relationships with those we love.
Two of the author's most important concepts were "Mindful listening" and "Getting into the other person's movie." Both of these were a constant theme throughout the book and, if people (myself included) learn these alone, they will become much, much more effective communicators.
The author's writing style made me feel as though we were having a personal consultation. Her sincerity comes through very clearly, and I believe having this book in your library will serve as a very valuable resource both for you and for your children, as they can also have access to some very important life skills.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Barbara B. Nixon on March 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of meeting Becky Shafir (and her delightful father Paul) at the International Listening Association Convention in March 2001, where she discussed her book _The Zen of Listening_. What her book teaches us is to "do what you're doing" -- not be thinking 10 steps ahead -- because if you're doing that, you're NOT listening. Be present in the moment and you can't help but become a more effective listener. . . not to mention person in general!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "jombie" on July 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book totally transformed the way I listen! Using the techniques from this book: - I no longer have to focus on how I am going to respond. - I acually hear what the person is saying. - I don't experience stress about communicating. People comment that I communicate more effectively now, and all I've changed is how I listen. The book I felt dragged a little in the beginning, but if you just hang in there, you will be well rewarded!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a senior at Loyola Marymount University and read The Zen of Listening for a paper in my Interpersonal Communication class. I spent most of my high school years volunteering for Teenline and the National Suicide Hotline, so I consider myself well educated in the realm of listening. The work I did with Teenline motivated me to read this book - I was interested in what the author had to say that could boost my listening skills or provide insight into why my listening may not be as good as it should be. (And I indeed found "answers" to both of these in The Zen of Listening).

I was also drawn to this book because the title implied the relationship between listening and Eastern philosophical thought instead of Christian-based theological listening, which most other books on the topic of listening seem to relate to.

The test in Chapter Two, designed to determine your strengths and weaknesses in listening, is extremely helpful and ensures that you pay closer attention to any chapters that elaborate on your listening problems.
The technical bits in the book explain the science of the ears and the mathematical equations of retention rates, but I did not find them useful or interesting. The rest of the book, however, was riveting.

It's a rather simple read and I found that I was immediately applying many of her simple tips for listening to my everyday habits--including how to better read and remember her book. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to know more about listening and communication; or who may be having work or relationship problems - many times it seems that listening is the issue at hand.
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