In their opening chapters, Barker and Watson outline all the payoffs for improving listening skills, such as reducing stress in households, creating marital intimacy, shortening business meeting times, increasing sales (not surprisingly, the most successful sales representatives are effective listeners), and improving business performance. They then help readers identify their listening style and bad listening habits before teaching skills that will help readers gain more control when communicating and become more successful partners, learners, and employees. They even devote a chapter to the fascinating differences between how women and men listen. Some of the exercises may seem tedious, and the authors occasionally lapse into self-help jargon. But overall, the authors remain conversational and anecdotal (using make-believe people and situations to illustrate common problems), which makes it easier for readers to listen to all this sound advice. --Gail Hudson
"A must-read for any negotiator or project manager. I particularly appreciated the chapter on one's inner voice and how it can get in the way of quality listening." -- Clive Hammant, Director, Licensing and Development, Pfizer, Inc.
"Larry Barker and Kittie Watson have been listening. Based on more than twenty years of research, they have identified where the real power in communication resides. Leaders, post a new sign on the door: Listener In Charge!" -- Joel Marks, Executive Vice President, corVISION Media
"Over half of our waking hours are spent in some form of communication-and about half of that time is spent listening. We've all had years of training in reading, writing, and speaking but few have had more than a week in listening. This book helps fill that gap, giving scores of practical applications. It beautifully teaches the how and what and why of listening." -- Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
"Reading Listen Up is like having your own listening consultants whispering in your ear. Any reader who wants to increase his or her effectiveness at home, at work, or socially should read this book. It helped me understand much more about how I listen - and how to help others listen to me." -- Charles Roberts, President, International Listening Association, and Chair/Professor, Department of Communication, East Tennessee State University