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Listen Up: How to Improve Relationships, Reduce Stress, and Be More Productive by Using the Power of Listening Hardcover – October, 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Research has consistently demonstrated that ineffective listening habits present the most common barriers to success in relationships," according to authors Larry Barker, Ph.D. and Kittie Watson, Ph.D. Yet most people consider listening a passive act, even a no-brainer at times, unaware that the ability to effectively listen--not just hear--is one of our most crucial skills. In fact, many readers will be surprised to learn that it is the listener, not the talker, who holds the most power and control in a conversation.

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


"Listen Up is an outstanding book. It's well researched, practical, and effective. Read this book and get more out of every relationship." -- David J. Lieberman, Ph.D., author of Never Be Lied to Again

"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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312242654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312242657
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Listen Up does a wonderful job in helping us to determine what our own listener preferences -- people, action, content or time -- are. . . and more importantly, it helps us to determine the preferences of others. If I can speak to you in the way in which you want to listen, it's much more likely that our communication will be mutually satisfying. I've improved one business relationship 100% by realizing that my colleague is time-oriented (and I used to speak with her in a very people-oriented way . . . this was completely ineffective and made both of us frustrated beyond belief). Effective listening can change your life.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, overall, is an easy to read guide on listening. Its primary focus seems to be on convincing the reader why they need to listen better (and they succeed). However, when it comes to strategies on how to improve listening skills, they do not always come through. There are definitely useful nuggets of wisdom in this book, but not as many as would seem appropriate. A good complementary book is "Listening, the forgotten skill" by Burley-Allen.
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Format: Hardcover
As an executive coach, I get paid to listen. If I don't listen well, payment doesn't continue. That's why I was surprised to discover that I had (and still have) more to learn about listening well. Listen Up showed me that I'm predominantly a "people-oriented" listener when I coach and a "content-oriented" listener when I'm seeking to learn. It turns out that both styles have strengths AND weaknesses. Because my clients are so diverse, following the advice of Barker and Watson to increase the awareness and range of my listen styles has paid off. Not only are my clients more appreciative of how much more deeply I listen to them, it's also spilled over to create deeper connections with family and friends. If you care at all about building stronger relationships at work or at home, reading this book is a great step to take.
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