The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships Paperback – February 16, 2009
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"Dr. Nichols writes as if he is speaking directly to us--and he speaks in a way that makes us not only able, but eager, to listen. What happens between him and his readers embodies key elements of what he wants us to learn about listening. Along the way, we learn about much more."--Thelma Jean Goodrich, PhD, Family Institute of Westchester"I use this book in teaching first-semester graduate students counseling micro-skills. The students endorse it as the best of the texts I use. The Lost Art of Listening uses pragmatic examples from real life to illustrate active listening. This approach makes the material come alive for students who are just learning active listening, and is a great refresher for those who are already familiar with it. In addition, I often recommend the book to couples I see in my private practice."--Iverson M. Eicken, PhD, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton
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But it deals with listening in general and can be applied in any situation in which listening is necessary. Which is about every situation imaginable.
A terrific choice for this topic.
After reading through the other reviews for this book, I am surprised by how many thought the examples were so clear. While I can concur to some degree, I thought the examples were sudden and unexpected. In one paragraph he would be talking about an important aspect in listening, and in the next you find yourself in the middle of an example with no direction or forewarning. However, once I re-oriented myself and read through the example, I found it to be helpful in applying the meaning of what Dr. Nichols was trying to get across to my life.
As a current student majoring in Communication, I have learned a thing or two about communication styles and the reasons why people react differently to certain words or phrases than others. One of these reasons is “trigger words,” which are words than incite a positive or negative reaction in someone. I have learned that one of my negative trigger words is that word people tend to call women which also happens to be another name for a female dog. I do not appreciate Dr. Nichols using this word so frequently, even for examples sake. It does not seem completely necessary to get the point across.
Despite these criticisms, there were a few points in his book I really appreciated him adding, for example, his few pages on the differences between how society thinks men are supposed to listen vs. how women are supposed to listen; men give advice, women sympathize, etc. He made sure to say how important it is to listen without these pre-supposed ideas in mind and he asked the right questions, and for that I want to say a big Thank You!
Overall, The Lost Art of Listening is an honest book that has helped me see how I listen, why I listen the way I do, and how I can improve the way I listen for future interactions.
Top international reviews
We are so bad at listening these days, and I've been trying for years to improve my listening skills through various methods (exercises online, noting things down, practicing my memory, doing The Listening Program 15 mins sessions every day, DIDMBT? (did I do my best today?), etc), and while I've improved through this, in the last few months this book has done more than all of the previous efforts I made. I've been struggling with paying proper attention and listening to what other people say without putting it through my distortion filter where instead of taking what is said at face value I will interpret badly what the person means.
This is well written and an easy read, and the observations provided in the book are very easy to relate to and to translate it into our own lives. You will find yourself wanting everyone around you to read this book as well in the hopes they too, will improve on some key points. My partner has noticed the clear progress in my listening and overall interactions, so this is a real positive in my life. For many people out there, picking up this book might just avoid you running to the local psychologist for help in some spheres of you life, as it will bring you much needed insight and a new perspective on your behavior and the relationships around you.
I love reading self-help type books, and this one is probably the one that provided me with the most help. I'm now going to purchase the audiobook version as well so I can quickly get a second reading in and get the material to sink in even more. Thank you Dr. Nichols!
I want to buy more copies for all my family and friends. Wish I had read this earlier in life.