My copy: 9781593859862 (image from amazon.com)
I think this is a book everybody needs to read and keep in mind, because the more I got into it, the more I realized we’re NOT very good listeners for the most part. At least, I know I certainly am not, and neither are a lot of the people around me.
The Lost Art of Listening has a lot of heart, humor, and real-life examples of communication gone awry. Dr. Nichols breaks down the process of communication, the basics of speaking, listening, and response. There are tons of hidden meanings in how we communicate (and yes, I believe more than ever that body language is important). It’s incredibly important in listening because there’s something that’s generally not noted: people know when you’re not really listening to them…and some may keep talking anyway in the hopes that it changes.
I thought it was a great book to have. I was unaware how much trouble some aspects of communication could be between people, and why people don’t listen as much as they think they do. If you wonder why you have a hard time talking to your significant other, friends, boss, employees, kids, etc., then you should take a good look at what you think’s going on, and see if you can get the gist of what the other person might be feeling.
I think there is a lot you can take away from The Lost Art of Listening. I know I’ll wear this book out to consult it when I slip. I am defensive and uncertain in my face-to-face (and phone) communication. This book is great at breaking down the need for understanding, the prevalence of our own needs, hidden assumptions, prejudices, emotional defenses, reactivity, and how to communicate with those closest to you in different ways.
I think anybody looking for a way to improve communication between themselves and others needs to have this book on their shelves. Interpersonal communication is getting more important than ever.
Worth a read.