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Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication [Paperback]

Joan Lunden , Paul J. Donoghue , Mary E. Siegel

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Book Description

1 Sep 2005
This is an invaluable guide to effective communication. It asks "Why do we often feel cut off when speaking to people closest to us?" and "What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening?" It provides a thoughtful look at the reasons why people don't listen. Filled with easy-to-learn listening techniques, "Are You Really Listening" is a guide to the secrets and joys of listening and being listened to.

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About the Author

Paul J Donoghue and Mary E Siegel are psychologists in private practice in Stamford, Connecticut. They are also consultants to corporations and organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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People don't listen. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Start at Chapter 12 21 Aug 2009
By Chris - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I felt I needed to develop better active listening skills. This book does teach that - but it spends the first 11 chapters describing why listening is important (and giving examples where listening was needed or helped). Why would you be reading a whole book on the topic unless you already believed listening was important.

Start at chapter 12, where this book then outlines the basic steps to Active Listening in the remaining 4 chapters:
- Listen
- Paraphrase what you have (this demonstrates you are understanding it to the other person)
- Don't react at first - just make sure you're understanding

They dedicate a great deal after chapter 12 to discussing why listening is important as well - so really the first 11 chapters are unnecessary. If I could I would give the first 11 chapters a 1-star review because a lot of what they say is obvious, and the chapters have no advice (other than "listen"). I would then give chapters 12-15 5 stars because they teaches the techniques of active listening very well.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb resource 12 Aug 2005
By Rev. Richard R. Mckeon - Published on
Paul Donoghue and Mary Siegel have written a masterful book which in a very concrete and understandable way educates the reader in the fine art of communication. As a priest, this book is an invaluable resource, as it helps me to be sure that I am communicating clearly and also listening to what is being said to me. By indentifying the many ways that we can slip into old communication patterns, without being aware of it, the authors ensure that anyone reading this book will come away with a new understanding of how to be heard and to listen. It is a gift to anyone for whom clear communications is important in a professional capacity, and perhaps even more, it is a huge help for all personal relationships as well. By simply reading this very clear and concise book, so much pain and misunderstanding could be avoided. We will be using this book in our parish study groups, and have recommended that all the leadership in our parish read it to help make their efforts more effective and meaningful. I recommend this book as a superb tool to everyone, but especially for anyone who has ever had the experience of not being fully heard or understood.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Service! 8 Aug 2005
By J. P. Balistreri - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyably readable, both practical and profound, this book hits all the right notes. As a clinical psychologist I found it so helpful, both in anchoring my approach to clients and in my being able to recommend it to them to help improve, often to rescue, their most important relationships.

In a compact presentation, with a wide array of engaging stories, the authors engender the necessary self-awareness of nonlistening behaviors, practiced with automatic ease even by those who see themselves as good listeners. This discussion lays the groundwork for the presentation of clear steps to skillful listening. In perhaps the greatest service, the authors suffuse this book with the essential spirit and meaning of listening--a vital human act of connecting with another person--for the sake of effectiveness, and for the sake of love.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource 15 Aug 2005
By Mark J. Driscoll - Published on
I work across the U.S., consulting with mathematics teachers and school administrators on how to improve the teaching of mathematics through attending to how students learn mathematics. Listening to students and, equally important, teachers listening to each other are essential in this endeavor. This book fills a long-standing, critical need in my work, by delineating a framework, highlighting the obstacles to "really listening," and providing guidance on how to listen more effectively.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, bad execution 21 Oct 2008
By L. Tanguay - Published on
This book had some really good ideas and brought up some very good points, but the execution of the book was fairly poor. The example conversations we not convincing and were said in such a manner that I don't think would have helped the given situation. For example, the chapter on paraphrasing had the following solution to a child's opening statement:

Child: "Camp stinks this year. It's not like last year. The counselors don't care. Some of the kids are really mean."

Father: "You sound disappointed that camp is different this year and not as nice as last year, as if you were hoping that you would be as close to the counselors as you were to Brianna last summer? And it sounds like as if you felt hurt by some of the kids?"

Perhaps this conversation is an exaggeration to get the point across, but if I were a kid and I heard this, I think I would have been put off by this. Paraphrasing is defintiely a good idea, but the way the authors presented it was poor.

As for the general content of the book, it was mostly about what *not* to do. Basically, the idea of what exactly you *should* do was left open-ended. Example conversations reflected this, most of them were things you shouldn't say, not what you should. This isn't particularly useful for someone who learns by example, but I do have to admit that I have a much clearer idea of how to be a better listener.

Minus half a star - Poor conversations
Minus star and a half - Focused too much on what one shouldn't do.

Otherwise it was fabulous!
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