I picked up The Lost Art of Listening immediately after reading Love and Survival. Those two books, in that order, were the perfect one-two punch. In Love and Survival, I learned how important it is to be close to people. Closeness has an enormous impact on your heatlh. And greater closeness makes people happier.
So I realized how important closeness is, but then I realized I didn't really know HOW to get closer to people. I know how to get along with people and how to make them feel good about themselves and how to get them to like me, but I didn't know how to really become close to people, and I had never thought about it. Love and Survival gave some good pointers, but The Lost Art of Listening goes all the way. This isn't a book about business negotiation or anything like that. It's about how to reach that wonderful state of being intimate with someone, really knowing them and being open to them. Listening is the key.
Nichols covers the subject very well with lots of good examples and good humor too. And the book is very practical. When you're done, you'll know what to do to become a better listener. You'll know how to become closer to the people you love. I've been putting the suggestions into practice and I'm definitely closer to my friends and family, and happier too. My wife has noticed the change in me (it has been pretty dramatic) and said she didn't know our relationship could be like this. She's ecstatic about it and it's great to see her so happy. Listening well isn't really that difficult, but there's an art to it, which you learn all about in the book. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and Nichols' book qualifies: This is listening-coaching that really works.