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The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships (The Guilford Family Therapy) Paperback – 2 Jul 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press; New edition edition (2 July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572301317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572301313
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 621,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Lily Tomlin once advised that we listen with an intensity that most people save for talking.' Michael Nichols, in The Lost Art of Listening, tells us how. This is a very special book which distills years of clinical wisdom into practical advice about improving our most important relationships and, ultimately, who we are....This is more than a good book, it is a vital manual for any of us who would either like to feel good about our relationships or avoid dying before the end of our lives.' - Carol M. Anderson, Ph.D., coauthor of Flying Solo

About the Author

Michael P. Nichols, PhD, a Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, is coauthor (with Salvador Minuchin) of "Family Healing," and author of "No Place to Hide" and "Turning Forty in the Eighties" among other books. He is a popular speaker and has been a guest on television programs, including "Oprah!" and "CBS This Morning."

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book showed me not only how to listen to others but also how to communicate with others. I learned from this book about myself and how I communicate. Since reading this book and discussing it with others, I feel I can understand my family, friends, and neighbors or at least have the tools to be an effective listener to them. I would (and have) recommend this book to any and all people. It is a book that is easy enough for almost anyone to understand and, I strongly believe, can only enhance all relationships of any kind.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan on 29 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milli on 4 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read this very well written book and consider it to be my bible for working my relationships . Ive read numerous books to understand relationships but this is the best so far. It will give you a really clear simple advice on how to alter the way you say things and how to listen to another effectively not just attentively. Sutle differences in commmunication has been so well described. Highly recommended, must have.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 22 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Michael Nichols' book, 'The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships', is a wonderful tool for making listening, which is so often taken for granted and so often misunderstood, a truly effective tool in your hands.
--Why is listening important?--
A basic question, and on the surface, a rather simple one. But too often we are preoccupied with ourselves to hear and give sufficient empathy to the other to really hear what is being said. Most of us think we are better listeners than we in fact are, but of course, most of us assume we are better communicators than we are. Quite often we fall into competitive conversationalism; we are busy thinking about our next statement rather than listening to what is being said.
Being heard also means being taken seriously. It is a true hearing, not a simple reassurance (which may not be warranted or realistic); it helps to shape self-respect, and makes the difference between being accepted and being isolated. This means that the listener must be keyed in to her or his own experience and 'listening agenda', those unspoken and subconscious assumptions being made that fill in the gaps when a conversation is going on.
'There is a big difference between showing interest and being interested.'
--Why don't people listen?--
Listening requires a suspension of self, which is very hard to do. It requires suspending judgement, which is often counter-intuitive. 'But they asked my opinion', might be the reply. Of course they did, because our conversational conventions require that, but in fact they often didn't want an opinion, but rather a listener.
Nichols gives a few examples of this non-listening, which often involve the following phrases:
'That reminds me of the time...' (i.e., 'I can top that...
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