The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships (Guilford Family Therapy)
by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.
I have written about relationships all of my professional life, and I have included information on relationships in my textbook, Understanding Interpersonal Communication -- which, I might add, is "on sale" at Amazon.com for $124.20! Also, I have co-authored a book on listening (with Curt Bechler) which is out-of-print, but Amazon.com lists the book, Listen to Win, "on sale" for $70.00! I mention these as my credentials for reviewing The Lost Art of Listening, which is a book that directly relates the two (relationships and listening), and I want to mention at the outset that this book deserves accolades and recommendations. It is well-written and a true pleasure to read. It is full of practical, applied information, which means you can both understand and use the information immediately. Also, it touches on the very core of the listening problem: that we seldom listen well to the important people in our lives. Most people think they already listen well so would not even consider this book relevant. The "Quiz" on pages 67-69 (along with directions for scoring the results) may help disabuse readers of this belief.
In this 314-page paperback (with a 5 1/2-page index), some may believe the book too forbidding at first glance; however, the author offers numerous examples, interesting and useful boxed inserts, short sections, highlighted (boldface) quotations that offer suggestions and insights, and end-of-chapter exercises that assist you in applying chapter information. It is clear just from a quick glance through the book that Nichols is an accomplished textbook writer -- all the essential ancillaries are here. (If you check out his other books at Amazon.com, you will notice from the number of books and froml the reviews, that Nichols has achieved success in a number of subject areas.)
There is no doubt that following the author's guidelines will not only make you a better listener, but they will contribute positively to improved relationships (his main point!). I recommend this book without hesitation or reservation. Every parent should read it, and anyone, too, who is planning to enter, is already in, or has experienced any failed relationships in the past desperately needs the information in this book.