- 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: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships (The Guilford Family Therapy) Paperback – 2 Jul 1996
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'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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
--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...Read more ›
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