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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

Shut Up And Listen To This Carefully

Shut Up And Listen To This Carefully

Think about the last time you confided in a friend. Did they understand your thoughts and gave you comfort just by simply listening to your worries and being there for you? Listening looks easy, yet hard to master. Because speaking is often more desirable than listening, and our goal is usually to persuade the other to understand and resonate with our thoughts (even doing it unintentionally).

Speaking is often more desirable than listening, and our goal is usually to persuade the other to understand, and resonate with our thoughts (sometimes even unintentionally). Even though speaking well is often praised and recognised by the public, listening is, in fact, a very important element in good communication. It creates better responses and clarifies conversations. Also, if there are no listeners, there won’t be any speakers.

We compiled 5 books to help you to be a better listener, be it comforting a friend, going to a lecture, or understanding a new concept, these books will help you to minimise information loss from communication.

The Good Listener by James E. Sullivan

    This little book is written by a priest who has to deal with hurt people every day, pointing out how our poor listening hurts others (often unintentionally), and how much we can heal a person just by listening and understanding their feelings.

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    The book gives suggestions on how we can improve our listening and how we can share so the other will understand us better. Even so, do not expect this to be a tool book as you will not become a great listener just by following 5 steps, instead, it is about being aware and learning to walk away from our selfish desire to be listened to. This book is recommended if you are someone working in the field of counselling, or anyone who wants to build a deeper and stronger relationship with others.

    Reading Duration: 1hr 59mins

    Get The Good Listener from Amazon at $10.95

    Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All by Bernard T. Ferrari

      Ferrari reveals how to turn a tin ear into a platinum ear in this book because poor listening can lead to poor business decisions in organisations. The author suggests that the skills and habits of a good listener can be learned and taught, in this book he offers a step-by-step guide to turn readers into an active listener.

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      In the book Power Listening, the author focuses on corporate listening instead of peer-to-peer and interpersonal listening. This book is great for anyone who facilitates or leads groups through decision and design. By identifying the cause of bad corporate listening, readers are able to follow the guide to effective listening.

      Reading Duration: 4hrs 17mins

      Get Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All from Amazon at $32.99

      The Lost Art Of Listening by Michael P Nichols 

        What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Nichols answers the question in the book and frames listening as an active art, something we need practices to transform passive reception to real hearing. The book is filled with vivid examples that demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques for becoming a better listener. The book is embedded with empathic listening, a listening technique enabling us to break through misunderstandings and conflict in our relationships. “Listening isn’t a need we have; it’s a gift we give.”

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        Reading Duration: 6hrs 29mins

        Get The Lost Art Of Listening from Amazon at $7.99

        Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston

          The first make-or-break step in persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. This book is about listening and giving responses, it emphasises that everyone wants to feel “felt”, and only little appropriate responses can achieve this. Just Listen is a practical how-to guide to becoming a better face-to-face communicator. It reveals how to make a powerful and positive first impression, talk an angry or aggressive person away from an unproductive reaction, and more. If you deal with difficult people around you, this is a must-read for you to not only understand them but also have them felt understood.

          Reading Duration: 5hrs 17mins

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          Get Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone from Amazon at $14.19

          Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson 

            Verbal Judo is a martial art that can show you how to be better prepared for every verbal encounter, including listening and speaking more effectively and engaging people with empathy. The book is written in a conversational style, with real-world examples and tips for controlling your own emotions when you feel verbally attacked.

            “The other person will believe you’re trying to understand. Whether you really are interested is irrelevant.” Someone might disagree with this, yet it is powerful in the listener’s mind because we all know at certain times, all we need is an ear from a friend instead of theories and advice.

            Reading Duration: 4hrs 37mins

            Get Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion from Amazon at $9.48

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            Last Updated on January 18, 2019

            7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

            7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

            Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

            But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

            If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

            1. Limit the time you spend with them.

            First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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            In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

            Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

            2. Speak up for yourself.

            Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

            3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

            This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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            But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

            4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

            Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

            This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

            Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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            5. Change the subject.

            When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

            Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

            6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

            Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

            I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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            You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

            Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

            7. Leave them behind.

            Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

            If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

            That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

            You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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