Review: How to Listen So People Will Talk: Build Stronger Communication and Deeper Connections
New author to me, but I went ahead and picked this book. Certainly not for the cover design or the title, though. The publishers did her no favors with either of their choices. But, the content is worth reading, particularly if you want to improve communication with just about anyone.
Harling covers the bases well in this easy to read book. Listening with the intent of engagement with the other person is the point. Each chapter has a set of short activities, exercises to practice, which start with listening to God, then move to listening to your own heart, and finally listening to others. She identifies plenty of ways to improve and some of the most common pitfalls of real communication.
There’s nothing here that’s really new. You know this stuff from experience or maybe a seminar you attended years ago. What she has done in her book calls attention to the things that are most likely to impede genuine communication or conversation. Things like inattention to the speaker, lack of empathy, or interrupting with your own stories from the negative side and on the more positive side she suggests ways to encourage the other person with questions, time, and genuine interest. There’s a little psychology along the way, but nothing that again you don’t already know. Like why you jump in to fix whatever the other person has mentioned is troubling her.
Overall, I found the book to be a good review of some very basic communication skills that most of us know but just have totally forgotten to use.
I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.