We never outgrow our need to connect with others--to feel as though we are heard and understood. That is why a sympathetic ear is such a powerful force in human relationships -- and why the failure to be heard is so painful. Nothing hurts more that the sense that people close to us aren't really listening to what we have to say. Someone talks and someone else listens\m-\it sounds so simple that we take it for granted. But why do we often feel cut off when speaking to the people closest to us, family members, friends, or colleagues? What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening?
Michael P. Nichols answers these questions and more in this ground-breaking exploration of why people don't hear one another. His book, an engaging guide to the secrets of listening and being listened to, is filled with vivid examples that clearly demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques for becoming a better listener. He also illustrates how empathic listening enables us to break through misunderstandings and conflict and to transform our personal and professional relationships.
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Michael P. Nichols, Ph.D., 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 national television programs including Oprah!,Donohue and CBS This Morning. An Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, Nichols is also the Editor of the Guilford Family Therapy Series and the author of numerous professional books and articles. When not teaching in Williamsburg, Virginia, Nichols and his family live in Guilderland, New York.
A beautifully written, articulate guide to listening, this book is an antidote to the sense of diminishment experienced by so many as our culture short-circuits our need for interchange with others. Filled with personal stories from his life and the lives of patients, Nichols offers clarification of the listening process between friends, with family, in work situations, and in intimate relationships. The Lost Art of Listening is a pleasure to read and a valuable tool for therapists. -- Marion F. Solomon, Ph.D., author of Narcissism and Intimacy: Love and Marriage in An Age of Confusion and Lean On Me: The Power of Positive Dependency in Intimate Relationships
Nichols simply, yet insightfully, explains why listening is the fundamental psychotherapeutic skill....Nichols includes many counseling elements into his rendition of the elements of listening. This book serves as a wake-up call to remind professionals that listening is difficult and should not be an assumed skill....Useful to both novice and experienced psychotherapy professionals....Powerful and informative. -- Contemporary Psychology 41:7
Why don't people listen, and what does it take to enhance communication skills? Nichols provides an intriguing survey of the art of listening and its role in communication, considering different patterns of empathy which change as relationships change, and surveying the defenses which obstruct listening. -- Midwest Book Review
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