You’re Not Listening
What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
As a society, we’ve forgotten how to listen. Modern life is noisy and frenetic, and technology provides constant distraction. So we tune things out or listen selectively – even to those we love most. We’ve become scared of other people’s points of view, and of silence. Now more than ever, we need to listen to those around us. New York Times contributor Kate Murphy draws on countless conversations she has had with everyone from priests to CIA interrogators, focus group moderators to bartenders, her great-great aunt to her friend's toddler, to show how only by listening well can we truly connect with others. Listening is about curiosity and patience – about asking the right questions in the right way. Improvisational comedians and con men are much better at it than most of us. And the cleverest people can be the worst at it. Listening has the potential to transform our relationships and our working lives, improve our self-knowledge, and increase our creativity and happiness. While it may take some effort, it's a skill that can be learnt and perfected.