I am kicking off the new year here with our first review of the year for You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy, one of the most eye-opening, powerful and important books I have read in 2019. It’s an easy, fast read with a lot packed into it. This was a Traveling Sister group read and one of the most valuable discussions we have had. Pub date is January 7, 2020 and I can’t recommend this one enough!!
The World is just too noisy for me with everyone talking and no one listening so I jumped at the chance to read and discuss this one with some members of our group. We highlighted paragraph after paragraph and wanted to share how powerful each was for us. I now want to highlight all of them, but then you would be reading most of the book. lol We opened our minds to what we are missing and to the skills needed to be a good listener. We shared our own truths about listening and, in turn, learned something about ourselves and each other. We started to become more aware of our own listening skills and started practicing listening and we could see how satisfying it is to listen.
Kate Murphy starts with the core here as to why it matters we are listening with addressing that people get lonely from lack of listening. Not only from the distractions of our devices and social media influence but also with feeling lonely even with people because we are not practicing the skill of listening. She offers up some powerful, eye-opening and valuable information here and follows through with some suggestions that will make a difference. She offers up reasons we are not listening that I wasn’t aware of and the importance of freeing up our minds from distractions that are going on around us and in our minds. She shows us that listening is also gathering more from others than just the words said. In a positive way, she provokes some questions “Are we really connecting and contributing to others or just waiting for our turn to talk? “Does what others say matter to you and is it important that you see what they are saying?”
Kate Murphy also addresses when to make the call to stop listening when the world becomes too noisy and you just don’t have the capacity to listen to the noise or negativity. Life is just hard enough as it is.
I highly recommend reading this one! Let’s listen up, Friends and make a difference! It matters to the mental health crisis!
Informative. Eye-opening. Thought-provoking.
This was a well researched, enlightening read that made me sit and ponder many points. I love books that make me think! The author presents her research in an easy, well organized manner with chapters breaking down her theories. I liked how the information was presented.
I found the beginning chapters more interesting than the latter chapters which felt a bit drawn out. However, there were countless ideas and theories presented throughout the book that I will keep with me long after I write this review.
I will end with a couple quotes that stood out for me (these are quotes from an Advanced Readers Copy which may change prior to publication):
“Hearing is passive. Listening is active.”
“Understanding is the goal of listening, and it takes effort.”
“To listen does not mean, or even imply, that you agree with someone. It simply means you accept the legitimacy of the other person’s point of view and that you might have something to learn from it.”
This is an easily readable, enjoyable and thought-provoking book. I know some may look at the name and think “What? A book about listening or not listening. How can that be interesting?” Well, it is. Working in a field that is all about listening, I found that this book reinforced, most of what I already knew and had been taught in graduate school, but it was also an eye-opener for me in that I did not always utilize the skills I had been taught in my professional life in my personal life. People not only want to be heard but they need to be heard! Who doesn’t want a captive audience? That is why people may tell bartenders more about themselves than they tell those closest to them in their lives – because they have an active listener. Work, distractions, social media, technology, etc. all can get in the way of listening and lead to loneliness. Then there is silence – what a powerful tool that is. I enjoyed the sections about other cultures and how they view silence both professionally and personally.
There is a lot of food for thought in this book and lots to discuss. Hopefully, we will all come away as better listeners or at least become more aware of how we are listening to others. I enjoyed how this book was written. It does not come off as academic as some nonfiction books do. This is an easy book to read and I dare you not to pick up your highlighter while reading this book. There is a lot of passage that stood out for me and I found myself making note of them.
From Paige’s review
This is one of the most impactful books I have read all year. The message of true listening in You’re Not Listening serves to emphatically renovate the way we interact with each other. Kate Murphy’s words can revolutionize your conversations and relationships in a meaningful and powerful way. But, only if you listen.
There was so much that resonated with me, and I highlighted quite a lot. My favorite chapters were “Addicted to Distractions” about the endless distractions that interfere with meaningful social interactions, “Supporting, Not Shifting the Conversation” about how we often direct the attention away from the person talking and direct it towards ourselves, and “Improvisational Listening” about collaborating with others.
Thank you to Celadon Books for providing the Traveling Sisters in this group copies to read together!!