"If you’re like most people, you don’t listen as often or as well as you’d like. There’s no one better qualified than a talented journalist to introduce you to the right mindset and skillset—and this book does it with science and humor."—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
**Hand picked by Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink for Next Big Ideas Club**
"An essential book for our times."—Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
When was the last time you listened to someone, or someone really listened to you?
At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation.
On social media, we shape our personal narratives.
At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians.
We’re not listening.
And no one is listening to us.
Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here.
In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that's full of practical advice, You're Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain's Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
1 The Lost Art of Listening 5
2 That Syncing Feeling: The Neuroscience of Listening 21
3 Listening to Your Curiosity: What We Can Learn from Toddlers 35
4 I Know What You're Going to Say: Assumptions as Earplugs 47
5 The Tone-Deaf Response: Why People Would Rather Talk to Their Dog 61
6 Talking Like a Tortoise, Thinking Like a Hare: The Speech-Thought Differential 70
7 Listening to Opposing Views: Why It Feels Like Being Chased by a Bear 78
8 Focusing on What's Important: Listening in the Age of Big Data 89
9 Improvisationai Listening: Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work 103
10 Conversational Sensitivity: What Terry Gross, LBJ, and Con Men Have in Common 114
11 Listening to Yourself: The Voluble Inner Voice 128
12 Supporting, Not Shifting, the Conversation 136
13 Hammers, Anvils, and Stirrups: Turning Sound Waves into Brain Waves 153
14 Addicted to Distraction 172
15 What Words Conceal and Silences Reveal 183
16 The Morality of Listening: Why Gossip Is Good for You 193
17 When to Stop Listening 202
Reading Group Guide
1. Has reading You're Not Listening changed how you listen? In what way?
2. What was the most surprising thing you learned about listening?
3. Do you think listening is a skill you are born with or one you develop?
4. Who do you have trouble listening to? Why?
5. Who do you enjoy listening to? Why?
6. Do you find some situations or environments more or less conducive to listening than others?
7. Who’s the best/worst listener in your life? What makes that person a good/bad listener?
8. Do you recall a time when you didn’t listen but wish you had?
9. Do you recall a time when you were glad you listened? Like maybe when someone gave you good advice or said something that tipped you off that the speaker was disingenuous?
10. Are there certain topics of conversation that make you more or less likely to listen?
11. When do you think it’s okay to stop listening to someone?