BLUF

While researching for her book, author and journalist Kate Murphy asked hundreds of people ‘what does it mean to be a good listener?’

Summary

Kate Murphy's new book You're Not Listening claims to demonstrate a much clearer path to better listening. The Texas-based author's research involved speaking to professionals and everyday people alike and offers the following advice: 
  • Learn from professional listeners. People such as police, journalists, priests, and psychologists must listen closely to understand the situation.
  • Communication bias. This is when you don't listen because you're predicting what someone might say.
  • Don't shift the conversation. Murphy recommends being aware of the shift response when someone says something, and then you shift the conversation back to yourself. 
  • Sit in silence. Pause after someone has finished speaking and consider what the speaker has just said before responding.
Murphy says it is okay to tell the other person that you want to hear what they have to say, but you've run out of steam. 'It's better to do that than to half-listen.'