I highly recommend this book. It has been a while since I have read a book containing so much insight and practical information. The topic is listening and the character traits and behaviors that make us good listeners are covered well.
The part of the book that had the greatest impact on me was the section explaining how humility is a requirement to being a good listener. Harling believes growth requires getting honest feedback. Humility is essential to listening well and getting the feedback we need.
The book includes lots of practical suggestions about life in general. If you want to appear more inviting to other people, smile more and walk with a bounce in your step. If you want to assess the emotional state of others, body language tips are given to increase our observation skills. She also has a great chapter on navigating conflict, including good suggestions for dealing with toxic people.
Harling includes many practical ideas. For example, she has questions to ask ourselves when we feel like we are compelled to give advice rather than compassionately listen. She has ideas for drawing out other people's stories. She has a great section on the necessity of being self aware and how to get there.
We Christians are admonished to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). That is not an easy task in our egotistical society. Harling offers biblically based practical ideas for being good listeners. If you want people to feel heard and loved, I highly recommend this book to you. In addition of great content in the text, she has added questions at the end of each chapter to help us listen to God, our heart, and others. Mastering the art of being a good listener comes with a cost but the rewards are great.
Food for thought: “...it is impossible to be a good listener without developing a humble spirit.” (Loc 453/2726)
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Becky Harling is a certified speaker, leadership coach, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team. She is the founder of Moms Unleashed and the author of several books. She and her husband live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can find out more at http://beckyharling.com/.
Bethany House, 176 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.