Listen Up Or Lose Out


Although people generally spend about 50 percent more time listening than speaking, the average listener misses more than he or she takes in – about two-thirds of any spoken message. That’s the unnerving findings of Robert Bolton, PH. D. and Dorothy Grover Bolton, ED.M., authors of the new book, Listen Up or Lose Out

“Listening is not only the skill that lets you into the other person’s world; it is also the single most powerful move you can make to keep the conversation constructive” – Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

Equally important, listening well has been found to distinguish the best managers, teachers, and leaders, according to Daniel Goleman, author of, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.

Presented within 22 chapters within five parts, the Bolton’s book teaches you:
  • Why you should improve your listening
  • The do’s and don’ts of great listening
  • How to properly reflect content you’ve heard
  • Reading and reflecting other people’s feelings
Listen Up or Lose Out is based on intensive scientific research and the forty-plus years of experience that the authors and their colleagues have had in using and teaching effective listening skills.

What happens to most of us is that we prematurely shift out of listening and into speaking, becoming guilty of one of these six missteps of listening:
  1. Disagreeing/agreeing
  2. Criticizing
  3. Questioning
  4. Advising
  5. Reassuring
  6. Diverting
These routine conversational habits will impede listening, short-circuit communication and often cause costly misunderstandings.

By reading the book, I’ve discovered I too often am guilty of “reassuring.”

“People are often astonished to find reassurance on the list of listening missteps,” said Robert Bolton.

Unfortunately, “reassuring someone generally comes down to minimizing another person’s strongly held concerns – trying to talk them out of feeling as the do, which by the way, rarely if ever works,” he adds.

The book teaches you how to decrease your reliance on all of the common six missteps of listening.

 Finally, keep in mind this quote from Kathleen Singh, from Chapter 10 in the book:

“Our single attention, offered to another person, is the most underused of human resources, one of the least costly, one of the most freely available, and – without a doubt – one of the most powerfully beneficial.”

And, these two additional quotes:

“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of human relations it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey

“The four greatest words in one’s vocabulary are, ‘What do you think?’” – Anonymous

Thank you to the book publisher’s for sending me an advance copy of the book.

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