Author: Mark Goulston
|Just Listen (2009) is a book by Mark Goulston. This book is a guideline for becoming a better listener, how to motivate, and how your brain works. It teaches you how to get your message across to someone else by using persuasion and listening strategies.|
When talking to someone, it’s difficult to get them to listen to us. We can’t make people listen, but we can make them want to listen. How do we do that? The best way to get someone to listen is by being interested in them.
Think about it: have you ever been to a party where you felt like everyone was really into you? How did you feel? People who are interested in us, care about us and want us to succeed – listen to us with full attention because they feel like they are being heard.
Negativity is the opposite of interest. When someone is talking, and we disagree with what they’re saying or dislike their opinion, we start drifting away from listening. It’s not intentional, but it’s our natural tendency.
By using the techniques in Just listen: discover the secret to getting through to anyone by Mark Goulston, you can get your message across by understanding how to listen better to others.
You can also read the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Summary.
Just listen: Discover The Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone Summary Key Points
In this book, the author explains nine core rules for effective communication and twelve amazing straightforward tips and ways to achieve buy-in and get through. The following are the main key points of the book summary that I have learned.
The persuasion cycle is the first ever thing the author writes in the book. This cycle teaches how to effectively start communication by listening to the other.
- From resisting to listening.
- From listening to considering.
- From considering to willing to do.
- From willing to doing.
- From doing to glad, they did and continue to do.
Listen first and respond second for the progress with someone
Sometimes, there are situations in life that are difficult to cope with. At times like these, sharing our burdens with someone who can listen is an easy way to relieve stress. The problem, however, is that most of us have had the experience of telling someone about our problems and then jumping in before we’ve even finished the first sentence.
In response, we immediately put up barriers and closed down. As a result, expressing ourselves becomes more and more difficult.
When we listen first and respond second, we allow ourselves to feel what’s happening at the moment. When we feel deeply, we begin to release the symptoms of resistance, giving us room to take inspired action.
Listening before speaking is one of the 7 habits of highly effective people. Listening at first gives the space to others to think about it and to fight irrational feelings if needed.
The author gave an example of a man who was about to give up his life by shooting himself, but when the police team arrived, the police officer tried to calm him down and told him another option than giving up.
The officer listened to his feelings, and then the man calmed down and thought about not giving up his life and considering other options.
Our reasoning layer of the brain must be active for listening
Have you ever felt like arguing with yourself for no reason? Like your consciousness was divided into different “yous”? Well, your brain is divided into three different parts or layers, and they all encounter and respond to the world differently. Understanding the structure of your brain and how each layer processes information can help you make sense of all the voices battling it out inside your head.
Whatever decision you’re trying to make, be it what outfit to wear, where to eat lunch, or what career path you should pursue, your brain is going through three distinct stages: emotional first, rational second, and intuitive third.
The first two stages of decision-making loop together in a continuous feedback loop called “priming.” Priming starts with the emotional stage, where you immediately react to what you see or feel. If this reaction is positive, the brain will instantly re-align itself to focus on the positive. Sometimes, this layer starts reacting, in which we freeze and can’t act.
The third and last stage is the reasoning layer which collects and analyses the data from the previous two layers to make the next logical decision. These different thinking layers influence how to react to the world and your conversation partners.
The important thing to remember from this lesson is to know that the other person we talk to uses the rational or reasoning layer.
Show your vulnerable side; others will listen to you
We talk about a big game, but letting your guard down is hard. It’s easy to forget that vulnerability is a powerful tool for communication. I’d argue it is more powerful than anger. Being vulnerable is about being transparent and sharing parts of yourself that you are not always comfortable sharing. It’s about leveling the playing field so that the other person can see you as a human, not just someone attacking them.
We are all vulnerable. This can be a very difficult thing to admit, but we need to accept that this is true. That is because when we don’t feel like we are getting anywhere, we start to feel angry. And when that happens, we do something with that anger that is not always the best thing.
We hurt others, sit back and say nothing, and hide behind a wall of pride. The problem is that when you hide behind a wall of pride, you deny anyone the chance to see who you are. When you deny others that chance, they have no reason to listen to you.
Vulnerability is more powerful than anger — try to show vulnerability when in a tough situation. Vulnerability is good — it makes people feel like they can relate to you. But you also should not take your vulnerability too far.
Just listen: Discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone book Summary quotes
“Perpetually needy people suck the life out of you because no matter what you do for them, it’s never enough.”
“Understanding a person’s hunger and responding to it is one of the most potent tools you’ll ever discover for getting through to anyone you meet in business or your personal life.”
Just listen: Discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone Summary reviews:
Overall, this book is a good read. There are some useful and helpful techniques and strategies to use in formal or informal conversations. It also explains the know-how to develop emotional intelligence. Appreciated Mark Goulston’s ideas and tone. He used many examples from the business world. But, this book is not for an everyday person because it is a guidebook, not a simple self-help book.
To whom I would recommend Just listen: Discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone summary?
- A salesman wants to improve his communication skills and get more success in his field.
- Parents who are going through a hard time getting through their children.
- Anyone wants to develop persuasion skills.