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Learning effective listening skills is critical in building personal relationships. This point was clearly brought out in my recent interview with Dr. Robert Bohlken, Ph.D. in discussing his new book, Learning to Listen with Significant Others.

An expert in the field of listening, Dr. Bohlken provides guidance in understanding and improving listening behaviors. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without this ability to listen effectively, communication will break down and the message will be misunderstood or lost.

I asked Dr. Bohlken what inspired him to write the book.

He said he saw the need for an informal method of learning to listen in one-on-one adult communications and in small group settings.  “The information in the book is based on academic theory,” he says, “but presents abstract concepts in a conversational manner.” It uses a common language style with clear reference to one’s everyday experiences.

The purpose is to help participants and their significant other(s) gain a greater understanding and appreciation of interpersonal face-to-face communication. The significant other(s)  can include a close friend or relative in personal relationships, or in group interactions, public/professional transactions and other societal roles.

The book is intended to be shared with one or several others exchanging roles of reader(s) and listener(s). There are fun and challenging experiences/activities throughout the book that are essential for understanding and practicing effective listening skills.

The book is not intended to be a classroom textbook, but used as supplemental material. Dr. Margarete Imhof says the approach is non-academic, but is nonetheless based on a profound personal knowledge of the intricacies and challenges involved in listening.

This book is an important resource for marriage preparation classes, counseling sessions, supervisors’ training, partner training, physicians’ and teachers’ training, law enforcement officers, attorney training, and anyone who wants to improve his/her interpersonal communication.

This book ordinarily sells for $14.95 but for a limited time you can buy 2 copies for $20.00, that’s a savings of $9.90. Plus, each participant can use their own book for the activities and interactions. To order go to and use code “listening”.

Parents know how important it is for children to develop good listening skills. It is an important skill for all age groups.  Here is a collection of children’s books on learning to become better listeners:

Listen and Learn by Cheri J. Meiners—explains what listening means: keeping quiet, watching the person who talks, thinking about what is being said, and asking questions when he doesn’t  understand

Oink, Oink Benny by Barbro Lindgren teaches consequences of not listening

I Have a Little Problem, Said the Bear by Heinz Janisch— tells about the frustration of not being heard

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow— getting into trouble for not listening

Why Should I Listen? by Claire Llewellyn— helps children understand the importance of listening to parents and teachers

Listening Time (Toddler Tools) Board book  by Elizabeth Verdick (Author), Marieka Heinlen (Illustrator) how to remain quiet and still

Lots of references here. Check out these URL’s and then go here to order the special on Dr. Bohlken’s book, Learning to Listen with Significant Other(s).

Best to you,

Lee Jackson


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