Chapter 4. You’re Not Listening!

Falstaff: “It is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled withal.”

2 Henry IV, Act I, Scene ii by William Shakespeare

Breathes there a man or woman who has not accused or been accused by their significant other of not listening? Highly doubtful. The opprobrium of not listening ranks high among the causes of failure in human communication; it spans interpersonal, business, political, and even international relations. To the perpetrators of what troubled Falstaff, listening is merely a matter of waiting one’s turn to speak.

For the reductio ad absurdum of this universal truth, think of a time when you were in a restaurant where you have given your waiter explicit instructions to ...

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