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The most basic of all human needs is to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.

—Ralph Nichols, father of the field of listening and founder of the International Listening Organization

When I told people I wanted to write a book on active listening at work, they said things like, “Oh, thank goodness! We need that so much, right now!” Why?

Here’s my theory: When we listen to someone, they receive our attention like a gift. When we hold space for them, asking questions and leading with curiosity, we send them the message that their voice holds weight and a place of importance in our heart. It’s worth it, then, to get this listening thing right because it has ...

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