Chapter 7

Listen to Understand

Maximizing Comprehension and Retention

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

—George Bernard Shaw


In The Ragged Edge of Silence, author John Francis shares an amazing story involving the power of listening and how one decision he made completely transformed his life. It all began in 1971, when Francis—then in his twenties—witnessed two oil tankers collide under the Golden Gate Bridge and spill 500,000 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay. Horrified by what he saw, Francis decided to make a personal and rather unorthodox commitment to saving the planet: from that moment on, he would stop riding in motorized vehicles. Instead, everywhere he went, he walked. Because ...

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