Rule #11: Listen

rule 1

On a recent trip to the bookstore I asked the information clerk: "Excuse me, where might I find some books on listening?"

She looked puzzled and, after pausing for more than a moment, said, "Frankly, I don't know. Let me check with some others and get right back to you." Imagine how differently she might have reacted had I asked her for some books on writing.

Listening is among life's most precious skills because it's the lifeblood of all relationships. From time to time, our daughters will share that they wish to raise their children in the same manner in which Roe and I have raised them (they usually share this, mind you, when they're asking for money or a curfew extension). We tell them that parenting is simple, and boils down to two simple words -- listening and love.

This chapter offers a few flashy statistics (see questions immediately below), then offers a series of tips to improve your ability to listen.

The flashy statistics:

Q: How many words a minute does the average person speak?

a)50  b)75  c)100  d)125  e)150 

Q: How many words a minute can the human brain process?

a)100  b)200  c)300  d)400  e)500 
Answers: d and e

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