Listen: How to Find the Words for Tender Conversations by Kathryn Mannix
BOOK REVIEW BY MARTHA CLARKE
Listening – simple – right? Wrong! For most of us it’s much harder to listen than to talk. I have come to believe there is no greater gift you can give another person: partner, friend, family member, colleague or stranger. Who doesn’t like to be listened to? In “Listen” Kathryn Mannix combines the why with the how in a deft and very readable way.
I came across the book browsing in a bookshop, and it was the phrase “tender” in the title that drew me in. I have long struggled with how to describe conversations that are just hard to have. Difficult, challenging, awkward spring to mind but “tender” no. But this is a great way to describe them – both people are vulnerable in the moment. If you start one it inevitably means revealing something you’d rather not, responding to them brings the same. People just don’t know how to have them.
I come across them all the time in mediation – layers of denial, subterfuge, ignoring of feelings and intuitions – no one wants to have the conversation. But once people start they often find great release and relief. Even if they don’t reach agreement, agreeing to disagree can be so cathartic.
Through stories of difficult conversations, tips, tools and sound advice Kathryn shows how we can all become better listeners.