10 Best Active Listening Books to Transform Your Communication Skills

Actively listening is a form of communication that shows you truly care. Here are the best active listening books to help you master this impactful skill.

10 Best Active Listening Books to Transform Your Communication Skills

It’s a beautiful thing to speak to someone and feel like you’re truly being heard. 

Active listening is a gift that we receive, but it’s also a gift that we can give to others. 

Here are the best books about active listening to help you become a more curious listener and a better communicator. 

These active listening books will help you identify areas where you can improve your listening skills, in order to comprehend more of what others say and to reflect this understanding in your response. 

When you master the techniques offered in these books, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your everyday interactions, making you a more approachable colleague, family member, or friend. 

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What are the Best Active Listening Books?

Here are the best books on active listening to add to your reading list:

1. I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

Validation, a.k.a. "I hear you" is one of the key ingredients behind active listening.

In this book, author and relationship coach Michael S. Sorensen, uncovers the whats, whys, and hows of this valuable communication skill.

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult career conversations, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this active listening book will guide you closer to your goal.

You'll learn how to:

  • Calm (and even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of others
  • Increase feelings of love, respect, and appreciation in your romantic relationships
  • Quickly resolve, or even prevent, arguments
  • Help others become open to your point of view
  • Give advice and feedback that sticks
  • Provide support and encouragement to others, even when you don’t know how to “fix” the problem, and much more 

This book is charming, conversational, and easy to read - yet the insights it provides can have a powerful effect on the way you view and approach relationships in every area of your life. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 

2. Active Listening Techniques: 30 Practical Tools to Hone Your Communication Skills

Active Listening Techniques is a book that contains 30 practical communication tools to help you ensure that the people around you feel heard, respected, and understood.

The skills you'll learn will not only help you become a more engaged listener, they'll also help you get your message across, cultivate healthier relationships, and even achieve greater career success.

You will discover:

  • Basic active listening skills - Including the importance of paraphrasing, nonverbal cues, emotional labeling, mirroring, validation, and other fundamental active listening techniques.
  • Practical ways to use each tool - Each communication tool includes an illustrative anecdote, as well as digestible strategies to help you apply the concept to your everyday life.
  • How to manage conflict - How to use active listening when it comes to navigating difficult or emotionally charged situations.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon 

3. The Lost Art of Listening

One person talks; the other listens.

Or at least that's how it's supposed to go...right?

This witty book by psychology professor Michael P. Nichols explains how most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are, and teaches us how to master the lost art of listening.

The strategies in this book have helped thousands of readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. 

You'll find answers to questions such as: 

  • Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends?
  • How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication?
  • How can you make yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations?

Moreover, it contains vivid examples and practical exercises that bring the ideas to life in real-life contexts, so you can gradually become more aware of your thoughts each time you're in a conversation.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

4. Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

Getting through to someone is both a fine art, and a critical one.

This is especially true in tense situations, where things can go from bad to worse if you can't break through emotional barricades and get your message registered.

In this book, author Mark Goulston draws on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant and coach, to help readers turn the “impossible” and “unreachable” people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends. 

Just Listen reveals how to: 

  • Make a powerful and positive first impression
  • Listen effectively
  • Talk an angry or aggressive person away from an unproductive reaction and toward a more rational mindset
  • Achieve buy-in - the key to all persuasion, negotiation, and sales efforts

Whether you're dealing with coworkers, friends, family, or complete strangers, the first step to persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. This book on active listening will provide you with the tools to do exactly that. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

5. You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters

We live in a world where social media constantly encourages us to lead the conversation and share our experiences.

On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be enough emphasis on actually listening to others.

And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. 

You're Not Listening is a book where Kate Murphy, New York Times contributor and a listener by trade, explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend.

She explores the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there - including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman. 

Overall, Murphy offers a sincere, passionate, and illuminating perspective on the current state of society and provides a rousing call-to-action to help readers enact positive change on a personal level. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

6. Listening: The Forgotten Skill

Listening: The Forgotten Skill is a popular written guide and program for turning effective listening into a powerful business tool.

It's one of the best books on active listening because it uses an interactive learning approach and contains various worksheets, charts, and self-tests that help you monitor your own progress.

You'll learn how to: 

  • Eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said
  • Locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening
  • Cut through your own listening biases
  • Ask constructive, non-threatening questions that elicit real information
  • Get others to listen to you
  • Master a range of listening skills that you can use on the job and in your personal life

The active listening skills you acquire through this book will help you navigate the sort of misunderstood and misdirected messages that lead to millions of dollars' worth of mistakes in organizations. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

7. The Compassionate Connection: The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening

If we want to connect with people and truly understand what they're going through, we have to be able to engage in compassionate, mindful listening. 

In The Compassionate Connection, Dr. David Rakel draws on his clinical experience and the latest scientific research to describe the power of human connection and the ways it can be used to boost health and well-being. 

Many times we find ourselves interrupted and inundated with tasks and stresses that make us feel disconnected from others.

When we learn to practice the healing power of compassion, we not only strengthen our bonds with others - we also do emotional and physical good for ourselves.

The tools in this book provide a pathway for improving the quality of our connections - whether between doctor and patient, husband and wife, parent and child, or boss and employee.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

8. 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work - Anywhere!

4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication is a book that provides tips on overcoming the communication barriers that we often face when dealing with those close to us.

You will learn skills to help you: 

  • Listen with greater empathy and understanding to what the other person is saying and feeling
  • Avoid listening blocks to effective communication
  • Engage in empathic dialogue to achieve mutual understanding
  • Manage conflicts and disagreements calmly and successfully
  • Nurture your relationships on a consistent basis
  • Experience the power of expressing gratitude and appreciation

In addition, the book comes with a 12-Day Communication Challenge and Action Guide at the end, so you practice each skill individually and create a solid plan for your personal growth.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

9. Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All

Listening is harder than it looks -  but it's the difference between business success and failure.

In Power Listening, Bernard Ferrari, top executive adviser, explains how poor listening leads to bad decisions in organizations - and demonstrates how good listening habits can be developed and mastered.

Here are some of his key insights on the topic of good listening:

  • It is hard work, not a passive activity
  • It means asking questions, challenging all assumptions, and understanding the context of every interaction
  • It results in a new clarity of focus, greater efficiency, and an increased likelihood of making better decisions
  • It can be the difference between a long career and a short one

As you read this active listening book, you'll discover how to "turn a tin ear into a platinum ear" by asking thoughtful questions, affirming your conversation partner, and showing that you're truly present.

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon | get the free audiobook

10. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Crucial Conversations is a book that's designed to prepare us for the difficult conversations that we just can't avoid. 

Those moments where your friend is hot-headed and desperate to speak with you, as well as those moments where you're the one who really needs to get something off your chest. 

It shows you how to put away any feelings of anger, defensiveness, or resentment, so you can open up the lines of communication and work towards a mutually agreeable solution. 

You'll learn how to: 

  • Prepare for high-stakes conversations
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Transform unpleasant emotions into powerful dialogue
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive

This engaging book will enhance your conversational abilities and emotional intelligence across a wide range of areas, including the way you approach negotiations both at work and in your personal life. 

Read this book: get hard copy on amazon

Final Thoughts

Every minute that you spend improving your active listening skills will greatly pay off in the long run. Why?

Because the simple fact is that we don't learn from talking; we learn from listening. 

While there's definitely a place for contribution, we gain so much more from absorbing the wisdom and experiences that surround us.

So, thank you for "listening" to me as I shared some of the best books about active listening. I hope you found something that peaked your interest. 

Now over to you, so to speak :)

=> Get a free active listening audiobook of your choice here.



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