You’re Not Listening [Book Review] #booktwitter #bookworm #nonfiction #selfimprovement

Have you ever shared your heart with someone and the other person’s response caused you to think, “You’re Not Listening!”?

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters by Kate Murphy

You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy (cover) Image: black text over a graphic image of an ear against a white background

Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Essays, Self Improvement, Personal Communication, Connection

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Kate Murphy explores the art of listening. Who is a good listener? What skills and abilities do good listeners employ? She explains how listening is a powerful aspect of communication and connection while offering practical examples of how to improve your listening skills.

Although Kate Murphy cites studies and provides data, she also shares clear examples and practical and easy-to-implement strategies for the improvement of listening skills.

Murphy goes beyond the basic listening skills we have most likely mastered to a explore a deeper understanding of the art of listening.

Good listeners are good questioners.

The thought that resonated most with me is her explanation of two responses that a listener can have: a SHIFT response or a SUPPORT response. One example might look like this (from my own brain and not an example the author used):

  • Person A: Last night, my dog escaped the house and hasn’t returned.
  • Person B: (shift response) My dog got out once and was missing for a week. Have you created a flyer to post in your neighborhood? (even though person B is trying to be helpful and is actually staying on topic, the conversation has now subtly shifted to centering yourself and not truly understanding the other person and deepening your connection). Trying to offer help is a natural and kind response (and there might be a time to offer help or advice) but it doesn’t convey that you are deeply listening. (support response) Your dog is an important member of your family. How are your children feeling this morning? (this deepens your connection with person B and demonstrates that you are listening deeply to their concern)

You’re Not Listening is a thoughtful, inspiring, and practical read for those who desire to improve their listening skills and make deeper connections. Everyone can benefit from the content. Put this book on your Nonfiction November TBR!

My Rating:  4  Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Author of You're Not Listening, Kate Murphy

Kate Murphy is a Houston, Texas-based journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Texas Monthly. Her eclectic and widely shared pieces have explored an extraordinary range of topics including health, technology, science, design, art, aviation, business, finance, fashion, dining, travel, and real estate. She is known for her fresh and accessible way of explaining complex subjects, particularly the science behind human interactions, helping readers understand why people behave the way they do. She also has a commercial pilot’s license, which she puts to good use when called upon to report from remote locations.

In a world of self-promotion, does the topic of listening appeal to you?

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc).

Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website receives all credit for book covers and author photos.



  1. I understand how the self reference element of the shift response is not helpful – it comes across as “all about me not you”. But I’m not sure I entirely agree that offering suggestions for coping strategies or practical steps signals you are not a listener

    • I think she means that there is a time for that, but it’s later after the person feels listened to…..or maybe when they request help. I know my tendency is to want to problem solve right away! So this reminder was good for me.

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