9 Must-Hear Audiobooks About Listening

By Jessica Dukes

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your conversations improve after hearing these audiobooks.

What better way to enhance your listening abilities than by cueing up one of these enlightening audiobooks about listening? The authors behind the following audiobooks draw on a wealth of research and real-world examples to show you why being a better listener leads to deeper conversations and healthier relationships. Plus, they offer step-by-step plans for improving your listening skills.

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

By Kate Murphy

Read by the author. 6 hours, 31 minutes.

You’re Not Listening is packed with valuable advice on how to develop the one skill that will make you a better communicator: listening. Backed by illuminating life lessons from the world’s best listeners —from CIA agents and radio producers to bartenders and furniture salespeople — Kate Murphy shows us why listening is the key to building stronger friendships, connections, and communities. You’ll learn how to ask questions that don’t rob the other person of their story, how to read nonverbal cues, and how to get comfortable with the idea that listening to someone and agreeing with them are two entirely different things. Hailed by bestselling author Lori Gottlieb as “an essential book for our times,” You’re Not Listening is a fun and fascinating narrative that teaches us how to stop talking over each other and finally start listening.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

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

By Mark Goulston

Read by Arthur Morey. 7 hours, 53 minutes.

Difficult conversations are never fun. But according to Mark Goulston, there’s a way to successfully navigate such emotionally charged exchanges — and it starts with listening. Once you give the other person the space they need to air their fears and frustrations, you’ll have a better chance of moving forward together. Whether you’re dealing with an upset friend or an angry client, Just Listen gives you the tools you need to deescalate tough talks and transform them into opportunities for understanding and growth.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

Listen Like You Mean It: Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection

By Ximena Vengoechea

Read by the author. 7 hours, 57 minutes.

Many of us go through life hearing what other people say. But Ximena Vengoechea shows us that active listening is an entirely different skill — one that requires concentration and is essential to long-lasting relationships. In Listen Like You Mean It, Vengoechea offers tried-and-true strategies for listening with intention and asking the right questions. Doing so allows you to make real connections with strangers, support others more effectively, and have more meaningful conversations.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction

By Rebecca Shafir

Read by the author. 7 hours, 15 minutes.

It’s no secret that we live in an age of distraction. Thankfully, Rebecca Shafir has developed a method for screening out the noise and clearing away the clutter: Retrain your brain to listen and be present in the moment. Whether you want to call it mindfulness or simply turning off your devices, Shafir shows us how to quiet our minds, hear the speaker before us, and foster deeper relationships with our colleagues and loved ones.

Available at Audible.

The Five Keys to Mindful Communication

By Susan Gillis Chapman

Read by Gabra Zazkman. 6 hours, 38 minutes.

Susan Gillis Chapman views mindfulness as the practice of nonjudgmental awareness, and she believes that this is how we can best communicate with others. A psychotherapist and longtime meditation teacher, Chapman illustrates how mindfulness can change not just what we say but how we listen. The unspoken energy we bring to a conversation makes a big difference, and by listening without judgment, we become more compassionate and honest. As a result, she explains, our responses change for the better, and our relationships do, too.

Available at Audible.

How to Be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening

By Julian Treasure

Read by the author. 12 hours, 29 minutes.

If you’ve ever seen one of Julian Treasure’s many TED Talks, you know that he’s a great speaker. In How to Be Heard, he presents the secret to captivating an audience, whether it’s a packed auditorium or just a few friends. Treasure shows us how to listen in a way that makes others feel heard, and he explains why doing so is essential to effective communication. You’ll also get concrete advice on what to do when you’re both listening and speaking. Most interestingly, Treasure leverages his expertise as a sound specialist to reveal how the tones and sounds we produce can make all the difference between a so-so speech and an exceptional speech.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All

By Bernard T. Ferrari

Read by Sean Pratt. 5 hours, 36 minutes.

Listening to others is a cornerstone of any strong relationship, and as Bernard T. Ferrari shows us, this is absolutely true in the business world. In fact, having poor listening habits in the workplace all but guarantees poor performance, regardless of your line of work. Ferrari’s step-by-step guide in Power Listening is designed to teach your work family how to listen with an open mind, ask relevant questions that advance the conversation, and make better decisions as a team. Once you and your co-workers master the art of listening, you’ll be amazed at how easily everything else falls in place.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

The Lost Art of Listening

By Michael Nichols

Read by Sean Runnette. 11 hours, 33 minutes.

Most of us pay little mind to listening. You simply let the other person talk, and then it’s your turn to speak, right? Not quite. According to Michael Nichols, we all think we’re good listeners, but the truth is, we’re not. The problem: We think of listing as a passive act, when we should see it as an active one. This is where The Lost Art of Listening can help. Nichols, a therapist, draws on years of experience to teach us how to actively listen and truly hear what’s being said. When it’s your turn to speak, you’re better suited to connect on a deeper level, thus building a stronger connection with the person before you.

Available at Audible and Libro.fm.

I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

By Michael Sorensen

Read by the author. 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Michael Sorensen takes a deep dive into a very specific moment that he believes should be a part of every conversation we have: validation. By listening carefully to your friends, family, and colleagues, you can learn what they fear, need, or love. This puts you in a far better position to give them the recognition and support they require. I Hear You shows us that by understanding and then validating the feelings of other people, our relationships will grow from a place of trust and then the advice and attention we give to others will be more genuine.

Available at Audible.

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The holidays mean festive family gatherings, cozy evenings beside a fire, and — hopefully — some well-deserved time to yourself. That’s why we put together a list of excellent audiobooks to keep you engaged and entertained all season long. Whether you’re traveling to see loved ones, preparing your home to host, cooking up a delicious meal, or in need of a little break from all that family bonding (hey, everyone needs space sometimes), these acclaimed audiobooks are for you. Happy listening — and happy holidays!
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