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Just Listen Summary

Quote From Just Listen by Mark Goulston

A coach, psychiatrist, and business consultant Mark Goulston  merges his knowledge with modern scientific studies to guide the readers on how to make connections with people that’re almost impossible to connect with.

Simple Short Summary: Just listen gives you a powerful yet technique so that you can make a powerful first impression even with the total strangers without involving their instinctive reactions but with a rational mindset as breaking the ice in any communication and allowing your partner to speak make you master in the art of communication.

In this book, you’ll learn how to take control back to the rational layer of the brain, why the failure of mirroring causes conflict in a connection, and why showing vulnerability to the other person is good for making a connection.

Just Listen Summary

4 Min Read

In this summary, you will learn four lessons:

Lesson: A – Use Mirroring to cultivate the same feeling in another person

Lesson: B – Showing vulnerable emotions will empower you to create and sustain connection

Lesson: C – Your brain divides into three layers so that each layer serves its purpose

Lesson: D – Quality conversation happens when you are listening with rational brain

Lesson: A – Use Mirroring to cultivate the same feeling in another person

Have you ever heard this saying “monkey see, monkey do”? I am sure, you do because the truth is, we mirror the people around us.

In mirroring, one person imitates the behavior of the other people by reciprocating and acknowledging the feelings, emotions, gestures, and speech patterns.

It usually occurs in social situations with people whom you already know. Mirroring is something that’s pre-wired in our brain.

Our brain cells which are known as mirror neurons make us capable to understand what the other person is feeling. These mirror neurons are used to known as “monkey see, monkey do” as they can cultivate the same feeling of pain within you as somebody who actually has received the pain.

So, if you’ve perceived the same feelings, especially when your friend has received a cut from a paper cutter, this happens because of mirror neurons. Few scientists even consider that these neurons may lay the foundation for empathy in humans.

An Indian-American neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran who has titled mirror neurons as “empathy neurons” as these neurons cause people to connect. Moreover, these neurons drive you to please people around you by fulfilling their expectations and wishes to get their approval.

However, when your feelings meet with negative response or apathy rather than empathy, you begin to feel negative emotions such as hostility and anger, these emotions make you feel like you aren’t connected with others.

Researchers have discovered that if a mirror from one person doesn’t reciprocate by the other person, we cultivate deficiency in mirror neuron receptors. As this deficiency takes place, we begin to sense as we’re disconnected from others.

Lesson: B – Showing vulnerable emotions will empower you to create and sustain connection

You should accept your vulnerability to become an excellent communicator. Thus, showing vulnerability is the best tool to form deep connections.

So, whenever you reveal vulnerable emotions such as fear or helplessness, you bestow others with an opportunity to form deep connections with you.

Mirroring is also essential to empathize with others. Others won’t understand you if you conceal your emotions because they mirror what you present to them.

For instance, suppose you feel uneasy about delivering a presentation, and for being nervous, you feel embarrassed.

On this, your coworkers make a heartless comment to you at which you react to them in rage. Now, as you display anger to your coworkers, you’ll yield a higher degree of anger.

However, revealing your real feeling that’s nervousness, your coworkers would likely to understand you. Besides this, this may supercharge your confidence level for the meeting.

So, when you give people opportunities to share their vulnerable emotions, you can identify the feelings behind them.

Lesson: C – Your brain divides into three layers so that each layer serves its purpose

Have you sensed that you were arguing with yourself? It felt like one part of the brain was talking with others. This happened because your awareness was partition into three different parts.

Indeed, your brain disunites into three distinct thinking layers or parts. The reptilian part of the brain reacts to all the sudden situations.

The purpose of this part is to take care of fight-or-flight responses. So, in any critical situation, it doesn’t consume time to analyze the situation because either it acts suddenly or it doesn’t.

Even sometimes, this layer causes people to paralyze with panic as deer often do when they come in front of the headlights of the car.

Next, the mammalian part which develops better from the reptilian layer is accountable for emotions and breeds inner dialogue. This layer is the root source where all the powerful emotions emerge such as sadness, anger, jealousy, grief, love, pleasure, and joy.

At last, the reasoning part of the brain that’s the rational layer gathers information from the mammalian and reptilian parts to discover the next logical course of action. This layer evaluates both sides of any circumstances positive or negative to determine the best possible plan to follow.

Indeed, these distinct parts of the brain determine how you behave in front of the people around you. So, if you want your listeners to listen and understand what you’re saying, you’ve to assure yourself that they’re thinking with the rational part of the brain.

Lesson: D – Quality conversation happens when you are listening with rational brain

Would you like others to listen and understand your words? If so, make sure while you’re talking, others are hearing using rational brains.

Moreover, you should control your emotions such as anger, fear, panic. These emotions will hamper your capability to cultivate subtle plans. Sadly, you cannot always retain control.

Sometimes, you’ll lose it. In those times, you can reclaim control and connect to the rational part of brain by acknowledging panics or threats.

In alarming circumstances, rational part stops and hands over control to the emotional layer that governs by the amygdala.

Of course, the feeling of danger can also spark a fight-or-flight mechanism. It paralyzes logical thinking for the moment and prepares your emotions to step in. In contrast, by expressing the sentiment of panic or fear, you allow emotions to settle down and search for a possible solution.

Researches have just disclosed that by assigning names to those fears and threats, you can tranquilize the amygdala that causes a reptilian layer to transfer control back to the rational part.

In this way, your partner can hear your arguments with the rational brain.

What’s Next?

We Need To Talk Summary: What’s in it for me?

  • Lesson: A – By searching for common group you can even win the hardest conversation
  • Lesson: B – Use support response to fuel conversation and listen the speaker carefully
  • Lesson: C – Listening is a skill that can improve with consistent practice
  • Lesson: D — Focus on listener while communicating your message and share your message briefly

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