back to books

How to Listen with Intention: The Foundation of True Connection, Communication, and Relationships

Patrick King

Personal Thoughts

Summary Notes


  • A good conversation is like a good tennis match.
  • Two people talking at each other instead of with each other.
  • improve your listening skills by being vigilant about the ways in which craving attention can make you a worse conversationalist.
  • Are we reaching out to others because we want the validation of their attention? Because we want the feeling of proving ourselves right and another wrong?
  • Do we see conversation as a battle, a game, or a dance?
  • Perhaps we see conversation as an opportunity to show ourselves off, or share what interests us.
  • Conversations should be thought of not as a means to win attention but to share it enjoyably with someone else.
  • The goal is not competition for the floor, but cooperation with an ally.
  • The purpose is to collaborate, not express solely.

Levels of Listening

  • Ignoring

-Not listening at all

-An immediate discouragement to anyone who is trying to talk to you

  • Pretend Listening

-We look like we’re paying attention, but we’re not entirely engaged with what our partner is saying. Our eyes might get that distant look, and we just don’t appear to be “all there.”

  • Selective Listening

-At this level, we start to give our partner real attention—to a point. As long as the speaker is saying something we agree or sympathize with, we’re with them.

-This is more attention than the previous levels, but it’s conditional listening.

  • Attentive Listening

-Not perfect but good. We’re giving our partners our complete attention and listening to every detail they provide.

-We’re not distracted, we’re not shutting them out selectively, and we’re not changing the subject.

  • Empathetic Listening

-This is both the final, most desirable level of listening and the polar opposite of the first level of ignoring.

-In empathetic listening, we give all our attention to the person we’re talking to. We’re not just zeroed in on what they’re saying—we’re putting ourselves in their shoes.

The Need to Validate

  • Validation is the verbal affirmation and acceptance of the emotions and viewpoints of someone we are in communication.
  • Normal listening takes care of the conscious conversation level, but validation satisfies an emotional need

How to Listen with Intention: The Foundation of True Connection, Communication, and Relationships

Patrick King

Some other book notes you might like

Back to notes

Did You Enjoy This?

Then consider signing up for my Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles, book notes, and podcast episodes.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.