'Rule #1: Stop Talking!' teaches the fundamentals of listening, starting with an explanation of the importance of listening and then delving into listening "rules," which are accompanied by practical guidelines and explanations. Following chapters recognize and work with beliefs that interfere with-or "short circuit"-listening.
The chapter titled "Talk Talk Talk" takes a light-hearted look at people who talk without pause or concern for others in the room. Why do they do it? Can they be stopped? How can one escape? Though light-hearted, the chapter offers insights and solutions. This leads into a chapter that gives the reader a break from working to be a better listener and offers advice on how to encourage listening in others. It also offers another angle for self-reflection, encouraging the reader to examine situations and communication styles that discourage listening in others.
The rest of the book delves into specific listening benefits, such as lie detection, understanding one's self, resolving conflict, listening "in the age of overload," and clearing "head static," such as the racing mind or repetitive thoughts. Here, the book touches on meditation, nutrition, sleep, all of which keep the mind in a better state for focus and attention. The book ends with a chapter titled: "The Touchy-Feely Section," which talks about the deep human need for connection and sums up the importance and impact of listening.
Throughout the book, the author incorporates stories and insights submitted from an array of contributors including listening experts and a poem contributed by a former poet laureate. These contributions are displayed in boxes titled "Listeners Speak."
The author wants readers to deepen their awareness of this skill and of their own listening habits and blocks. This awareness will help readers change these habits and blocks that interfere with listening. Listening is coming into its own as an important skill for both business and personal success.