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It's a widespread complaint of women: men don't know how to listen without rushing in to give advice and offer a solution. "I'm not looking for advice," many women say, "I just want to be heard, to get something off my chest." Through some mysterious blend of nature and nurture, guys just want to find a fix.

Women: try a prompt.

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Demographic projections suggest that our society is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. How do you identify and capture the value that exists from more multicultural schools, organizations, businesses and communities?

It's the part of your brain where you store everything you know about your partner's life. Created by marriage researcher John Gottman1, the principle behind love maps is that knowing the big – and the little – things about your partner's life is part of building a foundation of connection between the two of you.

Your daughter comes home in tears. She can barely choke out words to describe the mean things some girls said to her on the school bus. You listen to her story and try to comfort her. If you’re really skilled, you’ll offer her attunement (Are You Okay?

Ask your partner if you’re a good listener. For most of us, it’s often hard to accurately grasp the main idea, particularly during a difficult conversation. And it’s harder still when we’re pseudo-listening:

Can your kids easily accept criticism? Can they receive feedback calmly and with an open mind, or do they get touchy and defensive?

How good are you at receiving criticism?

Is it ever easy to connect with our children, to get them to open up about their lives? Surprisingly, it’s what they yearn for — to be truly seen and heard in all their authentic dreams and hopes and fears. It’s what we all desire, but kids need it differently than we do.

You’re waiting at the corner of Michigan and Huron, meeting your partner for lunch. Ten minutes have passed, fifteen…twenty minutes and no call, no text — nothing. She arrives after thirty minutes — cool calm and collected. Seeing the vexed look on your face, she asks what’s wrong.

Anything familiar here? Have you ever found yourself bickering with your partner over what really happened? Debating your version versus mine?

How easily we forget that there are always two realities at play: objective reality and emotional reality.

Many of us have it backwards. With our kids, we emphasize talking rather than listening. We believe that good parenting means explaining, reminding, correcting, admonishing, instructing — it's no wonder a lot more words come out of our mouths than theirs. In time, all our gab tends to turn them off. By adolescence, many tune us out.