Geege Schuman stashed this in Life Hacks
"The person you are listening to is right. Always. You wife, your husband, your employee, your customers. They’re right.
They may not be 100 percent right. But even if he or she is hysterical and speaking in terribly ineffective language, perhaps even accusing you of things that on the surface are demonstrably false, THERE IS TRUTH IN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING. And rather than defend yourself by finding error in some details, challenge yourself to find the deeper truth of what’s being said. Often, that will require you to dig deep into that 93 percent of non-verbal communication. It will definitely require you to drop all your defenses, and in some cases, it will feel like you are being forced to believe that black is white and the sky is orange."
Tips follow in link.
Three things come to mind:
1. You can't just listen to the words. You have to listen to the motivation. Listen for WHY.
2. Communication requires that both the communicator and the listener participate in understanding.
3. You can't just listen to the words. Body language and context matter. A LOT.
I think the advice of the book is excellent for many, if not most people; at least as a means of examining what a person's real messages are. It also is valuable as a means to avoid getting lost in internal defensive self-talk that can end communication and turn a conversation into a battle. As someone sometimes overly attuned to body language, I often find the real message someone is trying to communicate in emotional situations isn't always known to the person themselves.
That said, there are a subset of people who might be ill served by the advice in the book (not having read the book, however, the authors may cover these people). Those already predisposed to accepting what others say, particularly if one or more of those others are abusers, could be further trapped by radical acceptance of their abuser's point of view. People need to be endowed with a healthy dose of critical thinking (not critic thinking, which is what I think the authors of the book are telling people to defuse) .