Rebecca Shafir


Rebecca Shafirs’ award-winning book “The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction” has been translated into several languages and has sparked articles about her in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Readers Digest, Real Simple and many other popular publications, as well as hundreds of radio/TV interviews including on NPR, Bloomberg Business, CNN and Fox News.

“How to” Articles to Make Your Communication More Mindful!

Voice Yoga for the Professional Speaker

These six exercises are done using diaphragmatic or belly breathing. I acquired these exercises during my theater and operatic training. Do 3-5 reps of each for maximum relaxation of the vocal mechanism. Be sure to practice diaphragmatic breathing before trying these exercises.

Diaphragmatic breathing: Stand or Sit. Inhale through your nose or mouth filling up your mid-section or belly. Read Full Article!

Get the Most From Your Doctor’s Visit:  Remember POP

PREPARE questions…  ONLY 10 minutes with the doctor…  PARAPHRASE. Read Full Article!

Are you replaceable? Going Back to School Can Be Easy

Despite the new administration’s efforts to boost new businesses and prevent companies from moving abroad leaving thousands of American workers unemployed, there will still be millions of jobs lost to automation.

Many workers see “the writing on the wall” and are returning to school to finish their degrees or learn new marketable skills. A large percentage of students who dropped out of college did so because they lacked the academic rigor to succeed in the college environment.  Read Full Article!

A Therapist’s Lesson in Listening  

As I was leaving my office one evening, frazzled by a full day of patients and the paperwork that came with them, a middle-aged man poked his head nervously into my doorway. He asked timidly, eyes tight, lips knotted, with an uncontrolled static to his speech, if he could speak with me for a few minutes. He did not have an appointment. He was here on his own account. Little did I think that this man dressed in old clothes, gripping his hat like a friend he couldn’t bear to lose, was about to teach me a lesson about listening. Read Full Article!

Listening to Difficult People

Have you any difficult people in your life? We all can be difficult at times, but we usually have a good reason. Yet there are those with a reputation for being difficult most of the time. Difficult people can change your life; I believe they are here to teach us a lesson.  Read Full Article!

Listening to Ourselves to Hear Others Better

Flipping through the pages of my local newspaper one day, I paused at a familiar landmark – the Dear Abby column. As I entered the lives of the bewildered and misunderstood, desperate for the words that would set straight a disgruntled spouse or an overbearing sister-in-law, I broke out in a cold sweat. It was a request by an anonymous female writer to an anonymous reader, to stop giving advice. The ghostwriter pleaded with a special someone to “just listen” but even more to “listen to herself.”  Read Full Article!

Small Talk Tips for Teens

There is nothing small about small talk. It’s a good social skill to teach your kids early and one that improves with practice. Adults: you might benefit from this small talk tune-up.  

Start by observing people who are good at this, and see how they “small talk.” Watch teen and young adult sitcoms for examples. Adults can watch old Seinfeld or Friends episodes.  Read Full Article!

Mindful Preparation for a Patient Visit (for Medical Providers)

Health Care Provider, ask yourself:

  • Have I eliminated external distractions as much as possible?
  • Why has the patient come? Driven by symptoms or family?
  • What does he/she expect of me?
  • What are my first impressions?
    Read Full Article!

Talk So People will Listen- Get to the Point!

Do you tend to digress?
is a constraint for you and those you’re trying to persuade.
The hour of yesterday is the 20 seconds of today. Prepare for an attention span of 20 seconds or less!
Read Full Article!

Resources for More Mindful Communication!

Profit by ‘Zen listening – November 20, 2000: 12:29 p.m. ET, By Staff Writer Steve Bills
Focus your full attention on others and become more effective at work .

When the irate customer is nose to nose with you, red in the face and shouting about your rotten service, you may have difficulty remembering the observation of Rebecca Shafir: “They really want to help you make the business better.” Read More …

Videos and Audio Excerpts


Speaking with Power and PersuasionAudiobook by Rebecca Shafir  Listen…

Speaking with Power and Persuasion – Speech by Rebecca Shafir, narrated by Rebecca Shafir  Listen…

Emotional Control: An Overlooked First Step to School Success – October 15, 2014
It is often assumed that anxiety will disappear if the student just sits down and does the homework assignment. Why then, after supervised repetition, modeling, role-playing and tutoring do executive skill behaviors not stick for some students? Why is change so difficult? Why does anxiety, like a tsunami, overcome a student when he or she is faced with a writing task or test?  Watch the Video…

Listen to Rebecca Shafir, M.A., CCC explain how Emotional Self-regulation and Self-control Training is important for making significant gains in executive functioning. Listen…

Listen to an audio recording of Alpha-Stim with Rebecca Shafir, M.A., C.C.C. and Jeff Marksberry M.D. Vice President Science and Education at Electromedical Products International, Inc. Listen…

Real Simple

4 Habits of Good ListenersPut these policies into practice to step up your listening skills.
“In a busy world, setting aside your own agenda and truly listening is one of the best ways to show people how important they are to you…” Read More to step up your listening skills…


The Zen of Listening: Why Mindful Listening Makes a Difference

Good Listening is Essential for Success, But How Does One Listen Effectively? Many self-help books on personal relationships, negotiation, sales, and customer service tell us that good listening is essential to success in our personal and professional lives, but they do not explain how to listen. Read more and become a good listener…

An Educational Activity

Mindful Listening
Purpose / Goals: To provide information and tools to assist the health care professional in communicating more effectively through the client/patient / care giver relationship, as listening is a significant part of the communication process. Download pdf…