Want to have a little fun with your friends? Ask married couples to respond to the following question: “What is the most essential component of a happy healthy marriage?” Chances are, at least 75% will respond by saying something like, “Marriage will only work if you have good communication”. It seems that everyone is convinced that communication is the foundation of a good relationships, but few actually know how to communicate in an effective manner. My time in the clinical office working with couples has confirmed that a person’s ability to communicate well is rooted in their ability to truly listen to their partner. The less a couple listens to each other, the less connected they are. The more a couple listens to each other, the more emotionally intimate they become. Check out this TED talk video in which Julian Treasure gives very practical advice on how you can develop better listening skills.