Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Listening to Understand

Listening to Understand

A lot of people hear, but no one really listens any more.  We have a tendency to listen so that we can react.  And in the course of reacting, sometimes we don’t give the other person the chance to finish, as we interrupt to share what’s on our mind, as if what we have to say is the only thing that’s important.  We’re all so busy that we don’t have the time to hear the whole story, and even then we tend to hear only what we want to hear.  We’re all guilty of this at some point, and I’m no exception.

Listen with the intent to reply

Let’s try to listen so that we can understand.  Let’s try to listen so that instead of reacting we can respond, in the most appropriate way that makes sense, even if that means just simply being there for the person who just wants to share something in his mind, for your mere presence would be enough.  The best listeners are those who have experienced the most and / or know how to empathize; they are so attuned to what the other person is saying such that they are able to hear what’s also not said.

Let’s listen to understand.  We’ll learn more from each other this way, and perhaps in this small way make this world a little bit better in the process.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

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