The ability to understand what someone is saying is one of the critical elements of the communication process.
When someone is speaking do you find yourself hearing or listening to what is being said?
Let’s look at the difference:
Hearing: means your ears are working. You are conscious of the sounds made by someone or something, but the act alone does not guarantee you comprehended what was heard.
This is similar to being in a meeting and while present, you are not paying attention, letting the words traveling from one ear and out the other with no retention of what was stated.
Listening: means your brain is working. Not only are you present in the moment, but you are engaged in active listening understanding what is being said.
If you find yourself taking notes, asking questions, or providing feedback to the speaker, you are concentrating on what is being heard.
So many challenges arise in our personal and professional lives because we don’t make the time to listen. We are so busy hearing the sounds around us that we get distracted on what to really focus on.
Clear your mind, be respectful, and listen.
You might learn something new.