Living In Gratitude: Listening to Understand VS Listening to Reply

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. ~Stephen R. Covey

Listening is an important part of communication but is also one of life’s most difficult skills.

When someone is speaking to us, there is a delay between what we hear and what we understand. During this time, we begin listening to our own internal conversation and as a result, our ability to comprehend what the speaker is saying declines.

This lag time can be a result of our physical or emotional state but odds are, it is due to our own thoughts and opinions that we seek out of every conversation to support our own personal beliefs. Called confirmation bias, this tendency causes us to only listen for what we want to hear.

Often, people also employ competitive listening in which they hear something they believe to be false. This causes a negative reaction, listening ceases and communication breaks down. Read more