We Must First Listen To Understand.

Last week I was on a coaching call with one of my coaches where he was demonstrating the difference between replying to what we hear, and replying to what we think we hear.

My coach asked a series of ten questions, each one only one time only, and the answer to each question needed to be written down. The answers were checked after the tenth question had been answered.

Before checking the answers, my coach enquired as to how confident I was with the test.

I told him that I thought that I had answered each question correctly, because I felt that I had listened very attentively to each question.

My score was six correct out of ten.

My coach told me that most people fail to complete this test and rarely pass it…. Most people taking this test score less than five out of ten.

The reason for this is simple:

Most people in a conversation hear what they want to hear and think that they hear what they want to hear.

When in fact, what they ACTUALLY HEAR is totally different from what has actually been said to them.

We must first listen to understand.

Most people listen only to respond, or plan a response.

In fact, most people are thinking about their response before their conversational colleague has actually finished speaking.

They are failing to hear the full intention of what has been said, because their mind has been hijacked already into planning a response.

When we listen firstly to understand, and secondly to respond, it is only then that we become a true communicator.

Test yourself:

See if you catch yourself out, answering or interrupting someone before they have finished speaking, only because you are in such a hurry to make and add in your own comment.

If you speak before you are meant to, you may be interrupting some comment of extreme significance, and you’ll never ever know what that comment was, nor how it might have been to your advantage to have heard it.




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