Are you really listening?
Or are you listening with the intent to reply?
This is one of the biggest communication problems. We do not listen to understand. We listen with the intent to reply.
There is a "lull" between hearing and understanding what is being said.
It can vary from one individual to another; anywhere from a few seconds to up to a minute, and this is where the trouble begins with communication.
Many things can cause this lull, such as our own emotional state, and it could even be caused by our physical health. However, the most common causes are our own thoughts and judgments.
Effective listening is skill-based and must be learned and practiced. You must approach listening with a positive attitude and with intent to understand the other person completely.
Here are some suggestions to help you with becoming a better listener
1) Do not be judgmental. Just listen.
2) Don't interrupt the person speaking. Let them finish.
3) Let the speaker get their point across completely. Don't jump to conclusions and assume anything.
Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to not agree with someone, but first you need to understand what they are actually saying. What exactly is their message?
What will you hear today?