No, I mean really listen.
Listen to learn.
Listen as if your next decision depends on what the person you’re speaking to is saying.
Listen as if they have something important to teach you.
Listen for them, not for you.
Listen to learn about that person.
Listen, and you might just be amazed at what they share with you.
Too often we listen for us. We listen to speak, to respond, and instead of hearing what is being said we are instead formulating our next response. I believe this is a huge mistake.
When we do this we miss out on what the other person is saying. Even if you don't find what the other person is saying to be interesting, if you really listen, and ask questions that show you are listening, you will find that the individual speaking to you will open up and share things with you that they never would have if you hadn't listened.
I suppose another way of saying this is that we need to be genuine in our listening. Anything less is disrespectful of the other person.
And we can do better.