Listen for Understanding not for Responding:
Listening to understand is wise and intellectually driven. We hear
- what is being said,
- what the message is,
- and we can relate to the situation, if needed.
Typically when there is a story, there is something to learn. Why is the story being told to me?
There must be a message here for me. What is it about the story/experience that is meant for me or my learning?
- In what way, can I relate to this experience?
When we listen to respond… we’re trying to come up with a comparable story; we focus on what could we say in response or we focus on opportunities to champion the story that is being told.
We don’t recognize the wisdom of the story being told, and we certainly don’t recognize the message being communicated.
If I’m really listening, I will have nothing to say when the other person has completed the storytelling.