It is easy to talk. It is easy to think when another is talking to prepare to talk. The tendency of most is to think and talk, think and talk.

It is difficult to listen. It is difficult to internalize what a person is discussing without thinking ahead at the expense of listening. It is rare in our society for a person to internalize what a person is discussing with a focus on what is being said.

Listen is defined as: to hear something with thoughtful attentionĀ : give considerationĀ listen to a plea. (Webster). “Thoughtful attention” is the key to what it means to listen. “Thoughtful attention” cannot be done without thinking only about the message. As the definition says when one is listening he is giving the message “thoughtful attention.”

Try to listen for a change. Concentrate on listening. Listening changes how we process. This is because we hear the message with “thoughtful attention.” Two things happen: We fully internalize the message without filtering it with thoughts on response; the speaker intuitively realizes this, and infers we care.

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