Most people don’t listen.
Jack is talking and Ann is preparing what she is going to say. She is not listening to Jack. She is thinking about her response.
Diane is explaining an event and Sam is thinking about what he is going to eat for lunch.
Few people are aware of this behaviour. Few people focus on what they are hearing now, most thinking about their reaction or an unrelated topic.
To give you a ‘audio aid’, turn on the radio to some chat; be it news, be it a talk show, some program which is all words.
Now start to read this article, from the top, out loud. Notice that you can no longer hear the radio save for odd words.
Now stop reading. Listen to the radio for the next few seconds. Really listen to it as if you need to hear it.
Notice the difference.
This is how you have to be.
If you find yourself thinking of what you are going to say while someone is talking, stop yourself and focus. Listen to how they are talking. Listen between the words.
There are people who are defensive. They are explaining their actions expecting to be questioned or attacked. Why? There are people who repeat themselves, why? There are those who speak as if they are over certain.
Once you teach yourself to listen you will hear more than what the words are saying.