Listening is hard because it involves keeping your ego constrained long enough to consider what is being said before formulating your response.
Wisdom often lies in the pause between stimulus and response.
Few people listen well, which makes good listeners all the more relevant and important.
When someone starts talking, our focus should be:
1. Listening intentionally to what they are saying
2. Ignoring patterns in their speech and forming conclusions
3. Putting said about whether we agree with what they are saying until they have finished speaking
When we quickly prepare responses as a listener the conversation becomes about us. When the other person does the same meaningful communication ceases to occur.
Rather than making the conversation about you, work to understand the other person's perspective. You don't have to agree with them, but you owe it to them to be respectful and open minded.
Remember and put to use one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits - Seek first to understand then be understood.
We should make it a habit to seek understanding with one another. A conversation is not a competition to make a point, but rather an exploration of each others thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and biases.