When someone is talking to you and you’re supposed to be listening, but you’re not, it’s usually one of three reasons:
You’re pre-planning what you want to say.
You’re thinking of something else.
You’re judging the person and commenting to yourself.
The cause in each case is basic selfishness. You’re listening to two people, the other person and yourself, and you pay more attention to yourself. What you have to say, the point you want to make, and what you want to them to understand is more important than understanding them.
If someone is talking to you, stop talking to yourself and listening to yourself. Listen and understand one person at a time. If you’re not willing to do that, it’s better to leave the conversation until you’re ready to give them your full attention.
Embrace the chase. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.