Why is so little attention being paid to developing the ability to listen when it is such a critical skill? Have you considered what it costs? Have you noticed? Are you aware of the costs of not listing?\
Everyone has a story, and most of the story lies below the surface. The same is true for listening— most of the difference listening can make is invisible, lying below the surface.
Listening or not listening influences every human interaction and relationship and has benefits or consequences, respectively. The consequences of not listening are vast.
Listening is something we just assume people are doing—we take it for granted. Because someone can hear, we assume they can listen. Listening and hearing are two different things.
Many of us assume people who can see can also see colors. However, an estimated 250 million people in the world are color blind; that is, they can’t distinguish colors. We take it for granted that all people who can see can also distinguish that the sky is blue; we assume.
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound. By contrast, listening is the ability to understand the message. We assume if one hears, one is listening.
We don’t have a term for listening blindness—that is, blind to the message or the meaning. Because listening is assumed, it’s a problem that goes unnoticed. When we don’t notice or see a problem, it’s unlikely we are going to do something about it. Basically, we can’t fix what we are not aware of.