Listening is about putting others first. I truly believe that being heard is a basic need that we all share. When we do not feel like we are heard, we get frustrated. We do not want to listen to anyone else, because no one is listening to us. We believe that what we have to say is so important, that even when others are speaking, we aren’t really listening but instead are simply waiting our turn to talk. This kind of “fake” listening is not effective for a number of reasons. It damages relationships instead of building them, and no one really gets heard. There is no “win-win”.
I’m reminded of a time when my grandparents were arguing. Each was desperately trying to say something that they thought was important, and they kept getting louder and louder, trying to out-shout the other. What they didn’t realize is that they weren’t really arguing, because they were talking about two completely