Active listening – does it exists?

Do we ever go into a conversation without expectations of what we are hoping to hear?

Think of a time you wanted to have a conversation without any other purpose than just talking. Can you? I don’t think I can either. No matter the circumstance, we always have a reason behind the conversation. We want answers. We’re lonely. We need stimulation. There is never a time you look at someone and just decide to say hello without an expectation of being responded to and for no other reason than to just say hi.

We’re wired for conversation. We crave discussion, debate, and just down right acknowledgement. We have a side to share, a story to tell, and we’ll be damned different we don’t say it, especially if we believe it is relevant to the conversation.

We aren’t programmed to listen to understand; we’re taught to listen and respond. We aren’t mentored to speak without reason; we learn to talk to our point.

If we listened more without formulating a response in our heads as the speaker is talking, we’d understand better. Active listening is paramount in any conversation, but all too few of us actually go into a conversation without finding a way to make a point out of our side of the discussion.