Failure to listen occurs whenever the receiver “tunes out” the sender of the message before receiving the entire message.
One instance is when you disagree with some part of what is being said… You listen to the point of disagreement, and begin formulating your response in your head rather than continuing to listen.
This is the old habit of listening to only what you want to hear and failing to listen to the rest of the message. As a result, the message is misunderstood and not heard.
When we find ourselves not listening to others, it’s often a product of being bored, tired, hurried, or a dozen of other reasons that we come up with.
It doesn’t really matter what the reason is. The fact is, we assume we hear. We are not purposeful in our listening efforts.
To become a more purposeful listener, we first commit to listening, assuring that we indeed did hear the words that the person expressed.
We then ask questions and put into our own words to clarify that we understand what the other person is saying.
The light bulb pretty quickly goes on when we find that we have truly heard and truly do understand another.
This kind of listening helps reveal deeper feelings and needs.