“The biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply.”


How many times have you “patiently” waited for someone to finish speaking so you could complete your thought? Under the wrong circumstances, we treat pauses as a necessary evil to allow the other person to speak – but only so we will have earned the right to speak more.

But do you listen to understand, or just to reply? If you’re formulating your points in silence, then you aren’t listening. And if you aren’t listening, you aren’t understanding. And if you aren’t understanding, you’re behaving selfishly.

If all that matters is what YOU have to say, then you aren’t loving or caring for the other person. It’s all about you. On the other hand, if you set aside your soapbox and listen without planning your reply in advance, the person you’re with will become more real and important to you. And that will affect how you treat them.

So do you listen to understand, or to reply?

One response to “The Biggest Problem People Have Communicating”

  1. WOW ! how true that is, particularly when talking to family or people you know. i don’t find this when talking to strangers.

    ‘cos i’m now becoming a little forgetful in my conversations ie. if i don’t say what’s in my mind right now then in 20 seconds it’ll be gone.

    so the reason could also be other people have my problem of forgetting what you want to say if you wait too long.

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