After reading a dialogue-heavy book over breakfast (as one does) I pondered how much of every conversations consists of fillers, reflective phrases and “message received” acknowledgements, and that led to more pondering on perpetual nature of communication issues like:
“Yes, I heard you.”
Oh, and by fillers, etc, I mean things like,
All this pondering led nowhere useful of course, but it did make me realize that I look at the word pairs hear/listen, understand/comprehend as conversational dance steps. Think foxtrot. Or tango.
- Hear: physically register vocal input.
- Listen: attempt to comprehend that input.
- Understand: receive & recognize the meaning of the input.
- Comprehend: input processed and absorbed, ready to put into action
A good conversation can go through that progression many times. (Pretend the words are inside pictures of feet with arrows, maybe? I dunno. I’m not feeling graphicky today.)
I think most people learn that hearing is not listening, but maybe it’s equally important to grasp that not all listening is successful listening.
I’ve seen a lot of discussions dissolve into frustration and hostility when one participant mistakes passive hearing for listening but I’ve seen many more crash and burn when someone’s certain they’ve comprehended a new idea merely because they listened to someone talk about it.
That’s all. Just thoughts for now. Until later!
Oh, PS/PSA for all any worriers in my circle, no this has NOT been inspired by any real conversation I’ve had with anyone. Srsly. You’re awesomes, alla youses.