How do you listen?

December 1st, 2015

Last week some of the Coalmarchers and I attended the Internet Summit. We had a great time this year! Over the past few years, I have been an irregular iSum participant. I attended in 2012 and 2013 but the sessions always felt hit or miss. They did a great job this year on improving the sessions and the quality of speakers. 

We attended sessions on SEO, content, email marketing, etc. but the one session that I enjoyed the most was the session on linking sales, engagement, and loyalty by Alison Kendrick. 

The following quote from her presentation really struck a chord with me:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.”

Hours after her presentation I was still thinking about what she said. We are all guilty of this. 

During our day to day conversations, we are always trying to think of ways to sound smarter, wittier, and thoughtful but sometimes that distracts us from actually listening to who we are talking to.

When you listen with the intent to reply, you miss so much of what the person across from you is trying to say. This is applicable in our work relationships and our personal relationships. When you listen with the intent to reply, you are more focused on how you will respond than what the other person is actually trying to communicate. You also miss subtle hints in how they frame their sentence. 

This quote has been on my mind every day since the conference. It made me more aware of how I listen and react when people talk to me. It encouraged me to really hear what others are trying to say and it made me slow down so that I understand before I reply. That may mean that I don’t respond as quickly but I do think I am responding more thoughtfully. 

How do you listen? Does this quote resonate with you?

About The Author

Maria leads our sales & strategy department where she works with prospective clients on their website and marketing strategies. She enjoys helping clients to grow their business...Find out more!