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Listening Vs. Hearing - Key behavior within PB JAM facet of Communication

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

#TLDR: Active Listening is critical in today's professional world that is more #virtual than ever


We all hear as a natural process built through evolution. This is a passive process where our brain picks up only on what is relevant information for self-preservation. Naturally, hearing leaves a lot out if someone is talking to you on topic that is not directly related to your self-preservation. However, in professional world, you are required to hear, understand and respond to subjects that are far removed from your self-preservation. How do we do this effectively? This is where we need to "listen" more than "hear".

Hearing is accidental, involuntary and effortless. Listening is focused, voluntary and intentional. I always term this as one should listen to understand and not listen to respond. As soon as you decide that you want to understand the speaker, the brain circuits that are trying to respond/defend/explain calm down and the brain circuits of listening and understanding get more bandwidth.


Do browse this nice write-up by Dom Barnard at Virtual Speech website for more details. Also, if you search web for listening and hearing, you will come up with many good resources to help your journey.


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