Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak.
-Stephen R. Covey
How can one really listen if they are continually thinking of their response? I think that many of us expect the conversation to move rapidly. Once we are done it is their turn. Where is the silence in communication?
It is gone.
In teaching I have learned that when I ask a question with an expectation for an answer that it takes time for that answer to come. Why? Perhaps it is because in a class people are use to being lectured to and don’t expect a turn in the conversation. Perhaps it is because they aren’t thinking of what their response is because it isn’t expected of them. Perhaps they are in some different world, time and or place. Give them long enough and everyone is able to take a turn in answering and participate.
So if we listen to listen rather than to respond when in a class or lecture why not listen to listen all the time?