Have a theory, find evidence for it and the difference between listening for and to.
One thing I’m definitely guilty of is confirmation bias – where I look for evidence to back up what I believe so I feel reassured.
Feeling right about my opinion is great. I love feeling right.
When I can rhyme off evidence to back my opinion up, it feels good.
Convincing myself I need that new pair of trainers for example.
I can go so far down a rabbit hole looking for reviews that tell me they’re the best.
Then someone shows me something I never saw about the trainers and my scaffolding crumbles underneath me.
What has happened is I’ve listened FOR rather than listen TO.
Listening FOR is listening to what I already want to hear or have made up my mind about.
Versus listening TO I just take in the information as it is, aware that I remove any filters as much as possible so I hear as much of the information as it is without judging or changing what I’ve heard.
When we communicate with others, we also listen FOR.
Instead, try to listen TO who you’re with – they’ll feel heard and you will build your understanding and empathy a little more.