Listen to Understand Rather Than to Respond …*

Listen to Understand Rather Than to Respond ...* |rethinked.org - Photo: Elsa Fridman

If you want to become a better listener, probably the single most important thing you can do or the best thing you can do is adopt this idea and that is to listen to understand as opposed to just listening merely to respond.” – Tom Yorton

Here’s a great short video featuring Tom Yorton, CEO of Second City Works and co-author of the recently published Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City talk about the importance of practicing and improving one’s capacity for effective listening. Yorton shares a very helpful stance from which to frame our listening opportunities: listen to understand, not to respond. This reminded me of the beginning stance necessary for assertive inquiry –a powerful method of productive dialogue–“I have a view worth hearing, but I may be missing something.” The desire to understand one’s interlocutor is a critical ingredient for effective listening whether you’re practicing Integrative Thinking with your team members or empathizing with your loved ones.

practice, listen, understand . . . *

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