When we hear something that goes against our deepest prejudices, ideas, beliefs, mores or complexes, our brains may be too irritated, not in a direction that leads to good listening. We mentally plan a rebuttal of what we are hearing, formulate an issue that should embarrass the spokesperson, or we may simply turn to thoughts that support our own feelings on the subject in question. For example, it is difficult to listen because people are not working as hard as they should. Listening seems so natural that it does not seem necessary to put much effort into it. But hard work and effort are precisely what requires effective listening. “We were given two ears, but only one mouth, because listening is twice as difficult as speeches.” Writing and reading are much slower elements of communication than speech and listening. You need more staff, more equipment and more space than talking and listening. We often need a stenographer and a messenger, not to say that machines, typewriters and other writing documents are dictated. Few people feel that it is safe to throw away a written message; so storage equipment is needed, with someone making the deposit.
By listening, and then repeating in your own words the essence and feeling of what you have just heard, you make the speaker feel, from the speaker`s point of view, the satisfaction of understanding (a great human need). Responsive listening is always worth telling people that they are being cared for. Our interlocutors do not automatically know how well we have understood them, and they may not be very good at asking for confirmation. When a conversation is tense or difficult, it`s even more important to listen first and recognize what you`re hearing. Otherwise, your chances of being heard by the other person can be very bad. People at all stages of the business need to feel free to talk to their superiors and know that they are facing sympathy. But too many superiors – even if they announce that their doors are still open – do not listen; and their subordinates, faced with this failure, do not feel free to say what they mean. As a result, subordinates are increasingly withdrawing from their superiors.