We usually listen at one of four levels:
- We ignore the person
- We pretend to listen
- We selectively listen
- We attentively listen
A fifth and more effective level is empathetic listening. At that level, you strive to fully understand the person's words and feelings.
You listen with your ears and eyes... and with your heart.
Empathetic listeners seek first to understand before trying to be understood. That means putting aside your own views and getting inside the other person's thoughts and words.
Consider practicing empathetic listening with two people today.